Riot details plans for European Regional Leagues in 2022

The ERLs are leveling up next year.

Photo via Riot Games

To continue to strengthen pathways for professional League of Legends players, major changes are coming to the European Regional Leagues in 2022. This includes solidifying their structure and ensuring their stability moving forward by extending license deals from Spain’s Superliga to France’s La Ligue Française.

Maximillian Peter Schmidt, head of esports for League in Europe, detailed Riot’s plans for the ERLs in a Dev Post today.

Accredited and non-accredited leagues

Accredited leagues

Every ERL will be divided into “accredited” and “non-accredited” leagues in 2022. The accredited leagues include Superliga, La Ligue Française, Prime League, Ultraliga, and the Northern League of Legends Championship, while the non-accredited leagues cover PG Nationals, the Esports Balkan League, the Greek Legends League, Elite Series, Hitpoint Masters, and Lisga Portuguesa de League of Legends

Non-accredited leagues

Every non-accredited league will have the option to apply to become an accredited league at any time, provided they meet the criteria. The major difference between the two categories is accredited leagues will be held offline, while non-accredited leagues will primarily be hosted online. Accredited league teams will also be added to Riot’s Global Contract Database.

Format and scheduling

In the past, ERLs have been plagued with “suboptimal scheduling” and “unwanted overlaps,” according to Riot. To tackle this ongoing issue, Riot will be standardizing competitive formats and schedules for 2022 onward. 

Accredited ERLs: First division

  • 10 teams
  • Regular season: Double round-robin with a best-of-one format
  • Playoffs: Six-team double-elimination format

Second division

  • 10 teams
  • Regular Season: Double round-robin with a best-of-one format
  • Playoffs: Four-team knockout stage
  • First division promotion: Top two from the second division will face the bottom two teams from the first division

Non-accredited ERLs: First division

  • Eight teams
  • Regular Season: Double round-robin with a best-of-one format
  • Playoffs: Four-team knockout stage

Second division or qualifier tournament

  • Format details may vary per region

These changes will allow Riot to align start and end dates for all leagues and will help “optimize” weekly programming to ensure a “good distribution” of ERL and LEC broadcasts throughout a single week of competitive League.

Pro-ameateur tournaments

The ERLs will be expected to host “pro-amateur” tournaments from 2022 onward. These events will take place around October and November each year and will offer teams, both pro and amateur, the opportunity to compete between seasons.

Spnosors and broadcast changes

To coincide with these changes, Riot is looking to work closely with the leagues when it comes to broadcasting and sponsor acquisition. To enable “as much synergy as possible,” Riot will look to align the “basis show flow” and marketing on each broadcast. This will include bringing sponsors directly to Summoner’s Rift.

Competitive operations

The “basic rights and obligations of players” have also been addressed by Riot. To ensure an “even playing field,” Riot has overhauled many of its rules and regulations with the goal of “setting unified standards across the ecosystem.” These rules, which have yet to be set, will be simple and easy to understand for players.

The full list of changes coming to the ERLs can be found here.

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