We attended the reveal event last week in which Riot UK and LVP revealed their plans for 2018 and hinted at what is to come in 2019 and beyond. We will share some details about the event plus a Q&A with the people behind it.
Forge of Champions, Riot Games new take on UK League of Legends competition was announced back in March, with Spanish League of Legends organiser LVP taking the reigns on the project. LVP is investing big in the UK, with an office and an arena in the works ready for its 2019 plans, LVP has also signed a three-year partnership with Riot Games, which shows the faith they have in the region. The company will host the Forge of Champions final in Madrid, giving the UK players an idea of what to expect in the future.
One of the key aspects about Forge of Champions was Riot and LVP developed the league alongside UK LoL teams, Diabolus and exceL being two key names. Speaking of teams, Riot made it very clear that both established teams and new teams will have equal opportunities to compete, with the goal being to make the league a stepping stone for UK players into the EU Masters, then onto EULCS.
The league will also offer up £50,000 in prize pool, with the top two teams heading to the EU Masters in September. The tournament will run from June 22nd to September, with sign-ups open on the 5th of June. Stage One will include 64 amateur teams for each tournament, with the top eight moving onto stage two to battle it out against the eight pro teams from the previous UK premiership.
Speaking about the Forge of Champions, Mo Fadl, Head of UK Esports, Riot Games, had this to say: “When we set up the UK office we had a clear vision in mind; to create the highest level of competition and a source of entertainment for every gamer in the UK, and we needed a partner who could help us realise this vision. LVP has a brilliant reputation amongst teams and the community in Spain and we want to bring that success to the UK. They have been a vital partner for developing Forge of Champions. Naturally, we see this as just that start of our vision for the UK. We know that to build something meaningful will take time and work and we want the players and the community to continue working with us so we can improve.”
We spoke to Mo Fadl, Head of UK esports for Riot Games about Forge of Champions
Esports Insider: Let’s talk about the UK, why is it important to Riot Games?
Mo Fadl: The UK has always been an important territory. There’s an incredible community and talent pool here and we want to support and nurture them.
ESI: The UK has started to see a number of players and coaches either from the UK or from its old regional leagues appear in the LCS. What made you feel you needed to step in and take control of the UK regional league?
Mo: We’ve seen amazing talent rise through the ranks from players through to commentators. The previous league did a great job sowing the seeds for grassroots talent but we felt it was time for a change and so do the teams we’ve been working with. Everyone is keen to grow and to do that we need to open up the competition, to make it accessible but even more heated. We want to push the UK community further. We met with the top teams in the UK and we discussed what they needed to grow and together we’ve created a league that offers more opportunities than ever before.
ESI: What have you learned from other regional and continental leagues?
Mo: I personally have looked at the work LVP has done in Spain. The way they worked with players to build up the League of Legends Superliga and the Spanish Cup is fantastic and has been met with such positivity. A brand that the local community is proud of and support, this is what we want to see for Forge of Champions.
ESI: What makes Forge of Champions different from other regions?
Mo: Each local league is different to match the player-base. For the UK we want to make sure there a no barriers to entry and that’s why we created a points system accrued over four best-of-one tournaments open to 64 new teams each time. Multiple opportunities for new teams to get involved.
ESI: Do you see a future in which a national league like the UK, Spain, Nordic etc breaks off and becomes its own splinter league like we have with Turkey, Vietnam etc?
Mo: From my point of view national leagues are stepping stones towards international leagues. This is why we’re offering two spots at the European Masters. We want to build something that goes beyond geographic location.
ESI: What is the end goal for Forge of Champions?
Mo: To create an entertainment proposition. We want to drive fanfare around the brand to push the UK on an international level. This also means teams will be elevated so our homegrown talent will be celebrated and recognised on a global scale.
- £50,000 prize pool
- The overall winner will receive at least £10,000
- Two spots at the EU Masters
- 64 teams in stage one
- LVP will build a studio in the UK
- First season finals will be played in Madrid
- four mini-tournaments, with two stages each
- LVP and Riot have entered a three-year partnership
- Millions being invested in the UK scene