League of Legends European Championship

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League of Legends European Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2022 LEC season
League of Legends European Championship logo.svg
FormerlyEuropean League of Legends Championship Series (2013-2018)
GameLeague of Legends
Founded2013
Owner(s)Riot Games
CommissionerMaximilian Peter Schmidt
Motto"We Are EU"
No. of teams10
HeadquartersAdlershof, Berlin, Germany
ContinentEurope
Most recent
champion(s)
G2 Esports (9th title)
(Spring 2022)
Most titlesG2 Esports (9 titles)
International cup(s)Mid-Season Invitational
World Championship
Related
competitions
LCS, LCK, LPL
Official websiteeu.lolesports.com/en/lec/

The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) is the professional League of Legends esports league run by Riot Games in Europe, in which ten teams compete. Each annual season of play is divided into two splits, spring and summer, both consisting of nine weeks of round-robin tournament play, which then conclude with play-off tournaments between the top six teams. At the end of the season, the top performing teams qualify for the annual League of Legends World Championship. The LEC represents the highest level of League of Legends play in Europe.

With the exception of some touring events, all games of the LEC are played live at Riot Games' studio in Adlershof, Berlin, Germany. In addition to a small studio audience, all games are streamed live in several languages on Twitch and YouTube, with broadcasts regularly attracting over 300,000 viewers.[1]

The popularity and success of the LEC has attracted significant media attention. On 30 September 2016, the French Senate unanimously adopted the last version of the Numeric Law, significantly improving the visa process for LEC players and esports athletes in general, giving a legal frame to esports contracts, introducing mechanisms to ensure payment of cash prizes, specifying rights for minor esport athletes, and more.[2] A few months before, France also introduced a new esports federation, "France Esports", which has the duty to be a representative body of esports towards the government and serve as a "partner of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee for all matters relating to the recognition of electronic sports as sport in itself".[3] Spain did the same in November 2016, creating the Spanish Federation of Video Games and Esports Spanish Federation of Video Games and Esports.[4][5] The LEC has attracted sponsorships from Kia,[6] Red Bull,[7] and Erste Group.[8]

Fnatic is the only team remaining that has played in every split since the inaugural 2013 Spring Split.

The LEC announced a controversial sponsorship deal with Neom in 2020. Many of the league's staff threatened a walkout,[9] which led to the sponsorship being cancelled.

History[edit]

Riot Games launched League of Legends in October 2009 and attracted attention from the competitive gaming community.[10] The first two seasons of competitive play consisted of a series of tournaments mostly organised by third parties, such as Intel Extreme Masters in Europe, capped by a world championship tournament hosted by Riot Games.[citation needed]

Riot Games announced the formation of the LCS on 6 August 2012,[11] creating a fully professional league run by the company with a regular schedule and guaranteed salaries for players, featuring eight teams. Since the LCS was only launched in the third year of professional play, it was dubbed "Season 3". The top three finishers in the Riot Games European regional championships held in August 2012 automatically qualified, with the remaining five teams being decided in qualifier tournaments held in January 2013. Each LCS season is divided into two splits for spring and summer; the first games of the first spring split took place on 7 February 2013 in North America and on 9 February 2013 in Europe.

Season 3 of the LCS finished with the top three finishers Fnatic, Lemondogs, and Gambit Gaming. The top three teams advanced to the Season 3 World Championships.

Riot Games changed naming conventions in 2014, calling the season the "2014 Season" instead of "Season 4". The League of Legends Challenger Series was created as a second tier of competition for promotion and relegation.[12]

At the end of the 2014 season, an expansion tournament was held in Europe that added two teams in region, giving the LCS a total of 10 teams for the start of the 2015 Season.[13] Additionally, Riot introduced the concept of "Championship points", which teams would earn based on performance across both splits and playoffs in order to qualify for the League of Legends World Championship.[14]

A new sale of sponsorship rule was instated for the 2015 season. As a result, several teams were forced to rebrand and leave their respective parent organisations.

