LEC teams might not be required to have an academy team starting from 2022.
According to Dot Esports, LEC teams have voted against the rule of an obligatory academy team. Currently, all 10 LEC teams are required to have an academy team in the European Regional League ladder. According to the report, a total of nine votes were in favor of removing the rule while only one voted against it.
Sources: LEC teams recently voted against the rule that obligated them to have an academy team in the European Regional League (ERL) system.
— Dot Esports (@DotEsports) April 22, 2021
The ERL system consists of regional leagues below the LEC, where teams play for regional trophies and a chance to play at the European Masters event. Over recent years, these leagues have improved a lot and been a key component of developing great European talent. In the current LEC season, many of the players previously competed in the ERL leagues and been scouted directly from there. With the LEC represented in these leagues through academy teams, the talent development is boosted even further.
With the rule of an obligatory academy team removed, it’s possible that some LEC teams will move away from academy teams completely but unlikely that a complete exodus will occur. LEC teams such as Rogue, Excel, and Vitality have all had great success with their academy teams and proved that they’re worth investing in. The academy teams give every LEC organization an extra safety net and opportunity to swap players back and forth.
Another rule for the 2022 season has also been confirmed. This rule will limit every regional league to only two LEC academy teams. This means that no ERL league can have more than two LEC organizations represented.
This might have a future impact on some of the biggest European leagues, where there are already two LEC organizations today. The German, Spanish, French, and Nordic league currently hosts two LEC organizations and won’t be able to let others in from next year.
The new rules are yet to be confirmed by Riot Games but are expected to be official soon.