The official League of Legends league for the Balkans returns on January 17! You'll be able to follow each match live on Mondays and Thursdays at 19:00 CET via our YouTube, Twitch and Trovo channels, as well as through linear via Sport Klub Esports TV!
During 2022, there will be a dedicated Romanian broadcast, which will be produced by our amazing regional partner Digital Crusade (Romania). Hopefully, we’ll be able to announce additional broadcasts soon!
What is EBL?
Esports Balkan League is the official League of Legends competition for the Balkan region. Top eight teams are battling for the champions title over two months of regular season and playoffs. Following the grand finale, the two best EBL teams begin their journey to conquer Europe.
EBL is a part of Riot's system of European Regional Leagues (ERL), each sending its best teams to the European Masters - Europe's largest LoL competition of its kind with a prize pool of €150,000. Players who step up during EU Masters often get the opportunity to play for some of the LEC teams or the largest ERL teams, such as Sacre, Milica, LIMIT, Twohoyrz, Spooky, Mersa etc.
EBL 2021 by the numbers
Last year was a crazy ride. Certainly the most notable moment is the success of the SuppUp players during the EU Masters, which launched their careers into the strongest European leagues. The most watched match of the year was between ŠAIM SE SuppUp and Crvena Zvezda, when Baka Prase pulled out his famous Yasuo on toplane (what else did you expect), and as many as 15,246 concurrent viewers were measured at one time, which makes this match the second most watched esport broadcast in the region, ever.
EBL live broadcasts accounted for 599,687 hours watched in 2021, with 405,117 unique viewers throughout the year (online), while 212,490 viewers watched EBL broadcasts via TV in spring, followed by 235,640 viewers during the summer
EBL 2022 changes
Next chapter of EBL brings us a lot of exciting changes. First up is that EBL has secured an ERL license for our region by the end of 2024.
For players and fans, the most exciting news will surely be the Winter Cup, which will pit the best LoL teams in the Balkans with the amateur community and give all League players in the region a chance to prove themselves before the next competition year. The first winter cup arrives in 2022, and it will be held every year.
Starting with the upcoming season, each EBL team will be entitled to a yearly 2.000 euros stipend, regardless of their competitive success, with the aim of assisting the teams in their core activities. These stipends will be dependent on meeting the minimum requirements set by the league.
The prize fund will be divided through three competitions - two official EBL splits and the winter cup, and together with the stipends, it amounts to 44.000 euros a year.
In addition to the prize fund and stipends, teams will have a 30.000 euro development fund at their disposal during 2022, which aims to reward teams going the extra mile and building up a massive fanbase.
With all the changes across the League of Legends esport ecosystem, EBL is probably the least affected with the format. We will still watch the eight best teams in the Bo1 format during the regular split, while the playoffs will now have an additional match, kind of a lower bracket but not quite, and will follow the "Page-playoffs” format. This new format is illustrated below:
Another important change is that each subsequent qualification tournament (for 2023 and onwards) will be played in September, i.e. immediately after the end of the summer split ends.
The two lowest ranked teams after both splits will compete in the relegation tournament and fight to keep their place in the league. Annual points will depend on performance during both splits, with the Summer split being valued a bit more, taking into account the current form of the team:
EBL 2022 schedule
- EBL Spring Split:
- Regular season: January 17 - March 3
- Play-off: March 7 - 13
- Grand Final: March 19
- EU Masters Spring: April, expected
- EBL Summer Split:
- Regular season: June 6 - July 21
- Play-offs: July 25 - August 4
- Grand Final: August 14
- EU Masters Summer: August - September, expected
- EBL Promotion:
- Period: 12 - 22 September
- EBL Zimski Kup (ProAm) turnir:
- Period: October 12 - November 20
Qualifier time. The system will remain mostly the same this year. We're still keeping the open qualifiers open to everyone (over 16 years old, Diamond 3 or higher at the end of the last competitive season or during the current one).
This year we will have two open qualifiers, so teams can come in fresh and bounce back from an unlucky game or two.
Closed qualifiers will feature a mix of invited teams and top teams from our open circuit.
If you’d like to apply to be invited into the Closed Qualifiers, please do so through this form:
After the group stage, we're going into the relegation tournament. Format for this stage will be announced later.
Open qualifiers are scheduled for December 4 & 5 at 14:00 CET (Saturday and Sunday), with at least the top 2 teams from each tournament moving on to the next phase. OQ format is single elimination Bo1, switching to Bo3 once we hit the quarterfinals stage. Third place teams will serve as a back-up, in case one of the invited teams decides to bounce.
You can sign up for the Open Qualifiers starting from today!
P.S. Teams/Players are free to play both qualifier tournaments as long as you didn't qualify into the Closed Qualifier already. Once you qualify, that's it.
- All players have to be 16 years of age or older before January 17, 2022
- Open qualifiers are played on the EU West server
- Teams will be required to have a minimum of two Locally-Trained Representatives (LTR) and three IMP Residents on their starting lineup at all times. Also a minimum of three LTR and three IMP Residents on their Roster. A Player can be an IMP Resident and an LTR simultaneously
- Locally-Trained Representatives (LTR) are defined in detail the ERL Ruleset
- The player has legally resided and been primarily present in the competitive area of the ERL for no less than 36 out of the last 60 months immediately prior to their participation in the first game of the applicable competition
- The player has played the majority of applicable matches in an ERL in no less than two of the last three ERL splits immediately prior to their participation in the first game of the applicable competition. Additionally, a split will count towards the LTR requirement for a player who has been on an ERL or LEC Roster for the majority of the split, even if the player has not been actively participating in the respective ERL, as long as they have not been participating in any other ERL
- The player has legally resided and been primarily present in the competitive area of the ERL for at least 36 months after their 13th birthday, defined as having lived 13 full years
- Competitive region for EBL: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Albania
- Each team has to keep a minimum of 3 players from their final series that qualified them to proceed into the next round. Practically, if players A, B, C, D, E win the Open Qualifier, they have to feature at least players A, B and C in each of the following rounds
- Each player that manages to qualify into EBL will have to prove his or her residency and sign a Player Service Agreement, Team Member Registration form and Team Member Release and eligibility form. All documents will be supplied to team representatives
- Each player in EBL will be required to have a professional photograph in his teams jersey
- Each team that is qualified into EBL will have to sign a Team Participation Agreement with EBL's organizers (Fortuna Esports).
- This contract is key for establishing prize-pool payouts and teams legal rights and obligations, which is why we underline the importance of having a legal entity as the team owner
- Organizations and owners that already own a spot in EBL are forbidden from entering any stage of the qualifiers
- Teams and players that successfully qualify to EBL will not be able to sell or otherwise trade their EBL spots. If the team is unable to fulfil any of the criteria needed for joining EBL, their spot will be forfeited back to the organizers
That's it for now guys, feel free to ask anything you wish through our social media:
To stay in touch with the league, results, schedule or the teams keep your eye our on our league's website: http://lol.balkanesports.com/