KeSPA, Riot and OGN finalize the Korean 2015 circuit reform
Two weeks after the three parties revealed their proposed plan for the next League of Legends season in South Korea, the finalized reform plan is now a fact. The vying for the precious "Champions" seeds is scheduled to start November 17th.
On October 27th, Riot Games, KeSPA and OGN published a joint press release, revealing their reform plan for the 2015 League of Legends season in Korea. Previously, the OGN Champions series came in a tournament format where 16 teams in four groups would compete in each of the three seasons - Winter, Spring and Summer - accumulating circuit points through the year to determine which team goes to the world stage.
Having more team slots compared to the leagues in the other regions, South Korea could also send two teams per team brand to compete for circuit points. That, combined with the tournament format, made the Korean competition vastly different than that in Europe, North America, China and SEA. To "fix" this, the responsible parties in Riot Games, KeSPA and TV broadcaster OGN proposed a reform plan to equalize the discrepant region with the other four.
The initial reform proposal spoke of biannual leagues with a Spring and Summer split. Eight teams would participate in each split with no more than one roster allowed per company. To allow for the Korean progamers to keep their jobs after the team cut is implemented, the team rosters would be expanded to a maximum of 10 players.
The final reform plan, revealed today, spills out some more details on how the league will run in 2015.
- The 2015 season will be in a bi-annual, full-league format. The first season, the 2015 LoL Champions Korea Spring Split, will launch in January and will run for approximately 4 months
- 8 teams will take part in the Spring Split. 6 teams (SKT, Samsung, KT, Najin, CJ and Jin Air) will be awarded spots due to their past performances and accumulated 2014 circuit points. The other 2 will come from a seed qualifier tournament.
- For the Summer Split, the number of teams will be increased to 10.
- Each team must have a minimum of 5 players to compete in the split.
- Each player must sign a mandatory 1 year contract with his team. A minimum of 20 million KRW or approximately $18,000 salary will be incorporated, not including profit generated from streaming or tournament prizes
- NLB gets renamed to League of Legends Challenger Korea and will represent the semi-pro tier of the scene. This will be the battlefield for "aspiring pros" and the road up to the Champions split
- The seed qualifier tournament for the last 2 spots in Champions Spring will start November 17 and last until November 22. Finals will be held in Busan Bexco Auditorium.