If you’ve been paying attention to the scene we knew some LCS format changes were very likely coming for the 2021 season. Well they are here and we’re going to go over them and what it means for the LCS as a whole.

lcs format changes

So essentially every part of the LCS is changing format-wise. While I am going to go over feel free to check out the official Twitter post and come back to see how it will likely affect everything.

Lock In Tournament

For the start of the 2021 LCS season, there will be a three-week tournament that should not only bring hype but really high level of play right from the get-go. The tournament will go on from January 15 – 31. TSM and FlyQuest will both be on different sides of the bracket due to their ending spots at 1 and 2 last year. They will also be picking what teams are on their side as well.

I think this is great as it actually gives credit to previous splits. Plus it will be very interesting to see how the two teams think about the rest of the league with their picks. Obviously with so many offseason moves the teams are going to be very different from last year.

lcs format changes

Both groups will play in a 4-day round-robin deciding which 4 teams from each side will be moving into the bracket of the LCS Lock In. Once in the bracket it will be single elimination with the eventual winner taking away a $150k prize with an additional $50k to a charity of the teams chosing.

Again this should bring a high level of gameplay right from the start as well as giving back to charity which I think is also nice to see in big organizations. But this is only the first thing in the LCS format changes for 2021 we have quite a bit more to still go over.

Spring Split

After the Lock In we will get into the actual Spring Split. Obviously, with the spring split, we will see more regular play throughout the weeks. The split will run from February 5 to March 14. Whatever team wins will also get the first of the two LCS championship titles added to their trophy case as well.

lcs format changes

The new Spring Split will be getting bigger though as 5 games a day will be played on three days of the week. Friday Night League will be starting around 3 pm PT while Saturday and Sunday games will be starting around 1 pm PT.

Many people complained that the Spring split just didn’t seem to matter and it seems the LCS agreed and decided to change it. The Spring Split record will now matter going into the second LCS title seedings so it will for sure matter for every team.

Mid-Season Showdown

To get that trophy the top six teams will face off in a double-elimination bracket with the 5th and 6th rank teams starting in the lower bracket. With the 1st seed taking on the 4th and the 2nd taking on 3rd.

lcs format changes

Whoever is the latest to drop from the upper bracket will get side selection as well. At the end of it all, the winner will take the first 2021 LCS title champion and qualify into MSI.

Again I think this is probably just the best system to run with. I am also a big fan of making the 1st seed go up against the 4th no matter what as well. With a previous finals run in MSI and nothing since then, the LCS could really use a good showing again this time around.

Summer Split

We will be getting some bigger LCS format changes when it comes to the Summer Split. The teams will be tasked with a huge triple round-robin over 9 weeks. The dates will run from June 4th to August 1st.

I think the triple round-robin will be a good change as we will truly be able to see how teams have come along during the whole year. This still allows for a comeback run if a team didn’t start too hot but also allows teams to continue their winning ways if it’s been going well.

Not only does it do that but it also will allow teams to experiment more. Everyone in the LCS talks about it a lot but it’s simply true with more games teams will have more ability to try things that may not work right away without having precious wins fall away. Overall we won’t know how well the LCS format changes will work until we get through the year.

LCS Championship

Then we will get the big finale. The LCS Championship is set to happen from August 7 – 29 and will give us not only another winner of an LCS title but also our 3 teams set to try and prove their worth at Worlds.

lcs format changes

Both your Spring Split and Summer Split still matter though as the teams will be seeded by their combined Spring and Summer regular-season records. It will again be a double-elimination tournament but with some big changes from last year.

An inverted format ensuring teams that meet again will do so later in the tournament so we don’t have situations like with TSM and GG last year. As well as side selection for the team to drop from the upper bracket last and games days being shifted as to not have a team play more than once in a week.

These are obviously some big LCS format changes and we will eagerly await the season to see how they work out. Overall I think they are good moves and will work in the favor of the LCS both for fans and teams alike. Be sure to look out for our preseason power rankings that will be coming within the next couple of days.

In Other News

If you haven’t kept up so far be sure to check out the LCS roster changes that have occurred this offseason.

There was also a ton of great games seen during The Game Awards 2020 so be sure to check them out.

By Zach Yagle

Zach, a 26-year-old living in Denver, Colorado, shares a deep passion for video games that has been a constant source of joy and inspiration throughout his life. Since his childhood, Zach has immersed himself in the world of gaming, exploring a wide range of titles across various platforms.

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