It was a change that had been requested for many years: in order to compete more effectively with the best Asian teams, players and coaches of LEC – the European Championship of League of Legendswhich will become the EMEA Championship from 2023 – wanted more matches in their programme, and especially more matches in two or three winning sets.
Catch up with Asia
In China or South Korea, two countries whose representatives have confiscated the world title since 2013 (out of the eight teams in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Worlds, seven were from the championships of these two nations), the leagues are played only in BO3 (“best-of-3”) and BO5. Faced with the BO1s who have made up most of the European calendar so far, it’s more playing time, more training to adapt over the course of a meeting, to withstand the pressure, and more preparation. in high-stakes matches in international competitions.
Last Friday, Riot Games therefore formalized a format change for the LEC. BO1s will remain, but league teams will play more BO3s and BO5s. An important modification which seems to delight everyone and the players in the first place, among whom the matches in one round were unanimous: punitive, stressful, frustrating and not representative of the level, nobody liked them.
” We’ve been talking about it for a few months and I think it’s very goodexplains Romain Bigeard, general manager of the team League of Legends of G2, European champion last spring. In BO3 or 5 you have to keep a cool head, bounce from one part to another… Essential things to train if you want to perform at a very high level. We needed it. Can it make a long-term difference against Asia? Yes, in part. It is a step forward. We are happy, the players and the coach too “.
Anne Banschbach, sports director of Vitality, agrees: “ This new format is a plus for the competitiveness of LEC teams internationally. It will also ensure that the region sends its best representatives to the Worlds. We think it’s a great idea. There will also be more high stakes matches “. And with them, more intensity and interest in following the league.
If the increase in the number of BO3 or 5 is appreciated, the new structure of the LEC, divided into three segments of a month and a half each (compared to two of three months previously) still questions some. The rookies, in particular, will have to be convincing very quickly if they do not want to be replaced after only a few weeks in the elite. Nine BO1 will allow eight teams (out of ten) to qualify in play offs. A very short adaptation time for newcomers or underperforming players, who could jump between two segments. Finishing in the last two places in the standings would also greatly reduce the playing time of the teams at the bottom of the table.
” Conversely, if you win, you play a lotresumes Romain Bigeard. You can see it as a limit or a challenge: if you don’t lose, you will have little rest time between already very busy weeks. It can be tiring. Here again, Anne Banschbach shares this point of view: “ Playing three times a week compared to two before will certainly be tiring for players. Now we prefer official matches to training since competition remains the best way to progress. »
To rock Asia again will also require a little more than a format change. But this first modification can serve as a trigger and call for others. ” We want to improve the quality of training, maybe change the schedulesays the manager of G2. We wonder, for example, if we should continue the daily blocks of five scrims (the practice parts) against a team or go to two times three matches, which is what Asians usually do. It expands the amount of work, but it also fragments it “. The Worlds 2022 showed it, the gap between South Korea, China and the others is huge today. Could the LEC be reducing it?