LoL Esports announces updates for 2025

The following was sent as a press release to Inven Global.

We’re incredibly excited to announce the creation of a new third international event for LoL
Esports. Players, teams, and fans have been telling us they want more tournaments featuring
competition between the best teams in the world, so we’re happy to find time in the calendar to
add one. We’re still working on the event’s name and branding, but there are several details to
share today.

At the start of the 2025 season, we will create a first split/global tournament across all regions.
The initial round of the tournament will begin with regional play, with each of the five regions
(more on this proposed change below) qualifying a single team for the international round of the
tournament in March. Teams that advance to the international round will then participate in a
round-robin format. We will see every region play every other region in a best-of-series! The top
four teams from that round-robin then advance to a bracket, with the ultimate winner of the
tournament being crowned at the end of the six-day international round.

As a season-start event, the new tournament/split will allow pros and fans to see everything the
new in-game League of Legends competitive season offers. We expect to use this event
annually to experiment with different competitive formats and inject exciting innovations into our
early-season competition.

In 2025, we'll implement a version of “Fearless Draft” for best-of series in the regional and
international rounds of the new tournament. In a best-of-series, Fearless Draft effectively bans
champions picked in prior games in the series. This format helps shake up the matchups and
provides more variety in the champions we watch our favorite pros play. LoL Esports has not
implemented a new draft format in Tier 1 play in many years, and we can’t wait to hear what you
all think of Fearless.


To ensure that our events stay connected, we will use the results from this first tournament to
seed the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). [Since the competitive formats we pilot in this
tournament may change yearly–and likely look different than the rest of the competitive
calendar–we will not auto-qualify the winning team into MSI.]


New Split Structure

With a new international event, we’ll also refine our regional split structure. Starting next season,
all regions will begin with the new international tournament/first split. A second split then will
qualify teams for MSI, which will move later in the calendar to roughly the beginning of July. The
third and final split in each region will culminate with a Regional Championship to crown one
season-long champion in each region. Focusing on a single-season Regional Championship
makes the splits more cohesive and interconnected, raises the stakes for many of our regular
season matches, and provides an enticing, season-long build-up to Worlds, our biggest event of
the year.

New Multi-Regional Americas/APAC Leagues & Guest Team Slots

In addition to optimizing our business model with pro teams, we’ve also looked for ways to
increase the competitiveness and stakes of our regional leagues overall. To that end, we’ll begin
conversations with teams in seven of our regions around our intention to form multi-region
leagues. LoL Esports fans clearly enjoy region-vs.-region battles and the fandom and passion
tied to geographic pride.


The LCS in North America is seeing an upswing in sentiment and achieved its first
year-over-year growth in viewership in four years. Brazil’s CBLOL is more popular than ever,
with incredible fandom and viewership numbers. LLA in Latin America has seen an uptick in
engagement this year as well, with growing interest in watching global leagues and other
leagues including the LCS and CBLOL. Fans also have been actively participating in our
multi-language broadcasts and co-streams and showing a growing enthusiasm for
cross-regional competitions.

So while we’re pleased to see progress across these three regions, we believe we have an
opportunity to combine forces in a new pan-Americas league that will be good for fans, teams,
and pros. In this new proposed model, the LCS and CBLOL would now compete as North and
South conferences.


Each conference would maintain six of its existing partnered teams, integrate one team from the
LLA based on geographical alignment, and reserve one “Guest team” spot for promotion and
relegation through the Tier 2 system, for a total of eight teams per conference. The Americas
league would operate with a three-split season shown in the above graphic.

Here’s how the Americas splits would work:


● Split 1 - Teams would first compete within their respective conferences, with top
performers qualifying for cross-conference play where a single team will qualify for the
new global tournament;
● Split 2 - For MSI, the top team from each conference would secure one slot, a total of
two Americas teams;
● Split 3 - An Americas Regional Championship would determine three teams advancing
to Worlds, with at least one team from each conference.

One advantage of making the decision to restructure Americas is that we can experiment with
innovations that our prior structure wouldn’t allow - in this case, by incorporating a Guest team
slot in Tier-1 from the Tier-2 system. The best teams coming from Tier-2 would compete in a
Promotion/Relegation tournament at the end of each Americas season against the existing
Guest team from each conference. The victorious team would earn a slot in the respective
conference for the following season, enabling continual fresh talent infusion and competitive
dynamism within the league.

