League of Legends Champions Queue (CQ) will launch in EMEA just as the LEC 2023 Winter Split kicks off, but Riot’s terms and conditions mean the most competitive mode in the MOBA will be reserved primarily for pro and semi-pro players, largely outside out of the reach of most fans.
The Champions Queue experiment began last year in North America and is effectively a private lobby system reserved for professional players. Players from major tournaments are automatically entered, as well as Riot-accredited grassroots competitors.
To get into the Champions Queue, you need an official invite from Riot, which will add you to an exclusive Discord server. The only people currently eligible for the EMEA iteration are starting LEC players, LEC registered substitutes (Grandmaster and above), players from reputable regional leagues (for example the LFL) and players who have competed in the LEC for one season and have held the rank of Grandmaster or higher.
An EMEA CQ Players Council will be formed in the weeks after launch, and you’ll need to appeal to these guys if you’re looking to play with the best of the best. Riot writes that it will “watch the success of the program closely to see how we can potentially improve and expand the service in the future,” so while you may have a chance to break into CQ, the chances are very, very slim. . .
Having a high-level server entirely dedicated to those who represent the cream of the crop makes a lot of sense, but I find Riot’s restrictions here a bit confusing. He says he wants to provide a stage for “developing players”, but his restrictions block high-level Grandmasters who may be good enough to compete at a professional level and have not been chosen by an organization, as well as those who they may simply be looking for tougher competition, whether they want to play professionally or not.
I’m never going to do Champions Queue, don’t get me wrong, but I hope Riot opens it up to the best that EMEA has to offer and doesn’t close the system off to just the pros. One of the most exciting parts of esports in general is seeing newbies come in and break expectations, and the current iteration of CQ EMEA makes this difficult.
While we cross our fingers and hope that Riot deems us worthy of competing at the highest level of multiplayer gaming, it’s worth checking out the League of Legends 13.1 patch notes to stay ahead.