December 7, 2022

European League expansion is “inevitable,” according to the head of the LEC, but the time is a major concern.

European League expansion is "inevitable," according to the head of the LEC, but the time is a major concern.

OKBET LEAGUE OF LEGENDS | EUROPEAN LEAGUE

It is “inevitable” that the number of teams competing in the League of Legends European Championship will increase beyond ten, according to Maximilian Peter Schmidt, who is in charge of League of Legends esports in EMEA for Riot Games. However, the precise timing of when the LEC expansion will begin is still very much up in the air, and Riot Games does not have complete control over it.

It would appear that further League teams will be added to the LEC at some point in the future.

After giving an interview to the French daily L’Équipe, Schmidt reignited the discussion on the expansion of the European League, indicating that the continental competition had plans to expand.

In the translated version of the interview that took place in French, Schmidt was quoted as saying, “I think enlargement of the LEC is an inevitable thing.” “We are continually assessing the various options that are available.”

Currently, there are ten franchised teams competing in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC). These teams are Astralis, Excel, Fnatic, G2 Esports, MAD Lions, Misfits Gaming, SK Gaming, Team BDS, and Team Vitality. The most recent European champions are Rogue, who won their first League championship this past weekend in Malmo, Sweden. Rogue is the latest team to join the LEC.

Since quite some time ago, there have been rumors floating about the League scene suggesting that regional powerhouses such as Karmine Corp, KOI, and possibly even more could enter the scene in the event of an expansion.

Instead, KOI will be teaming up with the current League winners, Rogue, to compete in the 2023 season as a joint venture. As a result of the sale of Misfits, Team Heretics will also be joining the league.

Schmidt is confident that the league will and must bring more franchised squads into the fold in the next several years to continue the LEC rise. However, expansion is not a possibility for the League of Legends European Championship Spring Split in 2023 or any time after that.

The question that needs to be asked today is when, not if. And it’s a major question.

“I can’t tell you with absolute certainty when it will take place… “maybe three, five, ten, or twenty years from now,” Schmidt remarked. The go-ahead signal has already been granted, but according to Schmidt, getting the timing perfect is crucial for Riot and the teams. He continued by saying, “It relies on a lot of things,” some of which are beyond our ability to control.

In the translated interview, Schmidt stated, “and we need to cooperate with our partner teams to ensure that we make the greatest decision for the league all together.”

When the time comes, Riot will field a number of suitors similar to how it did when it brought franchising to Europe in 2019. This will be done in order to fill the newly-opened LEC places. The application procedure for the League will take into consideration a prospective company’s business structure, as well as the applicant’s goals and objectives for the company’s future.

Dot Esports is aware that regional teams will not be given any preference either.

Whenever the LEC does expand, it might be on the back of a new League format: in the same interview, Schmidt stated that the competition is tossing up options—including a drop in best-of-one games over the season. Whenever the LEC does expand, it could be on the back of a new League structure.

The last LEC match of the year has finally been played. Rogue, Fnatic, G2, and MAD are now in the process of preparing for the 2022 League World Championship. This competition will take place in Europe.

Correction 15 September, 9:00 AM, Central Time: This article has been amended to reflect the fact that Maximilian Peter Schmidt’s current job title at Riot Games is “head of League of Legends esports in EMEA.”

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