The LEC is expanding its territory in 2023. Riot Games revealed during a press conference that they are renaming the LEC from “League of Legends European Championship” to “Leauge of Legends EMEA Championship.” The name change follows Riot’s decision to absorb multiple smaller regions in the process into the region, growing its player base.
Consolidating multiple regions
The Turkish competition, previously known as TCL, and the CIS competition, the LCL, will be demoted in 2023. They lose their minor region status and cannot individually send a team to the Mid-Season Invitational or the League of Legends World Championship anymore. Instead, these two regions are incorporated into the ERL system—the EMEA Regional Leagues—which already houses country-based competitions across Europe. A third region joins the ERL system: the Middle Eastern region and the North African region, commonly referred to as the MENA region together.
Players with residency in Turkey, the CIS region, or MENA region, will not count as being from a different region than the LEC in 2023. As such, LEC teams can hire players from countries falling under these regions without taking up one of two available import slots per team.
The cross-country competition formerly known as EU Masters will include the Turkish, CIS, and MENA competitions. To encompass the whole region, Riot is renaming the tournament to EMEA Masters. The best teams from the newly added regions qualify for the tournament and have a shot at proving their skills to a wider audience, competing against teams from already existing ERLs such as the LFL and SuperLiga. Riot did note that the CIS competition is still on hold until further notice, as a result of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
Maximilian Peter Schmidt, Director of League of Legends Esports EMEA, said, “We’re focused on offering our players the best competition possible. 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.”
With his comment, Schmidt also referred to the changes coming to the LEC in 2023. More about those changes can be found here.