Riot had already announced its plans to divide RELs into “Accredited” and “Non-Accredited” leagues. Today Riot released a statement clarifying what the REL scene will look like in 2022. These REL changes aim to increase infrastructural support for semi-professional League of Legends in Europe.
The full list of accredited RELs is Spain’s Superliga, France’s Ligue Française, the Prime League which covers Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, the Ultraliga which includes Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and the Northern League of Legends Championship for northern Europe. These accredited leagues will be required to continue to host one offline event per year following the REL changes.
Only players from accredited leagues will be added to Riot’s Global Contract Database, non-accredited leagues will not have their contract information available through the GCD.
The non-accredited RELs are Italy’s PG Nationals, the Esports Balkan League, the Greek Legends League, the Elite Series composed of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, Hitpoint Masters for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and finally the Liga Portuguesa for Portugal. These non-accredited leagues will not be required to host offline events after these changes.
For accredited RELs, there will be a first and second division with 10 teams apiece. Both divisions’ regular seasons will be a double round-robin with best-of-one matches. For the upper division, playoffs will be made up of six teams in a double-elimination bracket.
For the lower division, playoffs will be a four-team knockout stage with no double-elimination. At the end of a split, the top two teams from the lower division will play the bottom two teams from the upper division. This functions similar to previous major region leagues, with promotion and relegation tournaments at the end of a split.
For non-accredited RELs, the boundaries are more mercurial. The first division will be composed of eight teams with a regular split and four-team, single-elimination playoffs. The lower division for these leagues will vary by region with no clear promotion and relegation format.
Following the REL changes, academy teams will be unable to play in a league where they could qualify to promote into the same league as their organization’s main team. To help maintain opportunities, Riot is also looking to increase the number of amateur tournaments available to players.
More details will be revealed as the RELs move toward their new format in 2022, but these changes seem exciting for fans and amateur players alike.