LCS schedule changes slammed by Riot employees and fans
A short time after the schedule changes for League of Legends pro play going into 2023 were announced, distaste for the new direction the LCS is taking were slammed by fans, pro players, and even Riot employees.
The LCS has long been a weekend staple for League of Legends fans. It’s held the Saturday/Sunday time slot for years, with Super Weeks putting Fridays into the mix for a 3-day schedule a few times per split.
But, with the schedule for LCS 2023 being shifted to Thursday and Friday, it’s been hard to find anyone who isn’t at least a little skeptical of the changes.
While some feel that this could be an improvement for the LCS going forward, the changes have been universally panned by LCS fans, pro players competing in the league, and even Riot Games employees.
LCS schedule changes receive almost universal backlash
The controversial schedule changes started conversation on Twitter that spread like wildfire, with many of the people involved with the LCS in any capacity giving their take on what this could mean for the future of the League.
Azael, a long-time LCS caster and big voice in the community, mentioned that he had “a ton of concerns” about the shift, and that he’s scared of what this could mean for the LCS going forward.
In his lengthy thread on the topic, Azael is completely transparent about these aforementioned concerns, and shows his skepticism that this will be an improvement for the league.
Azael ended the thread by saying, “know that many of us share the same concerns you have. We’re seeing & reading everything people are saying online, and it really sucks to know lots of fans I’ve personally made connections with won’t be able to watch live anymore.”
When Azael spoke to the time change affecting live viewership, most of the people he was referring to were those watching online. But there’s another small minority affected by these changes that’s important to remember: fans living in LA who go there in person, as well as the people who help run the LCS.
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Fans living in LA may not be able to go to see the LCS in-person
While the number of in-person LCS spectators is much, much smaller than the total number of online spectators, seeing the seats filled is, for many, a great sign for the LCS.
The cheers from the fans are a part of the broadcast, too. The signs they bring, the teams they root for, and the energy they provide all help contribute to the final product.
Angi, Travis Gafford’s community manager and an LCS fan living in LA, is one such person who may not be able to attend in-person due to these changes.
What was once a weekend activity may turn into something much less frequent for avid LCS fans that live close enough to attend on a regular basis. How this affects in-person viewership remains to be seen, but it’s likely that there won’t be as many people in seats as there were before.
Average Riot employees that help with LCS operations have also been affected by the changes. This could add hours to their commute due to LA’s dense traffic during weekday work hours.
There’s significant prep work that goes into getting the studio set up for pro play each week, and employees often have to get to the studio hours in advance of the scheduled matches in order to make sure things go smoothly.
Even pro players aren’t too keen on the changes, with Doublelift laughing at the new timeslot that’ll mark his return to pro play.
This news, paired with the Valorant Champions Tour taking over the old LCS timeslot, has made fans of the LCS feel like North American League of Legends is slowly getting pushed to the wayside. Even if Riot’s statement regarding the VCT scheduling changes aimed to assure viewers that this wasn’t the case.