Riot has recently announced its plans to debut a brand new league in its popular MOBA, League of Legends. The new league, in partnership with Coke Zero, is intended for challenger-tier players. Riot Games’ head of e-Sports, Dustin Beck, calls the new league an “LCS-lite” and likens it to the different divisions found in most professional sports globally.
The announcement came soon after the reveal of a brand new animated trailer for the LCS Finals taking place tomorrow, along with the following statement from Dustin Beck:
“Every sport has a pretty aspirational path for how you go from just a little kid playing a sport to a professional athlete. And when we were creating the LCS, we knew that we were satisfying that top level of elite gamers who could actually be professionals. But we had a pretty big hole in the middle that didn’t do anything to highlight what that path was going to be.”
Coca-Cola; which has been looking for a way to make its mark in the e-Sports scene, was quick to jump on the deal. Matt Wolf, head of global gaming for Coca-Cola, had the following to say about the upcoming league:
“It’s just such an incredible story of the pursuit of possibility, in terms of amateurs in a challenger system being able to get on an organized road to the pros.”
“For us, it’s not just about being there, and [having] our branding there, we want to get actively involved; we want to work closely with Riot. We want to bring value to the actual experience of preparing to become pro — providing tools and a structure with Riot for these players, to give them that shot.”
Not much is currently known about this new challenger league. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as more information regarding Riot’s initiative to help challenger league players go pro surfaces. Will the challenger league help talented individuals achieve the exposure LCS players have? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.