Riot Games has announced some major changes to the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) for the 2021 season, including an LCS Lock-In, an expansion to the number of games in the regular season, and more. Here’s everything you need to know.
In short, there are some major changes that are happening with the 2021 season and the developer hopes that they’ll change North America into the competitive region that “we all want it to be.”
The campaign will be kicking off with the brand new Lock-In tournament on January 15 and then expanding into a full regular season that will now be split into two parts.
LCS 2021 Lock-In tournament
Kicking off the changes with a bang, the Lock-In competition takes place from January 15 through January 31, 2021. This will help determine “who’s the team to beat” and will have a $150,000 prize for the winner to take home, as well as $50K towards the charity of the teams choice. The winner will also have a chance at a side selection for Game 5 of the regular season.
The tourney will have a group stage made up of the top two teams from 2020 season, TSM and FlyQuest. As for the rest, the top four from each group will be seeded into their own eight teams.
All in all, this seems to be more of an exhibition competition with a prize pool more than anything else, having very little effect on the overall season, and will just be used to see where teams stand before the main events start.
Spring Regular Season & Mid-Season Showdown
Despite previous rumors, the regular season will still be split into two halves. The standard Spring Regular Season will take place over the span of six weeks, from February 5 to March 14, 2021. Everything seems to be pretty standard here, with the only major exception being that it will now be expanded to five games a day, across three days on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
That being said, a big change comes with the inclusion of a Mid-Season Showdown, in place of the Spring Playoffs and Finals, which are now no more. This showdown will be the one to determine who will represent North America at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational, which brings teams from around the globe together in a large tournament.
Speaking of which, there’s currently no date for the Mid-Season Invitational tournament, which makes its triumphant return after its 2020 cancelation due to the world health crisis.
Summer Regular Season and LCS Championship
For the Summer Split Regular Season, which takes place over a whopping nine weeks, from June 4 to August 1, 2021, players will be placed into a triple Round Robin competition. Like the Spring Split, the Summer Split will also utilize the same five-game-a-day format, three days a week.
Similar to the Spring Playoff, the Summer Playoff is also gone and instead, the LCS Championship will end the whole 2021 season. Competitors will be determined using the combined results from both the Spring and Summer sessions.
According to Riot, this Championship makes huge adjustments from the previous Summer Playoffs. This new tournament will now have an inverted format and game days have also been changed to stop teams from playing twice in one week.
Of course, the top three winners of this tournament will qualify for the World Championship which, like the Mid-Season Invitational, has yet to be dated, although we do know that it’ll take place in China.
All in all, it seems like there’s a huge amount of changes compared to other years, which seems to be what people wanted.