To be blunt: The EU LCS just doesn't have the shine it used to.
Don't get it wrong, there are some fine teams there -- like G2 Esports, Misfits, etc. -- but the EU region, as a whole, has been suffering as of late.
To be honest, it's unclear why. Dota 2 has continued to assert it's place in the EU and with CS:GO becoming the next big thing (a game where the EU has always dominated), viewership numbers continue to stagnate for the EU LCS.
This has been less of a problem on the NA LCS side of things as massive, powerhouse brands like Team SoloMid, Cloud9, Team Liquid, and others continue to bring in solid viewership on a weekly basis.
But it does beg the question, why are the EU and NA LCS leagues separated into two distinct leagues anyway?
Now it's understandable that, with the fairly disparate League of Legends leagues across the world, it would take Riot Games a decent amount of time to organize competitive play worldwide into something approximating a single cohesive circuit. In essence, each of the leagues around the world provide seeding for the World's event that serves as the real championships each year for LoL.
So given that the leagues, while somewhat important on their own, are really just a feeder for World's, Riot should combine the EU and NA LCS into a single league with two 10 team divisions.
Teams would compete in their own division locally but would also travel to the other division's region periodically, approximating something close to home and away games in esports for the first time.
In the case of the current EU LCS, the two division idea was a fine one. There's just not enough teams to be able to approximate what a real season long league would feel like, and the skill difference between say, ROCCAT and G2 feels like miles, whereas the NA LCS feels a bit more competitive top to bottom.
And when combining the leagues, there's always a bit more on the line in inter-divisional play. Not only is it exciting to think about the marquee matchups like TSM vs G2, or Cloud9 vs Unicorns of Love, but even less dynamic matchups like Vitality vs Team Liquid take on another meaning when there's also the comparison of cross regional styles to take into account.
It's time for esports to have real home and away games like sports, and this is a great stepping stone to get there.
More esports influencing from Knocke:
- The Overwatch Custom Browser is Exactly What the Game Needs
- International Competitions Only Matter if the Best Teams are There
- Your Game is Not Better Than Someone Else's Game