The European League Championship Series (EU LCS) was reported this week to be splitting into four different regional leagues. Another report has followed to claim that the current teams have decided what region they will be competing in next year.
Sources close to the matter have informed ESPN that Fnatic, G2 Esports, Misfits, and Splyce will be calling London as their new home. FC Schalke 04, Unicorns of Love, and ROCCAT will remain in Berlin. H2K Gaming and Giants are heading to Barcelona. Meanwhile, Vitality is the sole team that will be moving to Paris.
The EU LCS is also said to be increasing the number of teams from ten to twenty-four by placing six teams per region. It is unknown how Riot Games will be determining the remaining fourteen teams for the new competitive circuit. There is also the matter of acquiring (or building) an esports venue in three of the four cities, with Berlin already housing the current EU LCS Battle Arena.
An official announcement is expected to arrive soon. It will do so on the backs of criticism made by professional League of Legends organizations over a lack of revenue generation opportunities. Unlike North America, Europe is not being allowed to create franchises. The proposed model of splitting the scene into four different leagues for more exposure may work in the long run or only end up diluting the scene.
Elsewhere, we are drawing closer to the 2017 League of Legends World Championship. It will take place in China from September 23 to November 4, featuring a brand new tournament format from past iterations.