Today, Riot and the UK ESL announced plans to join forces ahead of the ESL UK Premiership's third League of Legends season. The move will see the winner of this year’s Spring Season tourney represent the UK or Ireland in the Challenge Series Qualifiers this summer.
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While the Challenger Series is the second tier of League of Legends professional play in Europe, it’s just one step below LCS and is currently the only route for teams to enter into the top division. At the end of each season, Riot host a promotion/relegation tournament for the bottom three LCS teams and the top two Challenger teams. As for the former, the big league's Championship Series Spring Split is underway with teams having played their first two games so far.
Speaking to the collaboration news, James Dean - the managing director of ESL UK (not the ill-fated actor) - released a statement praising the deal, noting it’s something he and his team have been gunning for for quite some time.
“This is something the entire UK ESL team has been striving for and we’re extremely proud to have now achieved this with the help from Riot Games,” says Dean. “The commitment is essential to continue growth and sustainability of the UK League of Legends eSports community, making a passion into a career.”
The ESL UK Premiership Spring Season kicks off on Saturday February 13. If you fancy your chances, you can find out more on the Pro ESL website.