Riot, Coke Zero Partner for LoL Amateur Championship

Tonight Korea’s SK Telecom T1 (aka SKT) will face China‚Äôs Royal Club in the League of Legends World Championship final at the Los Angeles Staples Center. Next year, the pros won’t be the only ones under the bright lights.

Riot Games and Coke Zero have announced a partnership that will create the League of Legends Challenger Series. Think of it as the LoL minor leagues. Currently, any Summoners can work their way up the ladder to the Challenger tier and compete in tournaments for cash prizes. The LoL Challenger Series is designed to help those dedicated amateur players take the next step and make the leap to the pros.

The Challenger Series, set to kick off in 2014 with LoL Season 4, will feature weekly match-ups (all live streamed via LoL’s eSports channel) that run in tandem with the League Championship Series. At the end of the season, the top Challenger teams will compete in a tournament, with the winner getting promoted to play in the LCS.

Not only will that team earn “pro” status and the chance to compete for the World Championship’s multi-million prize pool, as an official LoL LCS team, players will earn a salary paid by Riot. Not too shabby.

And don’t forget to tune in for the LoL World Championship final tonight at 11 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Pacific to see what it takes to become a League of Legends pro. You can even get your amateur team together and find a LoL viewing party. Featuring the two best teams in the world, this should be a great final.

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