The 2015 Summer European LCS Finals were played at Hovet Arena, Stockholm. The series ended with Fnatic winning 3–2 over Origen and peaked at close to 1 million concurrent viewers on Twitch, YouTube, and Azubu - the highest number of viewers for any LCS match to date.

The 2016 Spring European LCS finals were held at Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam, with G2 winning 3–1 against Origen, making it their first LCS title. The 2016 Spring European LCS split was the first time G2 played in the professional LCS after having been promoted due to winning the European Challenger Series and European Promotion Tournament in Summer 2016.

The 2016 Summer European LCS finals were played at the Tauron Arena in Kraków, Poland. G2 won 3–1 against Splyce and secured their second LCS title. Splyce would later win the 2016 Summer European Gauntlet and qualify for Worlds as the third-seeded European team.

The 2017 Spring European LCS finals were held at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, where G2 won 3–1 against Unicorns of Love, securing their third LCS title and qualifying for the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), an annually-held international League of Legends competition. G2 placed second at the MSI 2017, losing 1–3 to SKT T1, the Korean representatives, in the finals. The Summer Split LCS finals took place in Paris at the AccorHotel Arena,[15] where G2 Esports won 3–0 against Misfits Gaming.

In 2019 the league rebranded from the "Europe League Championship Series" (EU LCS) to the "League of Legends European Championship" (LEC) and began franchising.[16] Following the example of North America's LCS, which franchised a year prior, the LEC selected ten permanent franchise partners, replacing the previous promotion and relegation format. The EU LCS' secondary league, the EU Challenger Series (EUCS), was consequently discontinued and replaced with an independent tournament named European Masters, which features the top teams from Europe's many regional leagues.[17]

In 2020, the league announced via their public Twitter account a partnership with Saudi Arabian city, Neom. Following major community backlash, the partnership was called off the next day. Another two days later, the league's Director of Esports EMEA, Alberto Guerrero, put out a statement apologizing to the community for the partnership decision, with emphasis on apologizing to 'women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and [League of Legends] players in the Middle East'.[18]

Format[edit]

Since the rebrand of the league in 2019, 10 European teams, selected through franchising, compete in the LEC. Each season is divided into two splits. The regular season of each split consists of 9 weeks of play, in which each team plays each other twice in a double round-robin format, for a total of 18 games each. At the conclusion of each split, a playoff consisting of the top 6 teams from the regular season is played to determine the final standings.

The current playoff format introduced in 2020 is a modified double-elimination tournament, with top four teams seeded into winners bracket and remaining two going directly into losers bracket. The winners bracket is played as a regular knockout tournament, with defeated teams falling to losers bracket. The losers bracket is played in a king-of-the-hill format, where two lowest seeds play in the first match, and every subsequent match features the winner of previous match and the next lowest seed. Top team from winners bracket and from losers bracket play against each other in grand final.

Each split's playoffs award cash prizes, with the spring split also awarding Championship Points, which are used to determine seeding for the summer split playoffs. As of 2021, the top three teams from the summer split playoffs qualify for the World Championship. The top two teams directly qualify for the main stage, while the third and fourth seed plays through the play-in stage.

Overview (2022)[edit]

Regular season[edit]

  • 10 teams
  • Double round-robin, best of one
  • Top 6 team advance to Playoffs

Playoffs[edit]

  • Double elimination bracket
    • 1st seed picks between 3rd and 4th seed in Round 1
    • The loser with the lower seed from winners' bracket round 2 plays in losers' bracket round 2
    • The loser with the higher seed from winners' bracket round 2 plays in losers' bracket round 3
  • Matches are best of five

The winner of the spring split qualifies for the Mid-Season Invitational. The top four teams of the summer split qualify for the World Championship.

