League of Legends Challenger Promotion Just Got Harder

For the upcoming tourney to let Challenger-tier teams compete to earn their way into the LCS, this time only three LCS teams will have to defend their positions.

The League of Legends Championship Series Riot started this year has proven to be exciting for all sorts of reasons.  Having scheduled games between the top teams in the world gives fans a chance to watch their favorite players regularly.  Actual pay for the teams in the LCS makes it viable for un-sponsored teams to be able to attend tournaments at events while making some money for themselves.  Most exciting of all is probably the ability of teams not in the LCS to earn their way into it by beating the lowest-ranked LCS teams to take their spot.

It just got slightly harder for those teams looking to stage upstarts to manage it, however.

Harder how?

Specifically, there are only three LCS teams who need to defend their positions rather than four.  The tournament for Challenger-tier teams to try and fight their way into the LCS will have the Challenger teams duke it out in a tournament among themselves until only three remain.  The teams whose spots they are looking to take will then pick which team they will oppose, in order of highest-ranked LCS team to lowest.

This gives a huge advantage to the higher-ranked teams having to defend themselves, as it potentially puts the bottom team in the LCS a near-certainty of facing the best team in their region's Challenger tier.

Why the change?

There are a few possible reasons for this change to have been made, most of them based on showmanship.

Everyone likes the possibility of an upset.  The chance that one of the competitive teams in League of Legends might be toppled from their position is in some ways more attractive than if it actually happened, however.  Riot makes summoner icons for the teams and players tune in specifically to watch individuals they know.  One of those teams getting dropped would potentially be costly.

On the other hand, this new method by which the teams are challenged means all three defending teams could potentially be dropped in head-to-head matches.  Rather than simply taking part in a tournament, they are going directly against the best in that tournament, made up of the best in their region.  It promises to be dramatic as hell with so much on the line, for all three of the matchups.

I sure won't be missing it!

Published Aug. 2nd 2013

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