eSports

Riot Games officially introduces EMEA Champions Queue for the LEC

Riot Games is innovating the League of Legends competitive ecosystem for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, introducing the EMEA Champions Queue (CQ), allowing LEC and European Regional Leagues (ERL) players to practice in a more competitive environment.

Image Credits | Riot Games

EMEA Champions Queue has the aim of raising the LEC competitive level

The first split for the League of Legends EMEA Champions Queue will begin on Jan. 24th and last until Feb. 23rd. The games will be played during a four-hour block from Tuesday to Friday, at 22:00-02:00 CET, with the final hour allowing off-role picks due to the chance of having lower player availability. According to Riot Games, the current schedule for CQ 2023 is as follows:

  • Split 1 – January 24 – February 23
  • Split 2 – February 28 – March 31
  • MSI Split – TBD
  • Split 3 – May 30 – June 30
  • Split 4 – July 4 – August 11

That said, who will play in the EMEA CQ? The initial player base will include all starting lineups of the LEC and Accredited ERL teams, LEC registered substitutes (GM or higher in the previous or current season), in addition to some selected players who aren’t on starting line-ups or former pros who are still competing at a very high level (GM or higher in the previous or current season).

For those who aren’t familiar with the current ERL system, here are the Accredited ERLs:

  • LFL – France
  • Prime League – DACH
  • Superliga – Spain
  • TCL – Turkey
  • Ultraliga – Eastern Europe

An EMEA CQ Player Council will be established a few weeks after the initial launch, with the goal of voting on which players get access to the EMA CQ. This will include possible revokes of access due to disciplinary reasons or approving new players in the system with new criteria applied.

The EMEA CQ will be organized through a Discord server owned by Riot themselves, with admins acting as the main point of contact for players.

READ ALSO: LEC 2023 Power Rankings

What does this mean for the LEC and the European ecosystem?

CQ was previously introduced in NA in 2022, with the same goal of increasing the competitive level. In order to incentivize the players, a prize pool was added to the first split of the Spring Season. Riot, however, hasn’t confirmed whether EMEA CQ will have a prize pool.

Regardless, this is a great addition to the European competition, since players will now have a much better environment to practice and improve. Many pro players have voiced their frustration on the current state of solo queue, including the GOAT himself Faker.

This will be also a golden opportunity for ERL players to close the gap and improve by playing consistently against top-tier players. That said, the CQ council will have a major role in ensuring its correct functioning, as well as a fair system that punishes players for negative behavior.

Despite the recent backlash Riot Games faced about the current state of League, this is great news for EU and the LEC competition.

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