July 17, 2024

North Africa is set to be included in the 2023 League of Legends European Championship (LEC). This comes after Riot Games revealed in a press conference that it will be expanding the competition’s territory and renaming the competition to the League of Legends Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Championship.

This means that players having residency in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Russia, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa will be able to compete without transfer limitation.

Speaking about the new format for the competition, League of Legends EMEA esports director Maximillian Schmidt said “We’re looking at the second decade of League of Legends esports in [EMEA], and we wanted to move all the puzzle pieces we have in our region into one holistic picture.” Schmidt further claims that the changes took 20 months to implement and that the decisions made sense for “every part of the ecosystem.”

Schmidt goes on to say that broadening the league’s reach cannot come at the risk of diluting the brand that supporters have grown accustomed to supporting for international events.

The format for the three regular-season splits addresses issues that arise in international competitions as well: the initial round-robin competition feels like a group stage, and the best eight teams from the round-robin advance to a best-of-three double-elimination round, which feels like a playoff atmosphere.