The Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) tournament circuit will be removing League of Legends from their current season due to scheduling conflicts.
The news was announced by IEM organizer Michael Blicharz on Reddit, citing differences of timing in their tournaments with that of Riot Gaming that prevented both organizations from melding their timetable into one that accommodates all League players.
Riot, who were also the creators and the main owners of League, holds considerable authority over League tournaments.
MSI and the World Championship Series, two of the largest international tournaments of the game are both almost exclusively hosted by the company. And with Riot hinting on plans to host even more such tournaments in the future scheduling conflicts is expected to arise against IEM tournaments.
Furthermore, while traditionally there had been planned breaks in the LCS regular season for teams to participate in IEM, Blicharz indicated that would no longer be the case going forward in his Reddit post.
A separate news post by Riot also indicated that its new plot for competitive League tours precludes IEM events.
On the other hand, Blicharz also acknowledged that the current IEM prize offers for League events is insufficient to attract teams to opt for their tournaments instead.
In the last three IEM tournaments which featured League (IEM Katowice, IEM Gyeonggi, IEM Oakland) a notable amount of League teams declined invitations to feature — a fact that seems apparent for an impending complete divorce for Riot and League, despite Blicharz’s leaving the door open for re-including League in the future.