The LCS is making some considerable changes to the format for the 2021 season
The LCS has had a tough time on the international stage. Barring a few rare occasions, most of their teams would not make it past the Worlds group stage. In comes the new format changes for the 2021 season. Coupled with these changes was the Amateur Ecosystem update which was released last month. The details for that can be found on this post.
LCS hopes that by making the changes to the amateur system, they will improve the LCS level of talent. Also, they hope that making the new format changes for the LCS 2021 season will improve their performance on the international stage. Here is what we know of the details so far.
There are a lot of significant changes being implemented for the upcoming season. These alterations consist of shortening the Spring Split, introducing a new tournament, LCS Lock-In, and more.
Among the changes is also the change of the number of matches to five games a day, three days a week on Friday Nights, Saturdays, and Sundays. The season will still have two splits but with changes to the playoff format and the addition of LCS Lock-In. We will go chronologically based on the tournaments and splits of the entire year.
A new addition to the season will be the LCS Lock-In tournament. The tournament will be a 3-week event that is going to set the stage for the LCS teams for the upcoming 2021 Spring Split.
The tournament will feature all 10 teams with five teams in each group. The top two teams of the previous year will draft teams into their group (Group A and Group B) and begin the tournament. Hence, TSM and Flyquest will be drafting their groups this year for the tournament. Each group will play a 4-day single Round Robin.
After that, the top 4 teams of each group will be placed into an elimination bracket to determine the champion. The winner of this tournament will receive prize money worth $150k along with charity donation of $50k, bragging rights, and side selection for game 5 of the regular season. The LCS Lock-In will begin on January 15th and will continue until January 31st.
Spring Split Regular Season
The Spring Split will be condensed to six weeks instead of the previous nine weeks schedule. As mentioned earlier, the regular season will have five games a week. The Spring Split will still feature a double Round Robin. However, the number of games will be the same as last year and thus will put more pressure onto the teams to perform in a short duration of time. Spring Split is set to begin on February 5th until March 14th.
Instead of the Spring Split Playoffs and Finals, there will be a Mid-Season Showdown (MSS). The MSS will consist of the top 6 teams of the spring split in a double elimination bracket.
The 1st seed will always play the 4th seed and the 2nd seed will play the 3rd seed. Meanwhile, the fifth and sixth placed teams will play the losers of the first two matches. The team dropped from the upper brackets recently will get side selection. The winner of the MSS will qualify for the MSI (Mid Season Invitational). MSS is set to begin on March 20th until April 11th.
Summer Split Regular Season
The Summer split will be expanded in the number of games. It will now feature a triple Round Robin over nine weeks. This will determine the top teams for the split and potentially qualify for the LCS Championship and represent NA at Worlds. Summer Split will start from June 4th and will continue until August 1st.
LCS Championship will replace the Summer Split Playoffs and Finals and expand on it. The top teams with the best combined Spring and Summer split records will qualify for the LCS Championship. It will be an 8 team expanded double elimination format.
It will have an inverted format where teams will potentially face each other again. Side selection will go to the team that has dropped from the upper bracket recently each team will not play games twice a week. The Championship will cap off with 4th vs 5th seed and 3rd vs 6th seed. The losers will fall in the lower bracket and the winners will proceed forward as shown in the image above. The top 3 teams will qualify for Worlds.
The LCS hopes that the changed will make their teams better and will equip the LCS teams for a better preparation for international tournaments. With the new changes in place, we will need to wait until the end of the year to see whether the changes indeed translates to international success. The main announcement of the details was made on this post.
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