This week Riot Games, the developers and publishers of hit competitive MOBA League of Legends, and the ESL, the worlds largest eSports company, have announced a partnership that has major ramifications for Season 3 of the ESL UK Premiership. This year the winners of the Premiership title will be granted a slot in the EU Summer Challenger Series Qualifiers, with the eventual goal of competing in the premier LCS Championship.
The Challenger Series is the second tier of professional play in League of Legends, one rung below the LCS, and is the only route for teams into the LCS. At the end of each season Riot hosts a promotion/relegation tournament where the bottom three LCS teams and top two Challenger Series teams compete for places in the next seasons LCS.
The partnership, and the reveal of a new route into the Challenger Series and potentially even LCS for UK and Irish teams, will be a major boost for UK eSports. Traditionally underdeveloped compared to their continental cousins, the creation of a high-quality championship series by ESL UK and with Riot's recognition will increase visibility, the player pool, and overall quality of home-grown competition.
“This is something the entire UK ESL team has been striving for and we’re extremely proud to have now achieved this with the help from Riot Games. The commitment is essential to continue growth and sustainability of the UK League of Legends esports community, making a passion into a career.” said James Dean, Managing Director, ESL UK.
The ESL UK Premiership 2016 Spring Season begins on Saturday 13th February and will be broadcast over Twitch. More information about both LoL and CS:GO competitions can be found at http://pro.eslgaming.com/uk/