After reports this week of the EU LCS splitting into four regional leagues and 24 total teams, it was only a matter of time before the current teams had to decide the region they will compete in. The die is cast, and according to ESPN’s report, the teams have already decided.
In London, there will be many of the EU LCS’ titans. The teams that will call the United Kingdom their new home will be Fnatic, G2 Esports, Misfits, and Splyce. Meanwhile, FC Schalke 04, Unicorns of Love, and ROCCAT will remain in Berlin, where the current EU LCS Battle Arena already resides. H2K Gaming and Giants have chosen Barcelona as their new home, and Vitality will move to Paris.
It’s still unclear how Riot will choose the 14 remaining teams to compete in this new regional league, but with the current roster at least, London seems like the powerhouse region to be in. New Battle Arenas will need to either be built or purchased in the new cities as well, but that will likely be sorted out in the coming months. There are reportedly several corporations and teams not yet associated with the LCS looking to get in, though.
These city choices aren’t locked in yet, either. If any of these teams decide to change their preferred city, they still have a few months to decide on another region. These major changes to the EU LCS were communicated with team owners in a meeting held at the Finals last weekend in Paris. Opinions on these momentous shifts have been very mixed. Some players and fans believe this is the right move, and others remain skeptical.
Either way, Riot had to do something, because no one is happy with how things are in the EU LCS right now. Between H2K threatening to leave and several EU LCS teams applying to join the NA LCS thanks to franchising, unrest is at an all time high.
Over the next few months, Riot will probably reveal more information on the new system, but until then, we’ll just have to wait to see if it’s everything the league needs to survive.