League of Legends maker Riot Games announced that, beginning in early 2013, it will kick off the League of Legends Championship Series. The new professional gaming league will feature teams from North America, Europe and Asia, taking part in multiple regular season matches each week, all streamed in HD broadcasts available globally for free.
More importantly, players will actually be paid like the professional gamers that many of them are.
"Talking to players around the world, they repeatedly asked if we could kick League of Legends eSports into higher gear," said Brandon Beck, co-founder and CEO of Riot Games. "The new League of Legends Championship Series is our answer. Millions of fans tune in every time we support a major League of Legends tournament, so we're broadening that support in an unprecedented way."
The top eight teams from North America, Europe, and Asia will compete for regional and global championships with millions of dollars in salaries, prize pools and other compensation for Championship Series teams up for grabs. eSports fans will get to see teams battling in organized and regularly scheduled sporting events – with a regular season culminating in regional playoffs and a World Championship.
Alongside the action taking place in League of Legends Season 3, competitions will take place in a Challenger Circuit, which is made up of events hosted by Intel Extreme Masters, Major League Gaming, and the IGN Pro League.
You can read the entire announcement here.