League of Legends European Championship (LEC) is set to undergo several impactful changes in 2024, following Riot Games’ continuous efforts to refine the competitive landscape. These adjustments, based on feedback from fans, teams, and players, aim to enhance the overall experience and clarify tournament phases for audiences.
Fusion of Groups and Playoffs
One of the most notable changes is the merging of the group phase and playoffs in a split. This restructuring aims to make the competition stages more transparent and easier to follow for fans. In the new format, the number of best-of-three and best-of-five matches will remain the same, with added protection to minimize repeat matchups in the losers’ bracket.
Qualification for Season Finals 2024
The 2024 Season Finals will carry more weight, especially the summer split. The summer split champion will automatically qualify for Worlds 24 as the lowest seed, with potential to improve their position during the LEC finals.
Additionally, the second and third-place teams will also secure spots in the Season Finals, regardless of their Championship Points (CP) accumulated during the season.
Championship Points Distribution
To emphasize the importance of the summer split, Riot Games has modified the CP allocation system. The same amount of points will be awarded to teams finishing fifth and sixth, as well as seventh and eighth. This change aims to tighten the scores for the final positions in the Season Finals and enhance the impact of the summer split results.
LEC 2024 Calendar Adjustments
The LEC 2024 season will see adjustments in scheduling to address pacing issues experienced in previous formats:
- Increased break between the winter and spring splits.
- Extended gap between the spring split and MSI 2024.
- Shortened interval between the end of the summer split and Season Finals 2024.
- Match start times will shift to 5:00 PM CET.
Preseason Champions Queue and ERL Integration
The preseason Champions Queue will launch with the first patch on January 9, just four days before the LEC Winter Split starts. This initiative, also open to ERL players, aims to provide better preparation for the season start, replacing the long pre-seasons of previous years.
A beta public test (PBE) Champions Queue will commence on December 11, offering a controlled environment for solo players to adapt to the upcoming changes.
Broadcast and Venue Changes
LEC broadcasts will move from the studio to the Riot Games Arena, aligning with other top-tier EMEA competitions like VALORANT and Teamfight Tactics. Fans can witness these changes starting Saturday, January 13.
Increased Minimum Age for Competitors
Starting in 2024, players must be at least 18 years old to compete in the LEC, raised from the previous minimum of 17. This decision is based on team needs and the developmental history of young players. The increased age limit also opens the door for additional revenue opportunities for organizations, particularly in the current economic climate.
Pathway for Young Talents
Players under 18 will still have the opportunity to compete in the ERL, which remains the primary developmental pathway for emerging talents in the EMEA region, with a minimum age requirement of 16.
Revised Format and Key Changes in LEC 2024
These changes to the LEC in 2024 reflect a strategic approach to evolve the league while maintaining the integrity of the competition. With these adjustments, Riot Games aims to provide a more engaging and clear structure for both players and fans in the dynamic world of competitive League of Legends.