If you have been itching for more League of Legends pro play in the less than a month since Worlds ended earlier in November, then you are in luck - the KeSPA Cup is here to tide you over. But if that's not enough and you crave that hot LEC drama that all those transfer news are hyping up, then we have some news for you. A recent update by League of Legends head of Esports for Europe and the MENA region Maximilian 'Max the X' Peter Schmidt gave us Riot's plan for the spring split.
The LEC 2022 Spring Split will kick off on January 14th with a three-day superweek. The format will follow last year's in all regards, including another superweek at the end. The only difference will be the new kids on the block - Team BDS, who purchased the LEC slot of FC Schalke 04 Esports when the German organization decided to sell its place. While there are rumors for more changes on the horizon, including a possible expansion of the European league to 12 teams, this will not impact the spring split - and if it actually pans out, it will likely be in 2023.
The season ends in mid-march, setting the scene for a Spring Playoff featuring the top six teams to start on March 25th. The direct eliminations round will end with a finals weekend currently scheduled for April 9-10th, but the tone in Riot's announcement left an opening for changes in case the pandemic interferes. As we had previously heard, the LEC finals would not go on the road just yet and and will be played at the Berlin studio of the LEC, likely without live audience - though we'd love to be proven wrong.
The LEC may be Europe's highest league, but it is not the only one - and Riot's announcement also clarified matters for the ERL spring schedule as well. The publisher's earlier work with the ERL organizers has led to a much more uniform schedule, with the "accredited" major leagues kicking off on January 10th and the rest starting a week later. These leagues will have their own seasons and playoffs,with the top teams attending the Amazon European Masters.
This tournament will once more host the best regional teams in a one-month marathon for the EU Masters title. Games will start during the LEC playoffs, with the play-in stage beginning on April 4th. The top four teams that come out of this stage will join the 12 higher seeds in the main main event group stage. So far, the Amazon EU Masters looks set to stick to its 2021 format, but there may yet be surprises. While it's early to predict attendees or results, 2021 has so far been Karmine Corp's year - and with two titles, followed by their acquisition of Martin "Rekkles" Larsson, we expect them to rule the roost for a while yet.
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