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- Riot will give players in some of its European Regional Leagues (ERLs) similar anti-poaching protection as the LEC.
- The new system will prevent tier two teams from investing in a player only to have them poached after one season.
- Player contracts will be limited to two years, among other “player protection” requirements vetted by Riot Games.
Riot Games announced changes to its European ecosystem that include anti-poaching protections similar to those offered in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC). “Clear standards and penalties” will be set across four European Regional Leagues (ERLs)—the Premier Tour (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), the UKLC (United Kingdom, Ireland), the LFL (France), and the Superliga Orange (Spain).
The LEC is the top tier league in Riot Games’ competitive structure for Europe, whilst the ERLs consists of tier two competitions akin to a minor league. Riot’s new protections will allow Tier Two teams in the ERL to recruit and develop talent without the fear that LEC teams or other organizations would poach them after their first season.
Beginning with the free agency period in November, players in the UK, Spanish, French, and DACH (German-speaking) ERLs will be required to register in the Global Contract Database. Registration is subject to “behavior checks,” Riot explained in a blog post.
The Global Contract Database for ERLs will feature the same anti-poaching and tampering offered to the LEC.
All players are required to be under contract with the organizations registered with their respective ERL. Player contracts recognized by the Global Contract Database will be limited to a maximum of two years so that they are free to develop their own career paths. Riot says it will introduce “various additional requirements” for said contracts that are “primarily aimed at player protection.”
“These key contract terms will also be vetted by the Riot teams in the respective regions to add another layer of protection,” the company said.
Players accepted into the Global Contract Database will be eligible for a new ERL Player Benefits Program that includes a fully unlocked account on the live server with purchasable in-game content to use during professional competition.
Additional details regarding these requirements and protections will be announced in the coming months, according to Riot.
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