China will become the first major competitive League of Legends region to adopt a franchise approach with no relegation. The League Pro League announced its plans in a post on the league's verified Weibo account -- a popular Chinese social media platform.
According to the news, there will be no more relegation in the LPL, meaning the teams currently qualified for the league have a spot available moving forward.
Furthermore, the organization plans to expand the field to 14 teams and potentially beyond, with these teams promoting from the current lower tiers, which will combine to form one developmental league.
As part of these changes, the LPL will adopt a "home and away" structure, where teams will travel among locations, as seen in other sports and the planned Overwatch League in North America.
Moving to a franchise model has been rumored for the North American League Championship Series for quite some time and was referenced vaguely in a 2016 post on lolesports.com. At that time, Riot said that long-term stability was important but complicated to accomplish, and 2018 was set as a goal for adopting a new system for the NALCS.