The League of Legends Champions Queue (CQ) will launch in EMEA just as the LEC 2023 Winter Split kicks off, but Riot’s terms and conditions mean that the most competitive mode in the MOBA will be reserved mostly for professional and semi-professional players, largely out of reach to the majority of fans.
The Champions Queue experiment began last year in North America, and is effectively a private lobby system reserved for professional players. Major tournament players are automatically enlisted, as well as Riot-accredited grassroots competitors.
To get into the Champions Queue you need an official invite from Riot, which will add you to an exclusive Discord server. The only people currently eligible for the EMEA iteration are starting line-up LEC players, LEC registered substitutes (Grandmaster and above), players from accredited regional leagues (for example the LFL), and players who have competed in the LEC for a season and have maintained the rank of Grandmaster or higher.
An EMEA CQ player council will be formed in the weeks post-launch, and its these guys you’ll have to appeal to if you’re looking to play with the best of the best. Riot writes that it “will be closely monitoring the success of the program to see how we can improve and potentially expand the service in the future,” so while you may have a shot at making it into the CQ the chances are very, very slim.
Having a high-level server entirely dedicated to those who represent the cream of the crop makes a lot of sense, but I find Riot’s restrictions here a little confusing. It says it wants to provide “developmental players” with a stage, yet its restrictions lock out high level Grandmasters who may be good enough to compete at pro level and haven’t been picked up by an org, as well as those who may simply looking for tougher competition – whether they want to play professionally or otherwise.
I’m never going to make Champions Queue, don’t get me wrong, but I do hope Riot opens it up to the best EMEA has to offer and doesn’t close off the system to just pros. One of the most exciting part of esports in general is watching rookies come in and shatter expectations, and the current iteration of CQ EMEA hampers this.