Riot have announced deets for a major happening in the annual League of Legends calendar: the All-Star tournament. The Le Zenith Arena in Paris will inaugurate a new two-pronged format across four days, beginning May 8.
Riot picked the 6k-seated venue to ensure a “more intimate” event than LoL fans are used to - and the city because of “pâtisseries, 100%”.
“But seriously, French fans are awesome,” said associate eSports manager Shanti Blees in a Reddit AMA. “They really showed their incredible passion and energy during our trip to Lille last year, and we wanted to keep our drive to host live events outside of the LA area. With Worlds in Korea this year, we thought Europe made sense to get a little love.”
This year, the tournament will be split into two parts: the All-Star Invitational and All-Star Challenge. Riot say the new arrangement will ensure appearances from both the “top” competitive teams and the “favourite” pro-players from each region - as those two groups don’t necessarily align.
The Invitational will be the main event, in Riot’s own words: a three-stage competition that’ll bring together the regional winners of the North American LCS, European LCS, LPL and GPL, as well as the OGN Champions. That’s five teams, who’ll be whittled down to four in group stage play. The victors of a best-of-three semifinal will then advance to a best-of-five final, and one will win $50,000.
The All-Star Challenge will be a less fraught, more fun affair. At the beginning of each day of the weekend, 10 pros will play a series of games for the entertainment of the attending (and streaming) masses. Players will elect two of those pros from their region to compete - and vote from March 30 on the particulars of the modes they play.
“The reason All-Stars was enjoyable last year was due to the fan involvement,” said Riot director of eSports Whalen Rozelle. “We think that this increased level of interaction combined with selecting which players go to the Challenge should be a cool experience for fans who loved the voting aspect of last year's All-Star.”
A caster list hasn’t yet been finalised - but fans can expect a “similar” selection to that featured at other major international events Riot have run.
Tickets will go on sale “soon”. Do you think you’ll buy one, or stick to Twitch?