Riot Games has announced that its premier League of Legends competitive league in Turkey will be undergoing some changes before next season. In 2022, the Turkish Championship League will switch to an online format with fully remote competition as the doors to the studio and live stage will be closed. The announcement was made by the Turkish division of Riot Games on September 23, 2021.
It would be simple to place the blame on the COVID-19 global pandemic that has taken place the past nineteen months, which has affected all esports competition across the globe, League of Legends or otherwise. However, this might be too simple of an explanation for the TCL's future.
Reddit user ybp, who was able to translate some of the statement via a Reddit post on the League of Legends subreddit, stated in a comment that the fully online pivot could be more of an indication of the TCL's general economic situation, regardless of the affects of the global COVID-19 pandemic:
"In this announcement, Riot explains that they'll continue extending the contract with franchised teams for only one more year (as they're at the end of the initial three year franchising deal). They will shut down the studio and stage that opened in 2019 that was unused in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID.
This might seem like a COVID move, but is more likely related to Turkey's economic situation.
It seems as if they won't even try to have a real stage going forward, and it doesn't bode well for the future of professional League in Turkey. Many fans online are worried that this will mean the league might be shut down after 2022." The future of the TCL beyond the immediate is still unclear.
A confirmation of no stage play, despite a potentially hopeful future regarding stage games being able to be played with proper COVID-19 precautions as demonstrated over the past few months by North America's League Championship Series and Europe's League of Legends European Championship, may make it difficult for Turkish LoL esports fans to remain optimistic about the future of their premiere competitive league.