The North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) will see some format changes in the upcoming 2021 season, Riot Games revealed yesterday. The updated format will bring in the addition of the LCS Lock In pre-season tournament, and the Mid-Season Showdown. The 2021 LCS Spring season is set to begin on January 15th.
The new season format will kick off with the LCS Lock In, a new pre-season tournament designed to find the “team to beat” for the following Spring split. The event’s round robin group stage will commence on January 15th, with LCS teams being split into two groups of five. The top two teams of the last season, TSM and FlyQuest, will get to choose their group opponents. The event then moves into a play-off stage, where the winner will take home a $150,000 grand prize and donate an extra $50,000 to a charity of their choice.
Following the Lock In, the LCS Spring split will begin on February 5th, and run until March 14th. Games will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with five matches going live each day. Friday Night League will begin every Friday at 3pm PST, while the weekend’s matches will start at 1pm PST.
For the 2021 season, the LCS will no longer have a regular play-off stage following the Spring split. Instead, the Spring season will feed into the LCS Mid-Season Showdown, which will work in a similar fashion to a play-off stage. The top six teams from the split will advance to the Showdown, competing in a double-elimination bracket where the winner will earn a spot in the Mid-Season Invitational.
The LCS will return for the Summer season on June 4th, with all teams competing in a triple round robin format. The LCS Championship will take place after the Summer split, where seeding will be determined by a combination of teams’ Spring and Summer placings.
From there, the top eight teams will play in a double-elimination bracket – the top two seeds will be given a first-round bye while the bottom two start in the lower bracket. The top three teams will advance to the World Championship.
The 2021 LCS season will kick off with the LCS Lock In, which starts on January 15th and runs until January 31st.
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