Jump to content

League of Legends EMEA Championship

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

League of Legends EMEA Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2024 LEC season
FormerlyEuropean League of Legends Championship Series (2013–2018)
League of Legends European Championship (2019–2022)
GameLeague of Legends
Owner(s)Riot Games
CommissionerArtem Bykov
Motto"We Are EU"
No. of teams10
HeadquartersAdlershof, Berlin, Germany
ContinentEurope (2013–2022)
Europe, Middle East and Africa (since 2023)
Most recent
G2 Esports (14th title)
(Spring 2024)
Most titlesG2 Esports (14 titles)
International cup(s)Mid-Season Invitational
World Championship
Official websitelolesports.com

The League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC) is the professional League of Legends esports league run by Riot Games in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region, in which ten teams compete. Each annual season of play is divided into three splits, winter, spring and summer, all consisting of three 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 the EMEA.

With the exception of some touring events, all games of the LEC are played live at the Riot Games Arena in Adlershof, Berlin, Germany.[1] 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.[2]

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 Law for a Digital Republic [fr], significantly improving the visa process for LEC players and esports athletes in general, giving a legal framework to esports contracts, introducing mechanisms to ensure payment of cash prizes, specifying rights for minor esport athletes, and more.[3] 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".[4] Spain did the same in November 2016, creating the Spanish Federation of Video Games and Esports Spanish Federation of Video Games and Esports.[5][6] The LEC has attracted sponsorships from LG UltraGear, Kia,[7] Red Bull,[8] and Erste Group.[9]

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,[10] which led to the sponsorship being cancelled.

Previous names[edit]

  • 2013–2018: European League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS)
  • 2019–2022: League of Legends European Championship (LEC)
  • 2023–present: League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC)


Riot Games launched League of Legends in October 2009 and attracted attention from the competitive gaming community.[11] 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,[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]

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,[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

In 2020, the league announced via their public Twitter account a partnership with a proposed Saudi Arabian city, Neom. Following major community backlash over the human rights abuses in the country, including criminalization of LGBT people, 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'.[19]

Since 2023, Turkey, CIS and MENA have merged with Europe region to become a EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region. The "League of Legends European Championship" become the "League of Legends EMEA Championship", meaning teams from Turkey and CIS's leagues (TCL, LCL) will no longer get direct slots for the Mid-Season Invitational and the World Championship. TCL will be a qualification of Tier-2 league EMEA Masters.

Current format[edit]

Since the rebrand of the league in 2023, 10 teams, selected through franchising, compete in the LEC. Each season is divided into three splits. The regular season of each split consists of 3 weeks of play, in which each team plays each other once in a single round-robin format, for a total of 9 games each. The top 8 teams proceed to a double-elimination bracket to crown a split champion (In 2023, this was a double-elimination group stage from which the top 2 teams of each group competed in a four-team double elimination playoff bracket). Each split's playoffs award cash prizes and Championship Points, which are used to determine seeding for the season finals.

The three split champions, plus the second and third place teams in the summer split and additional teams based on Championship Points, compete in the season finals. The season finals is a double elimination bracket, with the top 4 seeds qualifying for the upper bracket.

Overview (2024)[edit]

Stage 1[edit]

  • 10 teams
  • Single round-robin, best of one
  • Top 8 teams advance to Stage 2

Stage 2[edit]

  • 8 teams
  • Double elimination, best of three for the first two rounds of the upper and lower bracket, best of five from then on

The winners of the winter (as seed 2) and spring (as seed 1) splits qualify for the Mid-Season Invitational. If winter's winner takes championship in spring, previous seeding will be transferred to the team with the next highest championship points.

The top 3 teams of each season finals qualify for the World Championship, although if one of the LEC representatives at the Mid-Season Invitational wins MSI or if the LEC is the second-best performing region at MSI, four teams will qualify from the LEC. The summer split champions, if they didn't qualify via the season finals, would enter Worlds as the lowest seed.


