With the 2023 season officially over, Riot Games delivered the changes that will be applied to the LEC going into 2024.
LEC 2024 competitive season
After making big changes in 2023, Riot Games is looking to make minor adjustments to improve the competition, taking feedback from fans, teams, and players into consideration.
Group Stage and Playoffs
The biggest change coming in 2024 is the merge of the Group Stage and playoffs into a single bracket. While the brackets will have the same number of Bo3 and Bo5 series, as well as the implementation of the Lower Bracket, this will give more clarity to fans, making the competition easier to follow. This also means that teams that have played against each other in the Upper Round 1, will not match against each other again in the Lower Round 2.
Championship Points and tiebreakers
Championship points were a big topic this year, given the increasing importance of the Summer Split over the two previous splits. With that in mind, Riot has tweaked the amount of CPs by balancing the split better.
In 2024, Riot will give the same amount of points to 5th-6th and 7th-8th for each split, while also raising the stakes and points on offer for each split. The most notable changes come in the Spring Split, with the first place earning an extra 25 points (and 20 additional points for 2nd place).
Season Finals Qualification
Riot have revealed that the Summer Champion will automatically qualify for Worlds as the lowest seed, with the Summer 2nd-3rd placed teams also receiving direct qualification to the LEC Season Finals regardless of their CP, or past results. This means that the LEC will value recent performances more, regardless of points score finishes.
Speaking of points, there will be additional tiebreaker rules when it comes to CPs. If 2 teams end the year with the same amount of points heading into the LEC Season Finals, the team with the higher number of Championship Points earned in Summer will qualify. If they had the same amount of Championship Points in Summer, their Summer Split Regular Season head-to-head record will decide who qualifies.
Riot also mentioned that they are extending the breaks by one week between Winter and Spring splits, as well as Spring and MSI. This will mean more rest and better preparation for teams. There will also be a one-week break reduction between Summer Split and LEC Season Finals, something fans have complained about this year (the break was too long).
The starting time for matches will also change, with the first game starting at 5:00 PM CET each show day. Alongside that, Riot revealed the starting date for the LEC Winter Split, which is going to resume its action on Saturday, January 13.
Pre-Season Champions’ Queue
With the new season kicking off on January 9, Riot will be opening up a Pre-Season Champions Queue on a special tournament server that mirrors the Public Beta Environment (PBE) on December 11 to give players the chance to practice the new patch in a controlled solo queue environment. It will be open to LEC and 1st-division ERL players in the Global Contract Database (GCD) or ERL Player Database (EPD).
LEC Player Age Limit changes
To round off the list of changes, Riot confirmed the minimum age requirement increase from 17 to 18 for the LEC, allowing teams and Riot to explore additional revenue opportunities which we hope will help with sustainability, particularly in the current economic environment.
That being said, the minimum age requirement for the ERL will still be 16, as the goal is to provide a path to pro for rising European talent, so no changes will be made in the ERL ecosystem.
With that in mind, we should have a more balanced LEC season going into 2024. Did the changes satisfy you? Let us know.