Changes to 2017 uLoL season spark controversy amongst university players

by theScore Staff Feb 18 2017
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games

Collegiate League of Legends players are in an uproar over the unannounced removal of championship prizes from the 2017 uLoL season.

Riot originally announced the 2017 season of uLoL in September, adding a new regional bracket stage for teams to compete in with their own prize pool. The regional scholarship prizes are detailed in both the original announcement and in the official rulebook, but no mention is made in either of the removal of championship prizes.

The current regional prize distribution is an $8,000 scholarship for each players on the four teams that win the regional bracket, $4,000 for second, $2,000 for third and fourth, and $1,000 for the remainder. Last year, players from the University of British Columbia won $30,000 each for winning the national championship, while $15,000 was awarded to each player from Robert Morris University, who were the runners-up.

As originally reported by Yahoo Esports' Taylor Cocke, players were surprised to discover that there would be no championship prizes for teams that advance to the postseason playoff stage. Upon learning the news, players took to Twitter to express their displeasure at the lack of announcement.

Riot has yet to announce details for the 2017 uLoL post-season, though J.T. "Tiza" Vandenbree, League Operations lead on Riot's Collegiate Team, said that details for the postseason would be coming soon.

The news comes as Riot is partnering with the Big Ten Network to develop a new season-long collegiate LoL championship, with 12 of the 14 schools in the conference participating this season. The BTN championship will award six players $5,000 scholarships, with one coach and manager each receiving a $2,500 scholarship.

Riot declined to comment for this story.

Correction: theScore esports previously reported details for the Big Ten Network prize pool had yet to be announced. We regret this error.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.