The differences between European and American management of top-tier sports are worlds apart. European systems of promotion and relegation, set as the basis of their major sports leagues, are unimaginable in traditional American leagues such as the NBA, NFL or MLB. That’s because Americans swear by their franchising systems, which have cemented themselves as the only viable option as far as their major league sports are considered.
In Europe, clubs exist to bring joy and entertainment to their fans with the business side of the deal falling behind to the second place. In America, however, clubs (franchises would be a better word here) are profitable businesses first and fan-pleasers second. But what does all of this have to do with LoL European Championship announcement that went live a few days ago? Well, those franchising systems are making their way into EU LCS after having a successful season across the river…
Let’s face it – Riot Games always make several changes during the off-season of their most popular competitions. It’s safe to say the last 2 seasons brought the biggest alterations yet. First, in 2017, franchising system burst on the NA LCS scene and proved to be a huge success with both the fans and partnering teams.
However, at that time, it was said there are no plans for creating the same franchising system for EU LCS. But, with several EU LCS teams applying for NA LCS franchising offers, the plans just had to be made. And here we are, less than 24 hours after the LoL European Championship announcement and we have to say the feelings are mixed.
It’s one thing creating a franchising system in the USA since their fans are already used to it; forcing the same thing to EU fans might create a huge community backlash. But, before we draw any further conclusions, let’s check out the proposed franchising system for EU LCS as well as the new competition branding – LEC (short for League of Legends European Championship)!
Franchising basically puts an end to promotion and relegation systems which were in place thus far. Instead, all competing teams will become partners with the league itself, cementing their franchise’s spot in LEC for years to come.
Here’s a closer look at the franchises which are going to be featured in LEC:
There are still some questions left unanswered as far as the first LEC season is concerned. The biggest one is – what about the academy teams. In NA LCS, each franchise creates a roster of developing players (typically young, homegrown talent) which compete in the NA LCS Academy League. Think of it as LoL College Basketball. In the first LoL European Championship announcement there was nothing related to an academy league which brings forth a ton of questions. Hopefully, it will all be answered in the days to come.
As you can see, it’s a mixture of current top-tier teams, up-and-coming teams, and returning organizations. However, even though the league branding and teams’ systems have been slightly altered, are there any real changes as far as the competition itself is concerned? Let’s take a closer look at that, shall we!?
As far as the actual tournament structure is concerned, things will remain exactly the same, for the most part. This means we will still have 2 League Splits with the Regional Finals as the final stage before the Worlds. Here’s the official answer from LEC’s about page regarding the new league format:
“We’re looking largely at keeping things the way they are, perhaps with a few minor refinements. We’ll have more news to follow in the coming weeks.”
LoL European Championship announcement doesn’t mean a great deal to the bookies. Sure, they will have a slightly tougher time drafting the outright winners betting odds and similar season-start specials but that’s about it. Since the competition is technically remaining the same, not much will change on the betting side of the deal. Yes, this still means the best League of Legends bookies are the following ones:
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