EU LCS: Riot announce 2018 changes

Riot Games are reinventing the 2018 EU LCS format! How will these changes affect the league?


Despite the fact that we’ve taken up the role of the league’s doomsayers in the past, we truly want to see the region succeed. That’s why the upcoming revision of the EU LCS format instantly caught our eye.

Without further ado, let’s break it down!

They finally listened

The Bo1 format. The first—and the least surprising—announcement is the transition to the Bo1s for the regular season. We’ve already discussed this move here, but the gist of it is that it won’t hurt the league as much as many fans think. 

For starters, a huge chunk of practice happens in scrims, and what we see on stage is but a drop in the ocean of professional League of Legends. Of course, no amount of poetic descriptions will change the reality of this being a trade-off that prioritizes viewing experience over competitive integrity. But when most teams in Europe are bleeding money, that’s a trade-off worth making.

Different broadcast days. The EU LCS schedule has always been holding it back. Tuning in at odd times from Thursday to Sunday was inconvenient for the fans, and it often seemed like the European League of Legends took a backseat in favor of its North American cousin. With the reintroduction of Bo1s to both competitions, the EU LCS broadcast can now return to Fridays and Saturdays. The actual start time is undetermined, but it’s definitely going to be later than 5 pm CET.

No mid-season relegation. It seems that Europe is taking a page from North America’s book because the promotion/relegation tournament is gone! At least, in the middle of the season. Whether that will be the case in the end of 2018 remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure—Riot Games are finally viewing European teams as potential partners. 

Goodbye Challenger Series. With the removal of the relegation concept, Challenger series is also making a swift leave. Instead, it will be replaced by the global European tournament that will give more exposure and opportunities to local country teams. Riot are pointing out the idea that the EU CS wasn’t successful at building up and developing talent as the main reason for the change. 

But we’d argue that many notable European lineups started out by making a run through the Challenger Series and qualifying for the promotion tournament. Without it, we would never see teams like G2 Esports, Misfits, and Origen, so it would be great for the system to remain intact. Still, we assume Riot know what they’re doing, and hopefully, the EU LCS won’t go down the franchising road. 

What do you think about the upcoming 2018 EU LCS changes? Share your opinion in the comments below!

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Daniil Volkov

I craft League of Legends narratives and cover LCK, NA & EU LCS.

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