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LoL Esports to introduce new international tournament in 2025

LoL Esports to introduce new international tournament in 2025

League of Legends
11 Jun
Foo Zen-Wen

Riot Games has just unveiled the latest series of changes incoming for League of Legends. Set to come about in 2025, this set of radical changes is focused on ‘enhancing’ the game and sport, in a direction that Riot believes will create more ‘excitement’ and ‘competitive spirit’ for the fans and pros.

All Changes Coming to LoL Esports in 2025

New International Event

Starting out with the biggest news, Riot has announced that they plan to introduce a third international event to the LoL esports calendar – complimenting the already pre-existing Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) and World Championship tournaments.

This change will match Riot’s other IP, VALORANT, which in its current format form offers 3 international events a year as well at the highest level: 2 Masters events and Champions.

“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 […]”

To summarize the current available information on this newest international event, it will be a global tournament involving all the regions, set to take place at the start of the 2025 season.

  • The tournament will involve multiple stages/rounds.
  • The initial round of the tournament will be regional play – introducing a new (3rd) split to the calendar.
  • Each of the 5 regions (more on this later) will send one representative for the international stage/round in March.
  • In the international stage/round, the teams will compete in a round-robin
    • Top 4 teams advance to Bracket Stage.
  • The international stage is set to run across a 6-day period.
  • A version of Fearless Draft will be implemented in this new international tournament.
  • Results will be used to seed MSI.

“We expect to use this event annually to experiment with different competitive formats and inject exciting innovations into our early-season competition.”

Riot's new LoL esports timeline for 2025. Credit: Riot Games

New Split

In what appears to be a similar vein to the current Winter Split in the LEC, all regional leagues will now run a total of 3 splits a year. Split 1 will qualify teams for the new international tournament, Split 2 for MSI, and Split 3 for Worlds.

Split 3 will also culminate with a Regional Championship, consolidating the results from the year to crown a season-long champion in each regional league.

“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.”

-Timing Adjustment –

MSI has been pushed back to July to accommodate the new calendar structure.

Reformation of Regional League Structure

Moving forwards, there will be 5 regional leagues of note in the LoL esports ecosystem: LCK, LPL, LEC, Americas, and Asia-Pacific. The LEC, LPL, and LCK will remain as is aside from the introduction of the additional split.

Riot Merges LCS, LLA, and CBLOL

Moving into 2025, Riot has revealed plans to combine the regional following into a new ‘pan-Americas’ league. In this new league model, there will be 2 ‘conferences’: North and South. Each conference will include 8 teams.

The LCS has been assigned as North and CBLOL as South. Each conference will maintain 6 of its existing partnered teams. Furthermore, each of the conferences will integrate one representative team from the LLA, with the final slot going into reserve as a ‘Guest slot’.

The CBLOL league currently hosts 10 teams, suggesting that 4 of the organizations will not have a spot in the franchise going forwards into the next year. The LLA currently involves 7 teams, meaning 5 will not be proceeding into the new ‘Americas’ league.

  • Going into 2025, the Americas league will have a unique operating standard.
    • Split 1 will initially assign teams to compete within their respective conferences (North and South). Top performers will allegedly qualify for a further cross-conference qualifier. The top performing team will qualify for the international tournament (refer above for more information).
    • In Split 2, each conference will produce 1 representative to attend MSI, for a total of 2 Americas teams.
    • For Split 3, the Regional Championship will determine the 3 teams to attend Worlds. (Included stipulation that there must be at least one team from each conference).
  • Guest Slot
    • Potential to cycle ‘guest team’ once a year.
    • A Promotion/Relegation tournament is to be held at the end of each Americas season.
    • The best teams from Tier 2 will be able to compete against the existing Guest team from each conference.
    • Victorious team will take over the guest slot for the respective conference for the following season.

“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.”

Riot Merges PCS, LJL, and LCO

Much like their plan for ‘pan-Americas’, Riot plans to merge many of the smaller regional leagues within Asia-Pacific into one recognizable league. The Pacific Championship Series (PCS), comprising of teams from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, and Southeast Asia, will merge with the Japan and Oceania league.

  • 8 team league.
  • The 2024 Summer Split results will be the determining factor for the first lineup of ‘guest teams’.
  • No comment has been made on whether this league will include permanent organizations like the Americas league model.

“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.”

Revision to International Event Slots per Region for 2025

For 2025, Riot is looking to revise the number of slots to each of their 3 international tournaments.

  • New Event
    • 5 teams
    • 1 Slot per Region
  • MSI
    • 10 teams
    • 2 Slots per Region
  • Worlds
    • 17 teams
    • 3 Slots per Region (15 Total)
    • 1 Slot to MSI Champion
    • 1 Slot to Second-Best Performing Region

5 Regions. 3 international events. 1 season. Credit: Riot Games

Read Here for full cover on MSI Format Changes introduced for 2024.

All details reported in this article has been taken from the following source: LoL Esports (Building towards a Brighter Future). Follow Strafe Esport for the latest LoL esports and League of Legends coverage.

Credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

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