A Major Debate: Arguing for a LoL Major System
If you watch E-Sports, you’re probably familiar with the Major system. Teams play in whatever tournaments they want and then all the teams with invitations and teams that make it through a qualifier get to play in a Major, a massive tournament with a lot of talent and a lot more money. This system makes for regular excitement and an accurate skill level of all teams involved as well as their issues and, at times, an accurate depiction of regional strength. At the other side of the E-Sports systems spectrum, you have Leagues. Leagues are what traditional sports use to schedule their games. There are a set amount of teams in the League and they all play other teams in that League one or more times, then there’s a championship and a winners decided, and then an off season.
Every year around October, there’s a big question mark around the validity of a League system in E-Sports, primarily because at around this time, League of Legends has it’s World Championship and every year, the World Championship finals hosts at least one team from the Korean League, LCK. The issue with this is that every year, western team fans like to believe that “The Gap is Closing” given how strong their teams look domestically, and every year they’re let down, and left with nothing except another year to wait and get disappointed once more. As a result, people begin to ask if western teams would improve if the League system was exchanged for a partial Major System.
The short answer is yes. This would allow teams to face off against the best of the best and become the best of the best, it would mold a global metagame that was consistently understood around all regions and would break the wall that divides some of the best talent in the world. This would lead to more victories of all kinds of teams, and create more intense excitement around the tournaments beyond it being “It’s one of the two international tournaments we see a year.”
However, it’s unlikely that this happens for League of Legends, as it would force the games creator, Riot Games, to surrender their total control over the development of the LoL E-Sports scene, something they haven’t been eager to do. It’s a question of how far Riot is willing to go to keep spectating League of Legends fresh and interesting, versus how much they care for keeping their complete control over the competitive development of their creation, but if this years Worlds Results (All three LCK teams making it to Semi’s, and one European team) are anything to go by a format change is both necessary and inevitable.