Forging a path: Riot makes sweeping changes to European League ecosystem, including massive regional merger

The path to pro continues to evolve in Europe.

It hasn’t been long since the 2022 competitive League of Legends circuit ended with the World Championship, but some massive moves are already being made for the future of the esport.

Riot Games has unveiled multiple changes across the competitive League of Legends scene in Europe, including the merging of Europe, Turkey, CIS, and MENA into one competitive region called the EMEA.

Were focused on offering our players the best competition possible,” European League director Maximilian Peter Schmidt said. “These changes will further enhance the opportunities for professional and aspiring LoL players in the region, giving them more avenues to reach the elite level of competition in EMEA.”

Along with the changes to the LECnow known as the League of Legends EMEA ChampionshipRiot is making some huge adjustments to the rest of the EU ecosystem, which should provide more pathways for aspiring professional players to build their way up to the highest level in the region.

As mentioned, Europe will be merging with Turkey, CIS, and MENA to become EMEA, which also means the TCL and Arabian League will join the EMEA Regional League (ERL) circuit. Since its inception, the region’s blossoming tier-two system has allowed multiple young prospects a chance to grind their way up to stardom, and that growth should continue with more talent joining its ranks.

With the region now unified, this also means that all players in Europe, Turkey, and MENA can play freely in the LEC as residents, and will not be subject to LoL Esports’ Interregional Movement Policy. The LCL is still suspended until further notice, but the CIS and its players are being added to the EMEA ecosystem, which means players from that region will be given the same residential status as others.

The pinnacle of the ERL, the European Masters, will now be called the EMEA Masters and will give more teams from the newly-unified region a chance to qualify for the event. As a result, more players will have a chance to showcase their skills on a larger stage, which could increase their chances of being seen and recruited for a spot on a major team in the future.

Overall, the European League scene continues to evolve at an impressive pace, showing that there is plenty of opportunity at hand for any players dreaming to step onto the LEC stage as a competitor.

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