Wednesday is the start of the LFL, also known as La Ligue Française de League of Legends. OTP, the broadcast partner for the LFL, released a new trailer on Twitter commemorating what should be a breakout year for one of the 10 members of the European Regional League.
#LFL Spring Split 2022
(⚠️ flashs) pic.twitter.com/C1Ez7smzBD
— OTP LoL (@OTP_LoL) January 12, 2022
The LFL is one of the ERLs recognized by Riot Games. It’s a professional League of Legends league representing France but has become one of the highest levels of competition outside of the League European Championship in Europe. Teams competing in the league can qualify to European Masters, where they will fight against the best teams from other regions – an event that LFL’s Karmine Corp won both times in 2021.
This year, Karmine Corp is even better with the addition of one of the best-known AD carries in League of Legends: former Fnatic and G2 Esports bot laner Martin “Rekkles” Larsson.
But that’s not the only reason to tune in to what could be a breakthrough year for the LFL. With regional rivalries brewing, plenty of top-tier talent and a broadcast that’s picking up international attention from partner streamers, this might be one of the most electric leagues in the world this year, even without the top international talent of the Tier 1 leagues.
Here’s everything you need to know about the LFL if you’re interested in something new for 2022.
Similarly to the LEC, the LFL is divided in two splits, the spring split and the summer split, and both have a regular season and playoffs. The regular season being a best-of-one double round-robin.
In 2022, European Regional Leagues will be split into two categories: accredited and non-accredited ERLs. One difference between both is that teams competing in accredited ERLs are represented in Riot’s Global Contract Database. However, there are also differences in the format. Accredited ERLs have 10 teams competing and must field a six-team double-elimination format for playoffs. Non-accredited ERLs have eight teams competing and must field a four-team knockout stage.
Since the LFL is an accredited ERL, it has the 10 following teams:
⦁ Misfits Premier
⦁ Team BDS Academy
⦁ Team Oplon
⦁ Karmine Corp
⦁ LDLC OL
⦁ Mirage Elyandra
If seeding remains the same as in 2021, three of them will qualify to the European Masters.
How good is the LFL?
In 2021, several talents from different ERLs gathered into the LFL. For example, mid laners Dimitri “Diplex” Ponomarev and Daniel “Sertuss” Gamani moved out of Germany in order to play in France for Vitality.Bee and Misfits Premier, respectively. This year, Sertuss signed with SK Gaming in the LEC after winning the LFL during Summer 2021.
Following this influx of talent, Karmine Corp managed to win both EU Masters titles of that year, proving the LFL’s strength over other European Regional Leagues. Other than Sertuss, it’s also not uncommon for LFL players to get into the LEC. Last summer split, it was former Fnatic top laner Adam “Adam” Maanane, who managed to qualify to the League of Legends World Championship with Fnatic after being bought out from Karmine Corp.
This offseason, the LFL continued to gather talent from other ERLs, but it is also now home to former LEC players such as Rekkles and fellow bot laner Juš “Crownshot” Marušič. Even talents from wildcard regions that can qualify to the world championship are now joining the LFL over other domestic options. Turkish top laner Onurcan “Ragner” Aslan is a good example as he signed with LDLC OL for 2022.
Some professional players have been vocal in the last year about LFL teams commonly beating LEC teams in practice. With how this offseason turned out, there is no reason to believe that this year will be any different.
What to expect
The LFL had a peak viewership of 183,709 for a single-game match between Karmine Corp and Solary during the regular season last year, according to Esports Charts. However, with the addition of an English broadcast and the coming of several international players, not to mention the attention drawn by showmatches between Karmine Corp and KOI Esports, we can expect higher numbers and hype.
While competition will be on the menu, so is record-breaking viewership for a regional league. Karmine Corp and Misfits Academy kick off the action at noon ET on Wednesday.