So if you’ve read our Beginners’ Guide to League of Legends, you might be wondering what all this talk of esports is about.
So what is League of Legends (LoL) Esports? Simply put, LoL Esports is a global web of regional leagues made up of the very best esports organisations and players from all over the globe.
LoL Esports is divided into four major regions and a series of minor regions (more on this later) which are supported by lower tiers of Academy and sometimes amateur leagues.
These teams usually consist of five players, one sub and a number of the coaching staff. Most top-level teams will have a head coach and an analyst at least. Though some top sides have assistant coaches and role-specific coaches, alongside a team of analyst.
What Regions Play LoL Esports?
LoL Esports is made up of four major regions and ten minor regions. The four major regions are Europe (LEC), South Korea (LCK), China (LPL), North America (LCS). With the minor regions being made up of Brazil (CBLOL), Vietnam (VCS), Russia and the CIS (LCL), Turkey (TCL), Latin America (LLA), Japan (LJL), Oceania (OPL), and Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Southeast Asia (PCS).
These regions are also supported by a wide range of regional smaller national leagues. For North America, this comes in the form of an Academy system, which sees each of the main LCS sides have a smaller Academy roster which plays in its own independent league. Similar to how the U23 league works for top English football leagues.
Europe does things slightly differently, however, due to the huge volume of separate regions in Europe, the region has a whole host of different leagues. From Germany, France, Spain, and a Nordic league which includes the Nordic block and the UK. Most other regions then also have a whole host of smaller leagues that support online play.
This even extends to the LoL game itself which offers an in-game tournament called “Clash” which allows players to group up with friends and play competitively together.
How Often is LoL Esports Played?
For this, I’ll focus on Europe (LEC) — the region plays two splits per season, in Spring and Summer with an international event in the middle Mid-Season Invitational, and a major world event at the end of the season called Worlds. When the regular season in Europe is on, matches are played twice per week, on a Friday and Saturday. With five matches played per day, with sides playing twice per weekend. Matches take 10 weeks to play out, with an end of season playoffs to decide who wins the split.
One slightly different format comes from the LCS, which is rumoured to be shifting to a one-season format for 2021. From what we understand so far, the LCS will be played over the course of a full year like before, with a short Spring Finals event in the middle to send a team to MSI. This new format will also see teams play each other five times a season, up from the current four. The final change will see the action take place across three full days of action rather than two currently. You can see a full explanation of the LCS changes here.
How do I watch LoL Esports?
Every region has a preferred partner, especially those in Korea and China that use regional streaming services. However, the best place to watch all professional LoL Esports is on the official game website lolesports.com.