IEM expands LoL circuit, adding one team from each region per tournament and removing fan votes

by Daniel Rosen Aug 5 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of Andrea Sznajder / IEM Katowice 2016 LoL / IEM/ESL

Intel Extreme Masters has overhauled the entire League of Legends cirtcuit for this year's events, beginning with adding two more teams to each tournament.

Previous IEM tournaments featured six teams each, with a mix of teams that were voted in by fans and invited teams. Now, each of the eight teams will be selected based on their performances in their regions and at Worlds. Meanwhile, international wildcard teams will have a separate qualifier to determine which teams will represent the IWC at IEM events.

The eight teams will also feature one team from each major region, as opposed to two NA and EU teams, and one team from each China and Korea. As a result of the expanded format, no teams will be receiving byes into the semifinals and all teams will have to play in double-elimination group stages before two teams from each group advance to the playoffs.

"In order to provide more opportunities for both players and fans to experience their favorite matches, IEM Season 11 will include more League of Legends teams than previous years," IEM stated in the press release. "With the international growth of League of Legends, we want to ensure that the IEM tournaments will have the strongest lineups possible."

IEM Oakland will be the first event to showcase the new format, though the invited teams have yet to be announced. IEM Oakland runs from Nov. 19-20 in Oakland, California.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.