We’ll let you know later this year how this would work in 2025 (since we don’t have the system
in place in 2024) and beyond. We believe this change will motivate talented players keen to
navigate the newly enhanced pathway to top-level professional play.

In developing the newly proposed model, our goals are to capitalize on the strengths of each
region, grow our existing fan bases, improve competitive play (and Americas’ results in
international tournaments), and enhance the pathway to pro play. We’re hoping to forge a
unique and vibrant competitive landscape that leverages our rich history and potential from
North to South, creating something as distinctive as our fan community.

In the Fall, we plan to release further details on the selection process for teams in the North and
South conferences, outline the competitive structure for each split, share how we plan to
enhance cross-conference play, and provide updates to the Tier-2 system throughout the


Since the formative years of the APAC LoL Esports ecosystem that saw Taipei Assassins win
Worlds 2012, we’ve seen several regions form new leagues, including the Vietnam
Championship Series (VCS). APAC is also home to the Pacific Championship Series (PCS), a
league spanning Southeast Asia. Recently, the League of Legends Japan League (LJL) and the
League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO) joined the PCS ecosystem from the playoffs, vying
for berths to international events. The resulting cross-regional rivalry was fierce, resulting in
some of the region’s most widely-followed matches to date.

Building on that foundation, we’re thrilled to launch a brand new league in 2025. It will bring
together top teams from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao, Japan, Oceania, and the rest of
Southeast Asia, aimed at showcasing regular inter-regional competitions with the best talent,
diverse matchups, and fresh rivalries. With eight total teams planned for the league, we’re kicking off work for a new hybrid partnership plus promotion/relegation league model, and will
provide details at a later date.

Meanwhile, the first lineup of guest teams competing in the league next year will be determined
by the results of the 2024 PCS and VCS Summer Split Playoffs. This gives each team
participating in the 2024 Summer Split of VCS, PCS, LJL, and LCO a chance to secure their
spot in the new league. For future seasons, when the promotion/relegation league model is in
effect, guest teams will have the opportunity to get promoted from their respective domestic

Competitive merit has always been an integral part of success for teams within APAC, and we
look forward to using it as both the recruitment foundation of the inaugural year as well as a way
to ensure dynamic competition, diverse representation, and an opportunity to give wider access
to the new League across the APAC ecosystem.

International Event Slots

With a potential move to five total regions (Americas, LEC, LCK, LPL, and APAC), we’re taking
a fresh look at our division of berths at our international events. Each region would have one
slot at our new event (5 total teams), two slots at MSI (10 total teams), and three slots at
Worlds. In addition, the MSI Champion and the second best-performing region would continue
to earn additional Worlds slots for their leagues, bringing the total number of teams at Worlds to
17. Worlds 2025 would feature Play-Ins as a single Best-of-5 match, with the winner joining the
other 15 qualified teams directly in the Swiss stage.


We believe strongly that the future we’re building towards will be a better one for fans, pros, and
teams. The sport will be more streamlined and easy to follow, have more exciting events, and
track toward financial sustainability including better support through our Global Revenue Pool
(GRP). That said, it’s important to acknowledge that these changes came with us making
deliberate trade-offs to be able to achieve this future.

Our proposal does reduce the number of teams within our Tier-1 ecosystem. Simply put, we
have too many teams in Tier-1 to support sustainably. By reducing the number of teams, we’ll
be able to focus support from the GRP by ensuring revenues are distributed among fewer
teams, thereby increasing revenue per team. This should also help concentrate player talent,
making it easier for fans to follow a streamlined ecosystem, and ultimately create more
high-quality matches worth your time.

Building Towards a Bright Future

LoL Esports is experiencing several positive, momentum-building trends. Recent changes to our
international event formats have created higher stakes and better cross-regional matchups, and
they’ve clearly been well-received by our players and fans, as evidenced by the viewership
increases and sentiment research from Worlds 2023 and MSI 2024.


We’re also pushing the boundaries of LoL Esports by developing innovative strategies that
integrate entertainment, partners, and League of Legends, giving fans new ways to engage with
our sport. Examples include co-streaming, Worlds Fan Fest, Hall of Legends, and more.
We believe changes outlined here will result in a more competitive and entertaining sport for
fans and a more sustainable business model for our teams and Riot Games. We expect it’ll
continue to provide us with unforgettable, epic moments as well. It will take time to prove these
changes work, and we’ll closely monitor their impact and adjust where we feel it can be

Thank you to all of our fans, pro players, and teams around the World. We look forward to
seeing your feedback.


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