It is on Discord that the head of esports in the EMEA region, Maximilian “Riot Max the X” Schmidtrecently decided to answer questions from fans. When the question of the expansion of the LEC from 10 to 12 teams is posed to him, he simply replies that it is something thatthey are constantly evaluating. Many factors come into play in this decision for the future of the esports scene on League of Legends. Organization, format, finances or even number of players, so many things to take into account before making any decisionwhich greatly limits their field of action.
This is an issue that we are constantly evaluating with our teams and our partners, and many factors must be taken into account when considering an expansion – just to name a few: the schedule, competition format, finance and economy, and even the amount of players, talent and staff we have in our ecosystem to support new teams are crucial elements to take into account.
The LEC will however remain a competition under franchise even if one day 12 teams will be able to participate. This therefore means that two places are created for this elitist European competition. In France, it is in particular the Karmine Corp which does not hide its ideas of grandeur and intends to one day reach the LEC.
Rekkles, the team’s botlaner, have seen him many times before. He had also once declared on his stream that whatever happens he would return to the LEC for next season. With this new information, the player, who had also announced that it would be an honor to go there with the KCorp, could very well end up alongside him in the LEC next year. Places in Europe are however very expensive. Last year, Team BDS was able to access the tournament by buying the place of Schalke 04 for the modest sum of 26.5 million euros.
If this competition is to increase to 12 teams, the BO1 format will probably no longer hold. He had been adopted to allow the 10 teams to all play on the same day, but with 12 teams, that would no longer be possible. It would then be wiser to pass the BO3 format to have matches that are more representative of the level of the teams, which would then extend over several days. However, for Maximilian, this can also represent a problem.
LBest-of-threes and best-of-twos aren’t always the best formats to watch. BO3s in particular are difficult to program and mean you need to demand more viewing devotion from your viewers, who will have to watch 5 BO3s in a week.
Finally, the LEC is potentially considering to exclude the teams which would have too bad results. However, only qualifying for the playoffs are not taken into account by Riot for this. According to Maximilian, they take into account “a multitude of criteria when it comes to (their) long-term partnershipsincluding brand equity, business expertise, creative ideas and other contributions that teams have to advance the LEC product“.
With all these changes, it would not be surprising to see teams from ERL in the future (European Regional Leagues) to join the LEC, because of this increase in place and the renewal that the exclusion of teams with poor results can bring. But for that, it will again be necessary to review the overall structure of the competition.
In the current state of the ecosystem, [les équipes ERL ne peuvent pas prétendre à une place], no. The way we have structured our ecosystem is to ensure that top players move up the ERL ranks and eventually get drafted into LEC teams. We see the ERL and European Masters as a pathway to Worlds for players through the LEC, the MAD Lions 2020 roster being a perfect example.
But with all these possible changes, nFrench bones of the Karmine Corp may therefore be able to realize their dreams to participate in this competition, and perhaps even alongside Rekkles, who can only guide them well in LEC.