LoL Esports Changes in 2025 Include New International Event, Fearless Draft, Split Schedule Update, and More

2025 will bring changes to LoL Esorts' events, structure, splits, and even introduce multi-region leagues.

League of Legends esports is changing in 2025. Riot recently revealed some big updates to the series that they believe will make future season more competitive.

The outlined changes include:

  • New, third international event
  • Innovative "Fearless Draft" game mode in Tier 1 play
  • Unified split schedule for all leagues
  • Proposed multi-region leagues in APAC and Americas
  • Experiment with Guest Team slots/promotion-relegation
  • New international event league slots

New International Event & Fearless Draft Mode 

Based on fans' desire to see more tournaments featuring the top teams in the world during the official season, Riot has announced a third international event. The name and branding is still under wraps but it will follow the first split for every region, with each top team participating in a round-robin best-of-series against every other region.

In 2025, Riot is also planning to implement a version of Fearless Draft for the tournament. It will effectively ban champions picked in prior games in the series, helping to "shake up the matchups" and provide more variety to viewers.

"To ensure that our events stay connected, we will use the results from this first tournament to seed the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). [Since the competitive formats we pilot in this tournament may change yearly–and likely look different than the rest of the competitive calendar–we will not auto-qualify the winning team into MSI.]," the press released explained.

MSI 2023

New Split Structure 

To make the international event fit properly in the season, the regional split structure will be defined.

Starting next season, all regions will begin with the new international tournament/first split. A second split then will qualify teams for MSI, which will move later in the calendar to roughly the beginning of July. The third and final split in each region will culminate with a Regional Championship to crown one season-long champion in each region.

This will make the splits more "cohesive and interconnected," including making the stakes higher for regular season matches.

New Multi-Regional Americas/APAC Leagues & Guest Team Slots 

The press release also announced that seven of the regions will form a multi-region league to give fans more "region-versus-region battles."

Americas 

"The LCS in North America is seeing an upswing in sentiment and achieved its first year-over-year growth in viewership in four years. Brazil’s CBLOL is more popular than ever, with incredible fandom and viewership numbers. LLA in Latin America has seen an uptick in engagement this year as well, with growing interest in watching global leagues and other leagues including the LCS and CBLOL. Fans also have been actively participating in our multi-language broadcasts and co-streams and showing a growing enthusiasm for cross-regional competitions. 

So while we’re pleased to see progress across these three regions, we believe we have an opportunity to combine forces in a new pan-Americas league that will be good for fans, teams, and pros. In this new proposed model, the LCS and CBLOL would now compete as North and South conferences. 

Each conference would maintain six of its existing partnered teams, integrate one team from the LLA based on geographical alignment, and reserve one 'guest team' spot for promotion and relegation through the Tier 2 system, for a total of eight teams per conference. The Americas league would operate with a three-split season shown in the above graphic."

Here’s how the Americas splits would work: 

  • Split 1 - Teams would first compete within their respective conferences, with top performers qualifying for cross-conference play where a single team will qualify for the new global tournament
  • Split 2 - For MSI, the top team from each conference would secure one slot, a total of two Americas teams
  • Split 3 - An Americas Regional Championship would determine three teams advancing to Worlds, with at least one team from each conference

Asia-Pacific 

"Since the formative years of the APAC LoL Esports ecosystem that saw Taipei Assassins win Worlds 2012, we’ve seen several regions form new leagues, including the Vietnam Championship Series (VCS). APAC is also home to the Pacific Championship Series (PCS), a league spanning Southeast Asia. Recently, the League of Legends Japan League (LJL) and the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO) joined the PCS ecosystem from the playoffs, vying for berths to international events. The resulting cross-regional rivalry was fierce, resulting in some of the region’s most widely-followed matches to date. 

Building on that foundation, we’re thrilled to launch a brand new league in 2025. It will bring together top teams from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao, Japan, Oceania, and the rest of Southeast Asia, aimed at showcasing regular inter-regional competitions with the best talent, diverse matchups, and fresh rivalries. With eight total teams planned for the league, we’re kicking off work for a new hybrid partnership plus promotion/relegation league model, and will provide details at a later date. 

Meanwhile, the first lineup of guest teams competing in the league next year will be determined by the results of the 2024 PCS and VCS Summer Split Playoffs. This gives each team participating in the 2024 Summer Split of VCS, PCS, LJL, and LCO a chance to secure their spot in the new league. For future seasons, when the promotion/relegation league model is in effect, guest teams will have the opportunity to get promoted from their respective domestic leagues. 

Competitive merit has always been an integral part of success for teams within APAC, and we look forward to using it as both the recruitment foundation of the inaugural year as well as a way to ensure dynamic competition, diverse representation, and an opportunity to give wider access to the new League across the APAC ecosystem."

International Event Slots 

With a potential move to five regions, the Riot esports team is looking at giving each region one slot at the new event, two for MSI, and three each at Worlds. The total number of teams at Worlds would be 17, since the MSI champions and second-best performing region would get an additional slot.

Said Riot: "We’re also pushing the boundaries of LoL Esports by developing innovative strategies that integrate entertainment, partners, and League of Legends, giving fans new ways to engage with our sport. Examples include co-streaming, Worlds Fan Fest, Hall of Legends, and more."


Published
Olivia Richman

OLIVIA RICHMAN

Olivia is a long-time esports journalist and editor who covers just about every game but has a deep love for the FGC. Her goal is to find community-driven stories that bring a new perspective to the esports scene. In the past, she has worked for Team Liquid, Rogue, Inven Global, Dot Esports, Upcomer, and more. Outside of esports, Olivia enjoys Kirby, Pokemon TCG, Fallout, and writing science fiction. She can be found trying out new foods, traveling, or hanging out with her two orange cats.  Fun fact: Olivia can do some video game and cartoon impressions!