For most League of Legends fans, the game is, well, a game. But for world-class competitive, professional players, the cutthroat, competitive online battle arena is a serious business. And it's one that's about to get even bigger and more lucrative.
Riot Games announced today their plans to form the League of Legends Championship Series, an all-new league of League of Legends. (Say that five times fast.) Like a "regular" sports season—basketball, baseball, what have you—the Championship Series will feature multiple matches, weekly, from professional, salaried teams. Yes, people will get paid to play League of Legends full-time. No, you are probably not good enough to join them.
The top three teams from this month's season two semifinals in the United States and Europe—taking place, respectively, during PAX in Seattle and Gamescom in Germany—will qualify automatically to be among the teams competing in season 3. Regional tournament structures will culminate in a world championship that promises to pay out even more than the season two tournament. As season two has boasted over $5 million in prizes, that's no small amount of cash.
For the vast majority who do not find themselves in the top tier of competitors worldwide, never fear. All championship series matches will be broadcast online, in HD, for free. And for players and teams who are not yet the absolute top in the world, but hope to get there, the Challenger Circuit will continue next season, in addition to the Championship Series.