Team First appearance Roster Coach
Top Jungle Mid Bot Support
Fnatic Spring 2013 Oscarinin Razork Humanoid Noah Jun Nightshare
G2 Esports Spring 2016 BrokenBlade Yike Caps Hans Sama Mikyx Dylan Falco
GiantX Spring 2019[a] Th3Antonio Juhan Jackies Patrik IgNar Kaas
Karmine Corp Winter 2024[b] Canna Closer Vladi Upset Targamas Reha
MAD Lions KOI Spring 2020[c] Myrwn Elyoya Fresskowy Supa Alvaro Melzhet
Rogue Spring 2019[d] Finn Markoon Larssen Comp Zoelys fredy122
SK Gaming Spring 2013 Irrelevant ISMA Nisqy Rahel Luon Swiffer
Team BDS [fr] Spring 2022[e] Adam Sheo nuc Ice Labrov Striker
Team Heretics [es] Winter 2023[f] Wunder Jankos Zwyroo Flakked Trymbi Machuki
Team Vitality Spring 2016 Photon Lyncas Vetheo Carzzy Hylissang Pad & Carter

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,[24] and the games have drawn over 1.7 million unique visitors.[25] In Spring 2020, the LEC reached an average minute audience of over 220,000.[26] with the Spring Finals peaking at over 817,000 consecutive viewers.[27][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.[28]

The scale and popularity of the LEC itself, however, has attracted considerable media attention,[29] particularly around some events that legitimised the LEC as a serious competition.


By season[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 Rogue G2 Esports Fnatic MAD Lions
Summer Rogue G2 Esports Fnatic MAD Lions
2023 Winter G2 Esports MAD Lions KOI SK Gaming G2 Esports Fnatic MAD Lions Team BDS
Spring MAD Lions Team BDS Team Vitality G2 Esports
Summer G2 Esports Excel Esports Fnatic Team Heretics
Finals G2 Esports Fnatic MAD Lions Team BDS
2024 Winter G2 Esports MAD Lions KOI Team BDS Fnatic
Spring G2 Esports Fnatic Team BDS Team Vitality

By team[edit]

Teams in italics indicate teams that have been disbanded or no longer participates in the league.

Team Title(s) Runners-up Seasons won Seasons runner-up
G2 Esports 14 2 2016 Spring, 2016 Summer, 2017 Spring, 2017 Summer, 2019 Spring, 2019 Summer, 2020 Spring, 2020 Summer, 2022 Spring, 2023 Winter, 2023 Summer, 2023 Finals, 2024 Winter, 2024 Spring 2018 Spring, 2022 Summer
Fnatic 7 7 2013 Spring, 2013 Summer, 2014 Spring, 2015 Spring, 2015 Summer, 2018 Spring, 2018 Summer 2014 Summer, 2019 Summer, 2020 Spring, 2020 Summer, 2021 Summer, 2023 Finals, 2024 Spring
MAD Lions KOI[c] 3 3 2021 Spring, 2021 Summer, 2023 Spring 2016 Summer,[g] 2023 Winter, 2024 Winter
Rogue 1 2 2022 Summer 2021 Spring, 2022 Spring
Alliance[h] 1 0 2014 Summer
Origen[i] 0 3 2015 Summer, 2016 Spring, 2019 Spring
Unicorns of Love 0 2 2015 Spring, 2017 Spring
Gambit Gaming 0 1 2013 Spring
Lemondogs 0 1 2013 Summer
SK Gaming 0 1 2014 Spring
Misfits Gaming 0 1 2017 Summer
Schalke 04 0 1 2018 Summer
Team BDS 0 1 2023 Spring
GiantX[a] 0 1 2023 Summer


