Salaried players, a regular season of live match broadcasts, and a championship to cap it all off: Riot Games' plans for next year's League of Legends series should sound familiar to major league sports fans. The company revealed plans today to boost its League of Legends e-sports campaign with the Championship Series starting in early 2013.
The game, which was reported last month to be the most-played PC game in North America and Europe, will soon gather eight salaried teams composed of players from those regions, as well as salaried teams from Asia. They will compete in multiple regular-season matches each week, leading to regional playoffs and a world championship, with matches broadcast live in high definition at no cost to viewers. "Millions of fans tune in every time we support a major League of Legends tournament, so we're broadening that support in an unprecedented way," said Brandon Beck, CEO of Riot Games.
Play from the Challenger Circuit outside the Championship Series will still be encouraged by Riot. Dustin Beck, vice president of e-sports at Riot Games, promised to work with Intel Extreme Masters, Major League Gaming, the IGN Pro League, and others throughout Season 3 "as they foster the next generation of League of Legends competitors."
The top three teams from the upcoming League of Legends Season Two regionals for Europe and North American teams, at Gamescom and PAX Prime respectively, will prequalify for the Championship Series. Stay tuned to GameSpot for coverage and commentary on the events as the second season progresses.