The North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), one of Riot Games’ top-tier franchise leagues in LoL esports, has made some major adjustments to the season’s format.
The league, commencing January 15th, has introduced ‘LCS Lock In’ for the upcoming season — an inaugural three-week tournament that offers $150,000 (~£111,693) to the winning team, plus $50,000 (~£37,184) for the team to donate to a charity of its choice. The performance’s in this competition will contribute to regular-season or playoff seeding.
Like before, the season will be split into two parts: Spring and Summer. However, regular-season records will now be combined to seed the penultimate LCS Championship playoffs.
The regular season begins with a shortened Spring Split, consisting of a double round-robin over six weeks instead of nine weeks. However, teams will still be playing the same number of games as last season due to the fact that the league will evenly spread 15 games each week across three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday).
The Spring playoffs have also been renamed the Mid-Season Showdown (MSS). The MSS winner will become LCS champion, and represent NA at 2021’s first global competition, the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI).
The new-look Summer Split regular season will consist of a triple round-robin over nine weeks, giving teams “one more shot to rise to the top of NA and onto the global stage,” according to an official LoL release.
The domestic season for NA will conclude with the LCS Championship, which will combine the team’s Spring and Summer record. The LCS Championship has been ‘fine-tuned’ to prevent teams playing two series in the same week, to avoid rematches until later in the playoffs, and to give side-selection advantage to teams that most recently dropped out of the upper bracket.
Major highlights of the reconfiguration:
–The Spring Split will consist of a double round-robin played over six weeks instead of nine. The teams will play the same number of games.
–The Spring Playoffs and Finals will be recast as the LCS Mid-Season Showdown. The winner will represent North America at the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational.
–The Summer Split will be a triple-round robin run over nine weeks.
–The LCS Championship features the top seeds from the spring and summer tournaments. The top three teams qualify for the 2021 Worlds.
Key dates for 2021 LCS competition are:
–Jan. 15-31: LCS Lock-In
–Feb. 5-March 14: Spring Split regular season
–March 20-April 11: Midseason showdown
–June 4-Aug. 1: Summer Split regular season
–Aug. 7-29: LCS Championship
–Field Level Media
Source: Esportsinsider and reuters.com