League of Legends developer Riot Games has announced off-season changes for four of its European Regional Leagues, aiming to increase their professionalism.
The goal is to bring the leagues closer to the LoL European Championship (LEC) by creating a more professional atmosphere and system.
The leagues that will changed are Spain’s SuperLiga Orange, France’s Ligue Française de LoL, DACH region’s The Premier Tour, and United Kingdom’s UKLC.
The first focus of the changes is poaching, an issue that occurs in most esports titles. Substantial changes will be implemented through the free agency window as the leagues’ seasons will come to an end this month. Players who compete in any of the leagues will be listed in a Global Contract Database, Riot Games explained: “This is to ensure that ERL teams have bigger incentives to scout and invest in talent themselves without running the risk of that talent getting immediately snatched away from them.”
Players’ contract duration will be limited to two years, with the developer wanting to standardise contracts by adding requirements that will be vetted by staff.
By being listed in the Global Contract Database, Riot Games will check players’ behaviour within the game. Those who pass such checks without any issues, they will be entered into the Players Benefits Program – unlocking their account with all in-game content available to them.
Esports Insider says: These changes from Riot Games are not surprising, but they’re definitely welcomed. The role of these regional leagues is to build healthy proving grounds for budding players and it’s only possible with consequent investment and involvement from the developer. However, these regional leagues are not all equal and we expect to see these changes soon expanded to cover each and every one of them.