The European Regional Leagues have quickly become an integral part of the growth of competitive League of Legends in EU and have helped provide the LEC with many new, hungry stars in the making. With such rapid growth, Riot aims to bolster this system by making some significant changes “to create more stability and further strengthen player pathways.”
First, license deals will be extended to almost all current ERLs in 2022 and they’ll be grouped into one of two categories: accredited ERLs and non-accredited ERLs. The full list of differences between these two categories will be revealed after EU Masters, but one of the biggest differences between accredited and non-accredited involves offline events.
Accredited ERLs are expected to continue to host one offline event per year, while non-accredited leagues aren’t required to host offline events anymore. Accredited ERL teams will also be added to Riot’s official Global Contract Database, while non-accredited teams won’t be added. Even though Riot will select what tier the ERLs are categorized as to begin with, all non-accredited leagues can apply to become accredited at any time if they meet specific criteria.
This also means that there will be a few ERLs that will be unified due to this new system. The Baltic league, for example, will be merging with the Polish Ultraliga, while the Dutch and Belgium leagues will be merging to form a new Benelux league. More information around these mergers is set to be released in September.
Riot will be standardizing prize money for both accredited and non-accredited leagues to ensure parity across the new system, while also increasing subsidies for all leagues. This should help with the sustainability of any teams that decide to join an ERL by next year. As for development, Riot will host a yearly summit with all tournament hosts, teams, and players to help support and guide their development.
As one of the most unique ecosystems in esports, the ERLs have proven to be a huge boon to the LEC, as well as an independent, thriving scene that brings diversity and excitement to the general League landscape in Europe.
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