As a part of their statement regarding the new competitive 2017-2018 esports calendar Tuesday, Riot Games announced League of Legends would no longer be participating in the Intel Extreme Masters tournament series.
This breaks a long standing partnership with IEM, lasting back to 2011 when the ESL first partnered with Riot to place League of Legends in their IEM tournament series.
According to Riot’s statement, the most prominent reason that it was no longer in the best interest of League of Legends to be a part of Intel Extreme Masters was due to schedule changes that Riot is preparing to implement. This includes the recent addition of the Rift Rivals tournament series which will be held in July.
Also meaningful was the fact that LCS splits would no longer take a break for IEM Katowice — the flagship tournament for IEM — as well as Riot preferring teams take their entire off-season in the winter rather than participating in IEM events during that time.
IEM has released their own statement on Reddit in response to Riot’s that thanks fans for their support. The statement also mentions the now incomparable schedules while leaving open the possibility of future inclusion of League of Legends in their tournaments. The statement also addresses the future of their smaller ESL run leagues which will continue to function as they have before.