At the start of April we reported on the fact that the League of Legends European Masters starts this month, and we recently spoke with Wil Atwood - Product Lead on EU Masters at ESL - about the competition, and what the core goals are with the EU Masters.
"The core goals with the EU Masters is to provide the pinnacle of competitive play to the European Regional League system and give everyone involved a chance to prove themselves in front of European fans," Atwood explained. "Also to finally answer the question of which region is the best in Europe and the previous two years have not disappointed with some great League of Legends on show."
The schedule all takes place in April, so it's quite a tight format. "It makes for such an intense tournament! Every game matters and teams have such a short window to get it all right we think it allows everyone to show their potential. Longer times to play games don't necessarily provide 'better' answers," Atwood continued.
"With so many rivalries going on between the regions and questions of who is the most dominant being thrown out daily, it's great to have time to throw down the gauntlet and have teams put their hearts on the line."
The EU Masters isn't quite like the LEC (League of Legends European Championship), as that is the top level of Europe, and Masters sits just below this. The competition gives upcoming players a chance to shine, and Atwood said the following on the pursuit of grassroots talent:
"I think the EU Masters is a great platform for players to showcase their talents and take that next step in their careers. We've seen Selfmade, Crownshot and Werlyb directly move from the Season 2 Champions Mad Lions E.C. to SK Gaming and more players than I can list moving on to LEC and LEC academy teams. "
"We've even seen a few players progress slightly further afield to LCS academy teams in North America and even Foxdrop made the jump to the LEC broadcast team. Excel Esports have also been a great success story for orgs who are looking to push themselves to the big leagues."
As for the long-term goals and the results from the EU Masters, Atwood adds that "I'd like to see teams from some of the smaller regions show up big and take the giants from regions like Spain and France down a peg, just like Kliktech from Spring 2018."
"From there we want players to be able to progress effectively up to the LEC through trades with the top EU teams. We want G2 and Fnatic to be watching the finals both to scout potential players and also to pick up new strategies and non-meta champions from across Europe."
Are you excited for the EU Masters?