  1. ^ a b Team had competed as Excel Esports before. On 14 December 2023, Excel Esports and Giants Gaming announced merger, forming GiantX.[20] Giants Gaming had been competing in EU LCS from 2013 to 2018.
  2. ^ Karmine Corp acquired their LEC spot from Astralis in October 2023.
  3. ^ a b From the 2016 Spring Split until the 2019 Summer Split, MAD Lions was known as Splyce. The team was rebranded in November 2019 when OverActive Media, the owner of the two brands, dissolved the Splyce brand to merge all of their esports ventures into MAD Lions.[21]. From 2024, MAD Lions takes a partnership with KOI after KOI has split with Rogue. Team is competing as MAD Lions KOI.
  4. ^ On October 6, 2022, Rogue announced a merger with KOI, an esports organisation owned by Ibai Llanos and Gerard Piqué. This will result in the existing Rogue teams rebranding to KOI. Following Infinite Reality's split with KOI in 2023, the team was reestablished. KOI later takes a partnership with MAD Lions, competing as MAD Lions KOI.
  5. ^ Team BDS acquired their LEC spot from Schalke 04 Esports in June 2021.[22]
  6. ^ Team Heretics acquired their LEC spot from Misfits Gaming in July 2022.[23]
  7. ^ As Splyce.
  8. ^ On 8 January 2015 was rebranded as Elements.[30] The team competed under that name until 16 May 2016, when it was dissolved and sold their LCS seed and roster to Schalke 04 Esports.[31]
  9. ^ On 15 September 2020, Origen merged with Astralis.[32] The team competing under that name from 2021 to 2023.


  1. ^ "Riot Games Esports Media Center - "Riot Games reveals plans for new home of EMEA esports in Berlin"". esports.riotgamesmedia.com. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  2. ^ Kwilinski, Darin. "LCS retains viewers during the Super Bowl". onGamers. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  3. ^ Auxent, Adrien (30 September 2016). "Esports are now officially legal in France". The Esports Observer. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Spain government creates a federation of video games and esports". The Esports Observer. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  6. ^ Ring, Oliver (10 November 2016). "Spanish Federation of Video Games and Esports set to be created". Esports Insider. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Kia enters e-sports arena as League of Legends European Championship sponsor" (Press release).
  8. ^ "Red Bull sponsors League of Legends European Championship". ONE Esports.
  9. ^ "Erste Bank Group Joins as a Summer Finals Main Partner of the LEC". 17 July 2020.
  10. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (29 July 2020). "Riot Games ends Saudi Arabia's Neom partnership following controversy". Polygon. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  11. ^ Segal, David (10 October 2014). "Attraction in League of Legends". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Deesing, Jonathan (19 November 2014). "Expansion Tournament Adds Two Teams to LCS". Red Bull GmbH. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  15. ^ Deesing, Jonathan (14 January 2015). "Riot Adds Points System to LCS, Modifies Schedule". Red Bull GmbH. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  16. ^ "The 2017 EU Summer Finals are heading to Paris". LoL Esports. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Take a closer look at the LEC". LoL Esports. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Riot to Rebrand EU LCS As It Welcomes New Partner Teams". The Esports Observer. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  19. ^ "LEC ends NEOM partnership following staff outrage". ESPN. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  20. ^ "A New Era: EXCEL ESPORTS and Giants Gaming announce merger, forming GIANTX". A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS. 14 December 2023.
  21. ^ "Splyce officially rebrand LEC team to MAD Lions, announce 2020 starters". Dexerto. 29 November 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  22. ^ "Royal Blues to earn €26.5 million from sale of LEC slot". FC Schalke 04. 29 June 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  23. ^ "Misfits Gaming Group Announces Sale of LEC Slot to Team Heretics". Misfits Gaming. 27 July 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  24. ^ Kwilinski, Darin. "LCS retains viewers during the Super Bowl". onGamers. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  25. ^ Dave, Paresh. "Online game League of Legends star gets U.S. visa as pro athlete". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  26. ^ "Esports Charts – Spring 2020 Viewership". Esports Charts. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Esports Charts – Spring Finals Viewership". Esports Charts. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  28. ^ Rom, Kim (7 November 2013). "Welcome to the onGamers beta". onGamers. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  29. ^ Snider, Mike. "'League of Legends' makes big league moves". USA Today. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  30. ^ "By their powers combined, Alliance is now Elements". dotesports.com. 8 January 2015.
  31. ^ "FC Schalke 04 Acquire League of Legends Team Elements". gfinityesports.com. 16 May 2016.
  32. ^ "Astralis Group to merge all activities and teams into the Astralis brand". astralis.gg. 19 January 2021.

External links[edit]