Riot Games and LVP have announced that League of Legends will be getting its first league in United Kingdom. The competition will be called UK League Championship or UKLC for short, and its aim is to ignite the passion of UK viewers.
Regional competiitons technically already existed, but UKLC will be based on a smaller zone. According to the official announcement, this will be Riot Games' biggest commitment to UK to this date. Their partners in organising this championship will be the esports organisation LVP, which has set up its first UK-based office, complete with a broadcast suit.
UKLC will kick off on 13 February 2019 and the competing teams will need to climb the ranks, with the most successful ones qualifying for European Masters. There are some major organisations that will participate, such as Fnatic and Excel. The full participant roster is as follows:
- Diabolus Esports
- Enclave Gaming
- Bulldog Esports
- Phelan Gaming
- DarkSpawn Gaming
- MnM Gaming
Each of these teams had to submit a business plan, legal information, financial plans and a brand strategy in order to be selected for participation. According to a Games Industry report, Riot Games' head of UK esports, Mo Fadl, stated that this competition should "help firmly establish the route from amateur to pro play in League of Legends". In other words, it will be a stepping stone to help cross the entry barrier of top tier competitions in Europe.
UKLC will have a specific format, where top four teams each season will advance into playoffs and eventually the Grand Finals. The winner of the Grand Finals will be admitted to the aforementioned European Masters competition.
It remains to be seen what this will mean for the European competitive scene, as UKLC is bound to produce some new talent, filled with desire for winning. Teams such as Fnatic have been known to scout younger, relatively unknown players and make them into stars and UKLC will likely prove to be the ultimate scouting ground for the future seasons.