2020 has been a thrilling year for the competitive scene of League of Legends worldwide. The world got to see everything from shocking roster changes to underdogs grabbing it all. The entire eSports industry was also challenged by the global pandemic and a lot of current leagues and tournaments adapted to the situation smartly and safely. With those changes adhering to mandatory health guidelines, there are also more changes planned for the League of Legends 2021 season which commences in less than a week, especially in the LCS. Riot Games recently revealed the changes that are set to hit the LCS in 2021.
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The North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is one of the most important esports leagues in history. It created a lot of top esports organizations such as Team Solo Mid, Cloud 9, and Counter Logic Gaming. The new season is of this legendary series is set to kick off on January 15. A few major changes are to be made to the traditional structure of the league. These changes also include brand new events/stages namely, LCS Lock In and Mid-Season Showdown.
LCS Lock In
LCS Lock In is a pre-season tournament to determine who is the ?team to beat? in the series. The tournament commences on January 15 and lasts 3 weeks until January 31. The event takes a round-robin format where the 10 teams are divided into 2 groups of 5. The top 2 teams from the previous season, TSM and FlyQuest get to decide who goes on their groups and the winner of the tournament gets the grand prize, $150,000 and an additional $50,000 to be donated to any charity of their choice. The actual spring split is set to start right after the Lock In tournament, on February 5 and run until March 14.
Mid Season Showdown
The play-off stage of the spring split has been rebranded as Mid-Season Showdown. The LCS will no longer have the regular play-offs but a newly refined version of it. The top six teams from the split will be advancing to the brand new Showdown stage and the tournament bracket is set to be in a double-elimination format. The winner of the Mid Season Showdown will earn a spot at Mid Season Invitational, the first international tournament of the season.
Summer Split and LCS Championship
The Summer Split of LCS will be taking a triple Round Robin format starting 2021. The Summer Split commences on June 4 and is set to last over nine weeks. The top seeds from both the Spring and Summer splits will be facing off each other in the LCS Championship to take home the year?s second LCS championship title. Riot mentions that this is aimed at ?giving the teams one more shot to rise to the top of NA and onto the global stage.?
Apart from the new pre-season event, the rebranded play-off stage, and the changes to the Summer Split, there is one other change that is set to hit the LCS in 2021. There will be 3 days of LCS per week; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Five matches are being held each day where Friday Night League will begin every Friday at 3 pm PST and the weekend?s matches will start at 1 pm PST.