Get your browsers, flags, and saltiest memes ready for the newest chapter of European regional competition - Riot is teaming up with ESL to bring out the fiercest EU rivalries in the European Masters!
Heading to the The Haymarket Theatre in Leicester UK, teams from all over Europe will be competing to establish themselves and their home-ERL as the dominant force in the region, a share of the 150,000 EUR prize pool and, most importantly, EU-wide bragging rights valid at least until the next European Masters tournament.
The first edition of the European Masters (EM) features teams from every European Regional League announced earlier this year, Open Qualifier winners from EUW and EUNE and a few teams you might recognise from Challenger Series. In addition, we are also including the 6 ERL winners from summer 2017. That brings us to a total of 26 teams heading into the tournament.
The 26 teams participating in the spring EM are split as follows:
- 12 teams in EM Play-in. Top 2 teams advance to the Group Stage
- 16 teams in Group stage - 12 teams advance to the Knockout stage
EM Open Qualifiers
The winners of the EUW and EUNE Open Qualifiers will join 10 ERL teams in the Play-in. For more information on OQ, click here.
Play-in teams are divided into 3 pools and then drawn into 4 groups of 3 teams each, with each group containing only one team from each of the pools.
- KlikTech from 2018 Spring of Esports Balkan League (Balkans)
- Winner of 2018 Spring split of Hitpoint Masters (Czechia & Slovakia)
- K1ck Esports Club from 2018 Split 1 of Moche LPLOL (Portugal)
- Winner of 2018 Spring split from PG Nationals Predator (Italy)
- Movistar Riders from 2018 Superliga Orange (Spain)
- Runner-up of 2018 Spring split from Open Tour (France)
- Runner-up of 2018 Spring split from ESL Premiership (UK & Ireland)
- Runner-up of 2018 Spring split from ESL Meisterschaft (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
- Team Ascent from Puchar Polski Cybersport Season 3 (Poland)
- Runner-up of 2018 Spring split from Nordic Championship (Nordics)
- Winner of 2018 Spring European Masters Open Qualifier (EUW)
- Winner of 2018 Spring European Masters Open Qualifier (EUNE)
Teams will play a single round robin Bo1 within each group to determine the top two teams. These teams will then advance to an 8-team single elimination bracket to see how they stack up against other groups and to find the two best teams in the Play-in, which will then advance to the second stage of the European Masters. The first round of the bracket will be Bo1, while the second round will be Bo3.
EM Groups and Knockout Stage
For the Group Phase, we’ll be dividing the teams into 4 pools and drawing them into 4 groups of 4 teams each, with each group containing only one team from each of the pools. Additionally, teams from the same ERL in pools 1 and 2 will be guaranteed to land in different groups.
- MAD Lions E.C. from 2018 Superliga Orange (Spain)
- Leader in points from 2018 Spring split of Open Tour (France)
- Winner of 2018 Spring split from ESL Premiership (UK & Ireland)
- Winner of 2018 Spring split from ESL Meisterschaft (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
- Penguins from 2017 Clasificatorio Español Challenger Series (Spain)
- Millenium from 2017 Challenge France Projet (France)
- exceL Esports from 2017 Autumn split of ESL Premiership (UK & Ireland)
- SPG Esports from 2017 Winter split of ESL Meisterschaft (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
- Illuminar Gaming from Season 15 of ESL Mistrzostwa Polski (Poland)
- Winner of 2018 Spring split from Nordic Championship (Nordics)
- Winner of 2018 Spring European Masters Play-in
- Winner of 2018 Spring European Masters Play-in
- Wind and Rain from 2017 CS
- Ninjas in Pyjamas from 2017 CS
- Mysterious Monkeys from 2017 CS
- Origen from 2017 CS
Similar to the Play-in stage, teams will play a single round robin Bo1 in their groups, to determine the top 3 teams that will move to the Knockout Stage. The top team of each group will receive a bye to the quarterfinals, while the second and third place teams will play each other to determine who advances. All rounds of the Knockout Stage are Bo3, and the finals are Bo5.
We’ll be back soon with the full schedule including match-ups, timings and where to watch. The EM Play-in will begin Monday, April 9 and continue as follows:
- Play-in - April 9 - 12
- Group stage - April 14 - 17
- Playoffs - April 19 - 22
- Semi-finals - Saturday April 28
- Finals - Sunday April 29
Semis and Finals will be played in front of a live audience, we’ll be back soon with information on where you can buy tickets.
We can’t wait to kick off the first ever European Masters tournament and see just how much excitement, anticipation and salt there will be as countries collide. Stock up on your trash talk, banter and prepare your freshest of memes - there’s a long road ahead and only one country can come out on top. Who will become the masters of Europe?