Shubh Dangi | 15. September 2022

LEC considering format changes and expansion

Maximilian Peter Schmidt, the head of League of Legends esports in EMEA at Riot Games, has unveiled exciting news about the format of the 2023 LEC season.

While Rogue is enjoying its long-awaited victory at the LEC Summer Season, the European League began developing its plan for the 2023 campaign. Maximilian Peter Schmidt confirmed that the LEC is exploring format modifications before the 2023 season, including lowering the number of best-of-one games that each club plays in each split.

This was stated in an interview with the French publication L’Équipe. According to the source, Riot met with several LEC owners to review these adjustments and cast votes. The LEC’s upcoming competitive season, which starts in January, would feature fewer best-of-ones matches if the changes reported by L’Équipe hold true. Riot presented the new format to a panel of LEC team owners earlier this week, though nothing has been formally implemented yet.

During the time, when the LEC was still known as the EU LCS, the LCS did diversify into other formats. The league was divided into two groups and tested many forms, including best-of-twos and best-of-threes. The league officially adopted the best-of-one format in 2018 after others failed to survive past a few splits. Since 2018, each League split in the LEC has included a best-of-ones series over the course of the 18-match regular season.

In the current format, the ten franchised teams play 18 best-of-one matches over the course of two months in each split (summer and spring split), with the top six teams moving on to the playoffs. The top four teams from the Summer Split advance to the World Championship, while the Spring Split champion represents the region at the Mid-Season Invitational.

LEC’s expansion is “inevitable”

During the interview, Maximilian Peter Schmidt stated that the LEC’s expansion is “inevitable,” albeit the precise timeframe of when LEC expansion begins is still very much up in the air when asked about the league’s plans for expansion. Schmidt is sure that the league will and must add additional franchised teams in the coming years to maintain the LEC surge, even though expansion is unlikely for the 2023 LEC Spring Split. However, it shouldn’t be long before the LEC develops to more than ten teams, given the popularity of League of Legends esports in Europe. If Riot adopts the modifications, Europe would become the second big region to feature more than the standard 10 teams, after China. There are presently 19 teams competing in the LPL’s domestic league, and it wouldn’t be odd if the league sees more additions in the future.

Ten franchised teams competed in the 2022 LEC Season: 

  • Astralis
  • Excel
  • Fnatic
  • G2 Esports
  • MAD Lions
  • Misfits Gaming
  • SK Gaming
  • Team BDS
  • Team Vitality
  •  Rogue( European champions)

Header: Riot Games