Teams[edit]

Teams First appearance in the LEC Roster Coach
Top Jungle Mid Bot Support
Denmark Astralis Spring 2021 Hungary Vizicsacsi Romania Xerxe Germany Dajor Denmark Kobbe South Korea JeongHoon Romania AoD
United Kingdom Excel Esports Spring 2019 Sweden Finn Netherlands Markoon Norway Nukeduck Czech Republic Patrik Slovenia Mikyx Netherlands YoungBuck
United Kingdom Fnatic Spring 2013 Denmark Wunder Spain Razork Czech Republic Humanoid Germany Upset Bulgaria Hylissang Sweden YamatoCannon
Spain G2 Esports Spring 2016 Germany Broken Blade Poland Jankos Denmark caPs Spain Flakked Belgium Targamas Canada DylanFalco
Spain MAD Lions Spring 2020 Turkey Armut Spain Elyoya Belgium Nisqy Sweden UNF0RGIVEN Germany Kaiser United Kingdom Mac
United States Misfits Gaming Spring 2017 Germany Irrelevant Poland Shlatan France Vetheo Slovakia Neon Greece Mersa United Kingdom Carter
United States Rogue Spring 2019 Romania Odoamne South Korea Malrang Sweden Larssen Greece Comp Poland Trymbi United Kingdom freddy122
Germany SK Gaming Spring 2013 Germany JNX Germany Gilius Germany Sertuss France Jezu Sweden Treatz Australia Swiffer
Switzerland Team BDS Spring 2022 Poland Agresivoo Poland Cinkrof France NUCLEARINT United Kingdom xMatty Poland Erdote Germany Grabbz
France Team Vitality Spring 2016 United Kingdom Alphari South Korea Haru Croatia Perkz Czech Republic Carzzy Greece Labrov France Mephisto

Media coverage[edit]

The LEC primarily reaches its viewers through online streaming using its own channels on Twitch and YouTube. On Twitch alone, viewership numbers regularly exceed 200,000 for regular season play,[19] and the games have drawn over 1.7 million unique visitors.[20] In Spring 2020, the LEC reached an average minute audience of over 220,000.[21] with the Spring Finals peaking at over 817,000 consecutive viewers.[22][better source needed] However, Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck stated in 2012 that there were no immediate plans to try to bring the LCS to traditional TV, but news coverage of the regular season isn't generally limited to dedicated electronic sports news sites, such as CBS Interactive's onGamers.[23]

The scale and popularity of the LEC itself, however, has attracted considerable media attention,[24] particularly around some events that legitimised the LEC as a serious competition.

Broadcast team[edit]

ID Name Role
Quickshot South Africa Trevor Henry Play-by-Play Caster
Medic United Kingdom Aaron Chamberlain
Drakos United States Daniel Drakos
Caedrel United Kingdom Marc Robert Lamont Color Caster
Ender United States Christy Frierson
Vedius United Kingdom Andrew Day
Sjokz Belgium Eefje Depoortere Analysis Host
Bulii France Laure Valée Interviewer

Results[edit]

Year Split Champion Runner-up Third Fourth Qualified for Worlds
Seed 1 Seed 2 Seed 3 Seed 4
2013 Spring Fnatic Gambit Gaming Evil Geniuses SK Gaming Fnatic Lemondogs Gambit Gaming
Summer Fnatic Lemondogs Gambit Gaming Evil Geniuses
2014 Spring Fnatic SK Gaming Roccat Alliance Alliance Fnatic SK Gaming
Summer Alliance Fnatic SK Gaming Roccat
2015 Spring Fnatic Unicorns of Love H2K-Gaming SK Gaming Fnatic H2K-Gaming Origen
Summer Fnatic Origen H2K-Gaming Unicorns of Love
2016 Spring G2 Esports Origen Fnatic H2K-Gaming G2 Esports H2K-Gaming Splyce
Summer G2 Esports Splyce H2K-Gaming Unicorns of Love
2017 Spring G2 Esports Unicorns of Love Fnatic Misfits Gaming G2 Esports Misfits Gaming Fnatic
Summer G2 Esports Misfits Gaming Fnatic H2K-Gaming
2018 Spring Fnatic G2 Esports Splyce Team Vitality Fnatic Team Vitality G2 Esports
Summer Fnatic Schalke 04 Team Vitality Misfits Gaming
2019 Spring G2 Esports Origen Fnatic Splyce G2 Esports Fnatic Splyce
Summer G2 Esports Fnatic Schalke 04 Rogue
2020 Spring G2 Esports Fnatic MAD Lions Origen G2 Esports Fnatic Rogue MAD Lions
Summer G2 Esports Fnatic Rogue MAD Lions
2021 Spring MAD Lions Rogue G2 Esports Schalke 04 MAD Lions Fnatic Rogue
Summer MAD Lions Fnatic Rogue G2 Esports
2022 Spring G2 Esports Rogue Fnatic Misfits Gaming
Summer

