2022 might have been the last year that a Turkish team took to the international League of Legends stage. According to Turkish esports outlet Esporin, the Turkish Championship League will be demoted in 2023. Instead of playing at the highest tier of competition, the TCL will be absorbed into the European Regional League system.
“According to information from our sources, Turkey will not have a Worlds slot from the 2023 season,” Esporin reports on Twitter. “We have heard that Turkey may lose its independent league status by 2023 and turn into a regional league and become a part of [the ERL system].” The outlet adds that an official announcement from Riot Games is expected after Worlds 2022.
Turkey first made an appearance at the League of Legends World Championship in 2014, but didn’t return to Worlds until 2017, when the Play-In Stage was introduced. At Worlds 2022, İstanbul Wildcats dropped out in the Play-In Stage.
Esporin does not mention why the TCL could become an ERL competition in 2023. Viewership is likely a big factor. According to data from Esports Charts, the 2022 TCL Winter Split peaked at just over 34 thousand viewers, with an average viewership of 15 thousand people. The subsequent Summer Split peaked much higher, at almost 90 thousand viewers, but the average viewership didn’t increase much and stuck at roughly 19 thousand viewers.