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- Riot Games has partnered with 4Entertainment to run two new national competitions in Belgium and the Netherlands.
- Both countries will run six-team leagues, open tournaments for amateur players, and national finals events once a year.
- Although teams from both leagues will qualify for the biannual European Masters cup, the Benelux will still be considered one region.
Riot Games will split its top League of Legends competition in the Benelux into two new leagues, through a partnership with 4Entertainment. While Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands will still be considered one region, the latter two countries will each host their own leagues throughout next year. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
The League of Legends Dutch and Belgian leagues will run a typical regular-season format: a Spring and Summer split, each with a €7.5K ($8.3K USD) prize pool. Each league will initially host six teams, with each to be broadcast in its native languages; Dutch for the Dutch league, and Flemish and French for the Belgian competition.
Though Luxembourg won’t be getting its own league just yet, Steven Leunens, co-owner & director of operations at 4Entertainment, confirmed to The Esports Observer that Luxembourger players and teams are free to apply for either competition. He added that the competitions already have some non-endemic partners confirmed, to be announced next year.
In 2019, the region centered on one competition, the Benelux Premier League (BPL), run in partnership with GamersFirst. 4Entertainment is a gaming event and broadcasting company founded in 2010, which currently runs a number of esports projects in the Benelux—including the €30K ($33.2K) prize-pool Gameforce Masters tournament, sponsored by Orange and Audi.
These two competitions will be part of Riot Games’ European Regional Leagues (ERL) system. Teams from these leagues can qualify for the biannual European Masters cup, with the ERLs used as a way to scout and develop talent for the top-level League of Legends European Championship (LEC). All LEC teams host academy rosters in one of the ERLS, and some national leagues even have anti-poaching rules in place.
Shortly after Riot Games announced its new leagues, questions arose on social media over whether ESL Benelux would be canceling its multi-game ESL Dutch Championship and ESL Proximus Championship, which features League of Legends. The company countered with a statement that both tournament brands would continue.
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