Updated on June 12, 12:08 a.m. (GMT+8): Clarified on Spring and Summer splits terminology based on Global Head of Communications Esports David Higdon’s tweet.

LoL Esports 2025 completely changes up the League of Legends esports landscape.

Over the past few years, we’ve been introduced to new international tournament formats, such as the double elimination playoffs bracket at the Mid-Season Invitational and replacing the Group Stage with Swiss Stage at Worlds.

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Riot Games plans to implement even more impactful changes outside of just tournaments in 2025.

Not only will we be getting a new third international event, there’s also changes to draft mode, split schedules, the introduction of multi-region leagues and slots.

Gen.G top laner Kiin sitting down posing in MSI 2024 featured photoshoot, a ONE Esports image for article "Exclusive: Gen.G Kiin on what he looks for in an ideal teammate, and what he brings to the table"
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Summary of LoL Esports 2025 changes

  • New, third international event that takes place in March 2025
  • “Fearless Draft” game mode in Tier-1 play
  • Unified split schedule for all leagues
  • Multi-region leagues in Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Americas
  • “Guest Team” slots in promotion and relegation
  • New international event league slots

There’s a new third international League of Legends Esports event in 2025

T1 bow on stage during MSI 2024 Bracket Stage at the Chengdu Financial City Performing Arts Center in Chengdu, China on May 15, 2024. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
Credit: Riot Games

Taking in feedback from LoL esports fans, Riot sees that there’s been a demand for a third international tournament in the calendar year.

It will take place in March 2025, with the event’s name and branding still in the works. Teams compete in their respective regional leagues, and a single team from each region qualifies for this international tournament.

March 2025 international League of Legends tournament format

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Qualified teams compete in a round-robin format so that every region gets to play each other in a series.

The top four teams from the round-robin advance to the bracket stage, which concludes over six days.

The results of this first tournament will seed teams at the Mid-Season Invitational. For now, there’s no automatic qualification.

New draft format “Fearless Draft” will be introduced at new international LoL Esports tournament in March 2025

MSI 2024 grand final Gen.G vs. BLG game three draft
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

A version of “Fearless Draft” will be implemented in the regional and international rounds of the new tournament.

Fearless Draft is where champions picked in prior games cannot be picked subsequently in the series (effectively banned). This format helps shake up drafts, matchups, and increases variety of champions used in pro play.

This is a first for LoL Esports, which has not seen a new draft format at the highest level of competition for a long time.

LoL Esports 2025 new split structure

LoL Esports 2025 timeline and calendar of events
Credit: Riot Games

Because of the new introduction of the new international tournament in March, this affects the rest of the calendar year.

Instead of May, the Mid-Season Invitational moves to the beginning of July.

The second major change is the introduction of a Regional Championship where the third and final split in each region crowns one season-long winner in each region.

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Credit: ONE Esports, Riot Games
Full list of League of Legends MSI winners throughout the years

Riot hopes that this change makes the splits “more cohesive and interconnected” as they raise the stakes of regular season matches played throughout the year.

New multi-regional leagues and guest team slots makes LoL Esports 2025 season more competitive

LoL Esports fans clearly enjoy region versus region matches, evident during MSI and Worlds each year where their geographic pride shines.

Introducing the new Americas league

North America’s LCS achieved its first year-over-year growth in viewership in four years in 2024. At the same time, Brazil’s CBLOL and Latin America’s LLA continues to be popular, as seen in its fandom, engagement, and viewership numbers.

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“So while we’re pleased to see progress across these three regions, we believe we have an
opportunity to combine forces in a new pan-Americas league that will be good for fans, teams,
and pros,” Riot Games wrote.

“In this new proposed model, the LCS and CBLOL would now compete as North and South conferences.”

Split 1Teams compete within their respective conferences.

Top performers qualify for cross-conference play where a single team qualifies for the new global tournament in March 2025.
Split 2Top team from each conference secures one slot at MSI 2025, a total of two Americas teams.
Split 3An Americas Regional Championship determines the three teams that qualify for Worlds, with at least one team from each conference.
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Ranking all Faerie Court skins in League of Legends: Which fairy do you fancy?

The six partnered franchised teams maintain their slots in each conference, while one team from LLA will be integrated based on geographical alignment.

There will be one “Guest Team” spot reserved for promotion and relegation through the Tier-2 system. This means that there’s eight teams in total per conference operating over the three-split season.

Riot Games will release more details in the third quarter of 2024.

An even more consolidated APAC league

GAM Esports during MSI Play-Ins features day in Chengdu, China on April 29, 2024. (Photo by Lee Aiksoon/Riot Games)
Credit: Riot Games

Top teams from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao, Japan, Oceania, and the rest of Southeast Asia will compete in a brand new LoL Esports 2025 APAC league.

Eight total teams are planned for the league, with new hybrid partnership and a promotion/relegation model.

The 2024 PCS and VCS Summer Playoffs determines the first lineup of teams eligible for the APAC 2025 league.

Impact of changes on international event slots

LoL Esports 2025 international event slots
Credit: Riot Games

As a result of these split changes, each region has one slot at the new March 2025 tournament.

At MSI 2025, two slots are guaranteed per region, making up a total of 10 teams.

Worlds 2025 format

At Worlds 2025, each region will have three slots totaling 15 teams.

In addition to the MSI 2025 champion, the second best performing region continues to earn an additional slot at Worlds for their league. In total, there will be 17 teams competing for the world championship.

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Credit: ONE Esports, Riot Games
Full list of League of Legends Worlds winners throughout the years

A single best-of-five match makes up the Worlds 2025 Play-Ins Stage. The winner joins the 15 qualified teams directly in the Swiss stage.

Overall, these changes aim to support Riot’s financial sustainability goals, which includes the Global Revenue Pool (GRP). They acknowledge that the trade off is that there will be less number of Tier-1 teams in the LoL Esports ecosystem.

“By reducing the number of teams, we’ll be able to focus support from the GRP by ensuring revenues are distributed among fewer teams, thereby increasing revenue per team,” Riot wrote. “This should also help concentrate player talent, making it easier for fans to follow a streamlined ecosystem, and ultimately create more high-quality matches worth your time.”

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