Riot Games has changed the name of Europe’s premier League of Legends event, changing European League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS) to the League of Legends European Championship (LEC).
The newly-franchised competition will kick off January 18th, 2019. The developer has also announced the 10 final franchise partners ahead of the 2019 season.
The returning teams are Fnatic, FC Schalke 04, G2 Esports, Misfits Gaming, Splyce, and Team Vitality. This means there are four new organisations that are entering the competition as long-term partners after investing between €8m-€10.5m (£7.1m-£9.3m).
Origen is a familiar name to League of Legends fans, and it has entered the fray through an acquisition by RFRSH Entertainment – the company behind the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Astralis.
British esports organisation exceL won the UK League of Legends Premiership in 2017, and is hoping to make a name for itself on a bigger stage in the LEC. exceL received a substantial investment from Guinevere Capital, an esports and entertainment investment group, in September.
SK Gaming is one of the four teams joining the LEC that didn’t compete in the EU LCS recently; the name is a recognisable one. Once a mainstay in League of Legends, the organisation partnered with Deutsche Telekom to receive financial support with hopes of re-entering the title in a big way.
Rogue is backed by ReKT Global, in which Imagine Dragons became investors back in May as well as record producer & DJ Steve Aoki, and the org is now a long-term partner of Riot Games’ LEC. The team is “committed to developing a strong, lasting competitive presence through unmatched player development”. This will be Rogue’s first foray into League of Legends.
Esports Insider says: The change in name make sense in terms of starting afresh but is a tad surprising considering that the NA LCS remained as it was once franchising was introduced. In terms of the teams that have joined, it’s good to see a mix of well-known franchises such as Fnatic and G2 Esports as well as a smaller name in exceL. Origen’s return will no doubt please plenty of League of Legends fans, too!