The Belgian League and the Dutch League are merging
As of 2022 Riot is bringing many changes to the ERL ecosystem across all of Europe focused on standardising the various ERLs. Alongside these changes, the Benelux will undergo another special change: the Belgian and Dutch League will be merging together again to form one single ERL for the Benelux region. For now this will be referred to as the Benelux ERL (updated name and branding to be shared at a later date).
Number of teams
As a non-accredited ERL, the new Benelux ERL is required to have precisely 8 teams. Since the Belgian and Dutch League each had 6 teams so far, it means we will have 4 less spots in our region’s ERL ecosystem compared to before.
How these slots will be filled is based on three pillars: Minimum Criteria, direct invites, and a promo-relegation battle royale.
Instead of the application-selection procedure that has been used in the past 2 seasons, the League will use a set of straight-forward minimum criteria that any Benelux ERL teams must meet. The goal of these criteria is to guarantee that organisations participating at the highest level can sustain themselves, capitalize on their position, and contribute value to the regional esports ecosystem. The overarching goal is to bring the Benelux region closer to countries that are more developed in esports, and work towards people being able to make full-time careers in esports. The minimum criteria can be summarized in three categories:
Legal criteria: the organisation must be a registered entity and contract its core staff and players.
Financial criteria: the organisation must guarantee a budget of €10,000 for player compensation, and an additional €5,000 for various operational costs.
Communication criteria: the organisation must share and execute an adequate communication plan for the 2022 season with respect to its League of Legends activities.
The top three teams from the Belgian League and the top three teams from the Dutch League are invited directly to the Benelux ERL. This is based on their performance throughout 2021’s Spring and Summer Splits, and it is the same teams you will see at the respective Country Finals.
From the Belgian League this includes Sector One, KVM Esports and KRC Genk Esports, and from the Dutch League this includes mCon LG UltraGear, PSV Esports and Echo Zulu.
The remaining six Belgian and Dutch League teams will be invited to a closed qualifier where the top two teams will earn a spot in next year’s ERL. Additional invites are under consideration for organisations that have had an active commitment to the world of Benelux League of Legends over the past year (such as within the Open Tour Benelux). This list of invites includes Team 7AM, Starlan Gaming Club, ION SQUAD, LowLandLions, Dynasty and Team THRLL.
Note that any teams participating in the battle royale must be able to show that they can meet the Minimum Criteria up front.
Details on 2022 and beyond
More details about the Benelux ERL in 2022, and how teams will be able to earn a spot in the ERL after coming year will follow at a later stage. If you have any questions, please make use of the Contact page or ask them on Discord.