Number of top four finishes[edit]

  *   Denotes a team that no longer participates in the league.

Team 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) 4th Total
G2 Esports 9 1 1 1 12
Fnatic 7 5 5 0 17
MAD Lions 2 0 1 1 4
Alliance* 1 0 0 1 2
Origen* 0 3 0 1 4
Rogue 0 2 2 1 5
Unicorns of Love* 0 2 0 2 4
SK Gaming 0 1 1 2 4
Schalke 04* 0 1 1 1 3
Splyce* 0 1 1 1 3
Gambit Gaming* 0 1 1 0 2
Misfits Gaming 0 1 0 3 4
Lemondogs* 0 1 0 0 1
H2K-Gaming* 0 0 3 2 5
Evil Geniuses* 0 0 1 1 2
Roccat* 0 0 1 1 2
Team Vitality 0 0 1 1 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kwilinski, Darin. "LCS retains viewers during the Super Bowl". onGamers. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  2. ^ Auxent, Adrien (30 September 2016). "Esports are now officially legal in France". The Esports Observer. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  3. ^ Auxent, Adrien (28 April 2016). "All you need to know about France's new esports federation, "France eSports"". The Esports Observer. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Spain government creates a federation of video games and esports". The Esports Observer. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  5. ^ Ring, Oliver (10 November 2016). "Spanish Federation of Video Games and Esports set to be created". Esports Insider. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Kia enters e-sports arena as League of Legends European Championship sponsor" (Press release).
  7. ^ "Red Bull sponsors League of Legends European Championship". ONE Esports.
  8. ^ "Erste Bank Group Joins as a Summer Finals Main Partner of the LEC". 17 July 2020.
  9. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (29 July 2020). "Riot Games ends Saudi Arabia's Neom partnership following controversy". Polygon. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  10. ^ Segal, David (10 October 2014). "Attraction in League of Legends". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Riot Games Shares its Vision for the Future of Esports, Reveals Initial Details of League of Legends Championship Series" (PDF). Riot Games. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  12. ^ Sarkar, Samit. "How the new League of Legends Challenger league will create a pathway to the pros". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  13. ^ Deesing, Jonathan (19 November 2014). "Expansion Tournament Adds Two Teams to LCS". Red Bull GmbH. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  14. ^ Deesing, Jonathan (14 January 2015). "Riot Adds Points System to LCS, Modifies Schedule". Red Bull GmbH. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  15. ^ "The 2017 EU Summer Finals are heading to Paris". LoL Esports. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Take a closer look at the LEC". LoL Esports. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Riot to Rebrand EU LCS As It Welcomes New Partner Teams". The Esports Observer. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  18. ^ "LEC ends NEOM partnership following staff outrage". ESPN. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  19. ^ Kwilinski, Darin. "LCS retains viewers during the Super Bowl". onGamers. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  20. ^ Dave, Paresh. "Online game League of Legends star gets U.S. visa as pro athlete". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  21. ^ "Esports Charts - Spring 2020 Viewership". Esports Charts. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Esports Charts - Spring Finals Viewership". Esports Charts. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  23. ^ Rom, Kim (7 November 2013). "Welcome to the onGamers beta". onGamers. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  24. ^ Snider, Mike. "'League of Legends' makes big league moves". USA Today. Retrieved 20 November 2015.

External links[edit]