Riot Games partners with 4Entertainment to launch two new league
Riot has recently unveiled their new partnership with 4Entertainment to boost their esports scene. The Benelux region, comprising of players from the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, previously considered as one by Riot, will now be split into the Dutch League and Belgium League. This move aims to increase competitiveness within Europe, allowing for 2 paths for Benelux teams to enter the European Masters.
By splitting into 2 new Leagues, this will give greater opportunities to newer up and coming talent to experience high levels of competitive play. This is definitely a great move by Riot, especially with them capitalizing on this opportunity by linking the entrance to the new leagues through an “Open Tour”, comprising of various qualifiers and tournaments. It is also fitting that EU has focused on developing their region, especially with their rise allowing them to compete for the top spot, the new move could further lift EU’s standing.
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Both the Dutch and Belgium Leagues will have the same format. To quicken the pace, the regular seasons will comprise of Best of 1 matches, increasing the stakes of each game.
Considering the Dutch and Belgium region being a new, and relatively small region, the prizepool has been set to €10,000 per event.
What about the Benelux Premier League?
The Benelux Premier League will be replaced by the Dutch and Belgium League. Players from the Benelux region of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxumburg will be able to play in either League.
While this move may aim to increase competitiveness and provide opportunities to new teams, this may negatively impact existing teams. By splitting the region into two leagues, the audience is now split. In the short term, this will hurt exposure to teams, and thus sponsorship deals since their reach is reduced. That said, in the long term with the different broadcast languages, it would likely increase viewership overall.