Riot Games will move its European League Championship Series studio from Cologne to Berlin, sources close to two LCS teams have confirmed to the Daily Dot. The decision had been kept under wraps while Riot scouted for a suitable location. It has started to leak into the public domain, however, after teams were informed about the move so they could acquire team houses closer to the new studio.
Riot's EU LCS broadcast initially used ESL studios in Cologne, before moving to a multi-studio space owned by MMC Studios, a local television and film production company. Now it seems Riot have decided it needs a better studio for their European broadcast.
“It’s not been a particularly well-kept secret, as all the teams have been told in advance and therefore have to look for houses in Berlin," a representative from one of the affected teams, who wished to remain anonymous in case of reprisals, told us. "We haven’t been told why Riot have decided to move studios beyond that the 'infrastructure' is better there. We’ve already began our search for our house so you can take that as the move being pretty imminent.”
However they did voice some concerns about the move to Germany’s capital city:
“I’ll be honest” the source said. "We’re not too sure about whether or not this is a good idea. There’s a core audience in Cologne, it’s close to France and has two international airports close by. Public transportation is solid and Cologne has much cheaper house prices and rent than Berlin. It means an increase in outgoings for all organisations taking part in European LCS.”
Another source, a team manager, added: “Our search for a new house is already complete and we will be making the move shortly. I would imagine Riot will announce soon.”
Speculation over the move has been going on for some time. That, combined with a report in Polish esports publication Cybersport.pl confirming the move, will likely force Riot to make an announcement well before it would have liked.
Photo by Sascha Kohlmann/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)