Barclays will headline the 2020 Summer Split of the UK League of Legends Championship (UKLC), as the bank enters into a partnership with DreamHack to become the lead sponsor of the professional esports tournament.
The next season of the UKLC is set to start on June 14, 2020, and will feature eight teams from the UK and Ireland. The UKLC will run over an eight week period in June, July, and August. The eight teams will compete in a double best-of-1 round-robin format, with the top four teams advancing to the playoffs.
The top two teams will then advance to the Northern League of Legends Championship (NLC) - a competition set up by a merger of the UKLC and the Nordic version of the league.
“We are so excited to be partnering with Dreamhack to present the UKLC, the pinnacle of UK League of Legends, showcasing and nurturing the top UK esports talent,” said Ben Davey, CEO, Barclays Ventures.
“With our heritage of supporting sport and seeing the power it has to bring people together, the UKLC partnership was an obvious first step for Barclays into professional esports. We’re really looking forward to learning from the community how we can support teams, players, and fans to thrive and grow.”
There will be £20,000 awarded to the teams and players for participation in the UKLC. Additionally, the top two teams of the UKLC will be able to compete to advance to the NLC, in a structure mirroring professional football.
Steven Norris, Head of Brand Partnerships, DreamHack, added: “It’s clear that Barclays truly understands the power and potential of esports. As the presenting partner and headline sponsor for the UKLC, they’re blazing the trail for more British brands to become part of the esports ecosystem.”
The UKLC will feature six invited teams, Enclave, Demise, NVision, Barrage Academy, MnM Academy, and the Munster Rugby Gaming Academy.
DreamHack will also select teams from existing community-based League of Legends competitions alongside a fully open, ‘anyone can participate’ qualifier to find the final two teams.