Riot announces new EMEA League and structural changes to LEC cover image

Riot announces new EMEA League and structural changes to LEC

New WInter Split, best-of-three matches and exciting twist all to come in 2023 to Europe’s League of Legends ecosystem.

Riot has announced several changes for the 2023 League of Legends ecosystem in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. These changes involve the expansion of the region with Türkiye, CIS and the Middle East and North Africa merging with Europe as well as structural changes to the LEC and European Masters.

What’s new in the LEC?

The LEC will now be known as the League of Legends EMEA Championship and take place across three splits instead of two. This includes Winter, Spring and Summer Split. The Winter and Spring Splits will occur before the international Mid-Season Invitational. While the Summer Split and the LEC finals will hold before Worlds as usual.

LEC format. Image credit: Riot Games
LEC format. Image credit: Riot Games

The introduction of the Winter Split will see more matches played throughout the year. Moreover, unlike previous years, the three splits will have a six-week cycle which will consist of a ten-team best-of-one round-robin. After the end of the respective regular splits, the top eight teams will compete in a best-of-three double-elimination group stage. The top four teams from that group stage will then compete in a best-of-five playoff. 

The winners of the Winter, Spring and Summer Split will automatically secure themselves a spot in the LEC season finals. All other available spots will be decided based on championship points. The schedule for each split is as follows:

  • Winter Split-January to February
  • Spring Split- March to April
  • Summer Split- June to July

EMEA League replaces EU Masters

Asides from the LEC, Riot is also making structural changes to minor regions across Europe. The goal here is to combine Europe, Türkiye, CIS and MENA for a united competitive region for League of Legends Esports. With the creation of the EMEA League, the Turkish Championship League will become an accredited European Regional League and join other ERLs to compete under the EMEA banner.

TCL Wildcats. Image Credit: Riot Games
TCL Wildcats. Image Credit: Riot Games

Furthermore, the Intel Arabian Cup will now be known as the Arabian League. The Arabian League will start off as a non-accredited ERL and will get a spot in the new EMEA Masters Play-In. The participants of the Arabian League include; Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

The other existing 11 ERLs will also continue the informal League spits but compete in the newly formed EMEA masters at the end of the split. Additionally, the LCL region will remain suspended. However, players from the CIS region can play in other ERLS; and can get residency status like any other player in the EMEA.