The 2021 League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) will begin on Friday, Jan. 15, with a new format and set team schedule. Riot Games has announced a major format change to LCS that will help develop North America’s talent with an entirely new competitive system for 2021.
Last year, the LCS failed to deliver satisfactory results during the 2020 World Championship. Unfortunately, the NA representatives fell short of advancing in the tournament. Eventually, North America’s struggle had prompted teams and LCS officials to recognize its failures and make some changes throughout the region.
The new season for the LCS includes plenty of format changes, such as the introduction of LCS Lock-In. The event revolves around a three-week kick-off tournament with a $150,000 winner-takes-all grand prize. Overall, the point of the event is to determine which team is the strongest going into 2021. Taking part in the event will be the top two teams from the previous year, FlyQuest and TSM. In addition to the grand prize, the winner will secure $50,000 cash to send to a charity of their choosing.
Additionally, the LCS will now expand the regular season to five games a day, three days a week. The new schedule begins with Friday, Night League at 3 p.m. Pacific Time, and on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Pacific Time. This allows flexibility for LCS fans to catch the games of their favorite teams during the weekends and at different times of day.
The next big change is the merge of Spring and Summer’s regular season records. The combining of both records will seed the end-of-summer LCS Championship.
This year’s Spring Split will comprise a double round-robin spread throughout six weeks. Teams will also play the same amount of games as last year, which potentially means fewer breaks in between. Additionally, Riot Games has transformed the Spring Playoffs and Finals into the LCS Mid-Season Showdown. As a result, this year’s winner will earn the first MSS championship title with a chance to represent NA at this year’s Mid-Season Invitational.
For the Summer Split, the regular season will host a triple Round Robin over nine weeks. At the end of the Split, the top three teams will qualify for this year’s World Championship.
As the new season inches closer, fans are waiting to see the results of a jam packed free-agency period. With LCS teams switching players and starting anew, the upcoming Spring Split may be one to set the bar for the rest of 2021.