KeSPA, Riot and OGN finalize Korean 2015 Circuit Reform
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.
Originally, the OGN Champions series was a 16 team tournament with 4 groups of 4 for the group stages and would be played over three seasons. Each team would accumulate point throughout the year and that would determine who they would send to the worlds stage.
Since they had more team slots, South Korea could also send two teams per team brand to compete for circuit points. In addition, the tournament format made the Korean competition different than that in Europe, North America, China and SEA. Tior Games, KeSPA and OGN met with a plan to try to "fix" this porblem and equalize each region.
Here's what they came up with:
- 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.