Last month Riot announced that the European semi-professional scene would change yet again. They revealed that both Belgium and the Netherlands would get their own individual regional league. Since then both sides have worked tirelessly around the clock to start the competition next year.
RadicaL3i, who is the Project Manager for the Dutch League, believes that all local talent will now flourish under an improved ecosystem.
He says: “I think with the new Dutch League and Belgian League we will be setting up the region for a new era of esports, with League of Legends as the foundation,”
“Both leagues are going to be a great boost to the players directly, by allowing them to showcase themselves in a highly professional setting. Additionally, the organisations backing the players will have a great chance to level up as well, indirectly helping boost the players even further. And not to forget, the other type of talent – broadcast talent – will also have a chance to elevate the leagues with their contributions, and elevate themselves whilst doing so,”
“The goal is to provide a platform for players, organisations, and other parties to level up and catch up to where esports is in most of the rest of the world. Having an official regional league has seen a lot of success in other European regions (eg. LFL in France) and we wish to approach that same level of success over the next years.”
The Dutch League will feature six teams in its inaugural split, featuring Eredivisie side PSV and popular esports organisation Defusekids. When discussing how the league should be structured, the number of teams was certainly a huge topic. RadicaL3i feels that as of right now, they have the correct amount.
“Several factors played into featuring specifically 6 teams per league (12 total), one of which was the consideration of the size of the region and how many teams would realistically be up to the standard the league requires. In the relatively small and perhaps under-developed Benelux region, we didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves and start with 8 or 10 teams per region because of the uncertainty of filling those spots with organisations of the right calibre.”
However, when asked about the possibility of expanding, the project manager reveals that talks of adding more sides are already being discussed.
He adds: “Having said that, we’re going to be preparing the competition for expansion during the first year so that it can accompany at least 8 teams per league (if not more). The application process showed that after some further development and growth in the coming year we will definitely have enough organisations at the right level to warrant an expansion to include more teams.”
With the introduction of another regional league, it shows that League of Legends is firmly behind building a competitive semi-professional scene for years to come. PSV’s involvement is also a sign that traditional sporting clubs are still willing to pursue esports seriously.
The Dutch League will commence in January 2020 as six sides look to claim the Spring Split title (and a cool €7500).
By Tom Daniels