Riot’s League of Legends has been dropped from the Intel Extreme Masters 2017 schedule after organiser ESL deemed it too difficult to work around Riot’s own eSports events and team transfer periods.
The announcement was made via Reddit by ESL’s VP of pro-gaming, Michal Blicharz
The current season of Intel Extreme Masters will not feature League of Legends.
We have taken a decision not to schedule IEM events around Riot’s LCS calendar. In the current LoL landscape during the off season Western players are being traded or are on vacation while Korea and China are running tournaments with their teams locked in. Working around those limitations didn’t seem like the right way to move forward.
Our 2017 events won’t happen to be in a period where pro LCS teams are free to compete. In discussions with Riot it was also determined that LCS wouldn’t pause for Katowice. This means that for the first time since 2011 LoL won’t be there. I am sad I won’t see some of you there next year.
As I write this, I am not sure if we will or will not run LoL events in IEM in the future. Should scheduling events around LCS become easier, I would certainly like us to. ESL will continue to support LoL overall with national championship events around the world.
Finally, I have promised to put money towards charity if we had a less than perfect tournament in Katowice – I will be in Poland in July and I will donate the salary bonus I’ve received last year to a charity that helps children with cancer (http://naratunek.org/).
League of Legends has been a major part of the growth of Intel Extreme Masters and has delivered some amazing memories.
Thanks to anyone that’s watched all of our events, or just one. For anything we didn’t get right along the way, I apologize.
I’ll be answering questions in this thread as I’m sure there will be some. – Michal
Riot is well-known for having strict guidelines that teams and players have to follow much like traditional sports. That means that those teams and players tend to focus more on Riot’s own events so they can continue to compete in League of Legends at the highest level for the biggest prizes. It does also mean that Riot is forming a kind of monopoly on LoL events by leaving less time in the season for other organisations to hold tournaments like we see here with IEM.
The news also comes at a time when Riot is promoting another in-house event known as Rift Rivals which is set to take place in July and means even less time for teams and players to participate in events outside of Riot hosted ones.