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News > MOBA > League of Legends
World

Riot announce sweeping LCS format changes

Spring Split is no more! Riot announced a season-long LCS format, complete with new tournaments and combined season-wide results to determine seeding for the end of summer LCS Championships.
Riot announce sweeping LCS format changes

Riot have committed to a vast overhaul of the LCS format in an attempt to improve NA’s competitive level. Spring Split has effectively been removed in favour of a season-long format, with the combined regular season results of Spring and Summer determining playoff seeding for the new end-of-season tournament dubbed the LCS Championship.

The decision was made after last year’s changes to the Spring Split left a number of players, analysts and fans alike questioning the competitive worth of the Split because it no longer offered championship points to attend Worlds. Perhaps most the outspoken and notorious dissenter of the changes, recently retired Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, had his worst split ever after asserting the Spring Split didn’t matter.


The decision was made after last year’s changes to the Spring Split left a number of players, analysts and fans alike questioning the competitive worth of the Split because it no longer offered championship points to attend Worlds. Perhaps most the outspoken and notorious dissenter of the changes, recently retired Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, had his worst split ever after asserting the Spring Split didn’t matter.

It seems Riot agrees that the format needed a shake up. Here’s how the new LCS season is looking:

  • The Season Starts with a Brand New “LCS Lock In” Tournament (15 - 31st Jan)

The tournament is a three-week long affair, with a $150K prize on the line alongside “bragging rights, charity [and] side selection” for the Split ahead.

The tournament kicks off with a group stage, where last Summer’s top two - TSM and FlyQuest - draft their group opponents. Each group then plays a Round Robin, with the top four moving on to an eight-team, single-elimination bracket.

LCS format changes
(Picture: Riot Games)

  • The Season Has Been Expanded: Five Games a Day, Three Days a Week

Games will run Friday-Sunday, starting at 3pm PST on Friday, and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. All this added broadcast time allows the LCS to this:

  • Spring Split will be a Condensed, Six-Week Double Round Robin (5th Feb - 14th Mar)

To give context, that means teams will be playing the same amount of games as last year’s Spring Split but in two-thirds of the time. Hence the needed for an extended broadcast schedule.

  • Spring Playoffs are now the LCS Mid-Season Showdown (20th Mar - 11th Apr)

The Victor of the MSS will be dubbed LCS Champions, and represent the region at the Mid-Season Invitational. The six-team double-elimination playoffs will have an upper bracket for seeds 1-4, and a lower bracket for seeds 5 and 6.

(Picture: LoL Esports)

While these changes alone are unlikely to see the LCS and NA become World Champions straight away, this is a bold series of changes to the format.

More games, greater weight to every Regular Season match, and more playoffs series seem to address many of the concerns that fans and pros alike had about last year's format. How effective they will be - if at all - will have to be seen on the rift.

The LCS and its brand new Lock In tournament begins on the 15th of January 2021.