After their 2021 experiment, Riot Games are changing the LCS format again in 2022, scrapping the combined Spring and Summer seasons and reducing the number of games. They are also launching “Champions Queue” to fix NA’s solo queue problem.
After yet another year of NA failing to find success on the international stage — with their worst performance at Worlds in history in 2021 — the LCS format is once again changing to try and make the region more competitive.
Announced in Riot’s November 16 roadmap, the combined LCS standings from Spring and Summer are going. New solo queue initiatives are coming too, aimed at improving pro player practice.
Lock In tournament to stay in 2022, combined LCS seasons to go
After a successful 2021 trial, the preseason Lock In tournament will be returning from January 14 to January 30 ahead of the Spring start on February 5. It will also be held entirely on LAN, back in the LCS Studios in Santa Monica.
However, the combined Spring and Summer standings — which nearly led to some teams like Golden Guardians missing playoffs in Summer — will be removed.
- Read More: League of Legends 2022 rostermania
Riot are also cutting back the number of games a split (each team will play each other twice a season) to “help combat player burnout while delivering more meaningful matches for our fans.” There will be two matchdays most weeks — Saturday and Sunday — with two super weeks pushing that to three on occasion.
2022 #LCS Format Update
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) November 16, 2021
New “Champions Queue” attempts to solve NA solo queue problem
The biggest change coming in the LCS 2022 season is Riot’s attempt to solve the “NA solo queue” problem. Enter Champions Queue, a new environment where top-level players can play against each other on lower ping thanks to west coast servers.
“For years, we’ve heard and respected the criticism leveled against the North American solo queue environment. It’s been a frequent pain point cited by pro players and aspiring amateurs as an obstacle to their growth,” they said.
“This exclusive matchmaking system hosted on a west coast server will be accessible only to high-skill players who are serious about improvement.”
Champions Queue will be open to all LCS and Academy players, with Academy and further integration expected.