New NA LCS Format: How did BO3s work for LCK?
League of Legends competitive scene has a huge constant on it for the last three years. Something that always happens and that became quite predictable to be honest. Koreans win Worlds.
My name is PedroFTW, and these are my thoughts on the new LCS. If you missed my first article about the new EU LCS format, click on this link and give it a read.
Three years of supremacy
As I said, Korea has been constantly winning worlds for the last Three years, and it's been a finalist for the last four. Every year consistently puts out a new threat, always in the top of their game, always the team to beat, always the favorites. But, how can they do it? Why are they always so strong? Well, many aspects can influence that but a more recent one was brought to light by some players and personalities in the League of Legends scene. It was the competitive environment that exists inside Korea. Especially the format that LCK was using. The Bo3 format used on LCK had some advantages when compared to EU and NA leagues.
Thankfully, Riot games heard those thoughts and announced changes to the current LCS format that will be going live on the second split of 2016. Eu will be played in a Bo2 format while NA will be played in a Bo3 format (the one we will be talking about today).
The best of three format
In LCK, every team faces each other in a double round-robin (Everyone plays everyone twice) and every match is a Bo3. The format itself it's pretty simple to understand, but the benefits it brings are huge. In this format teams play a lot more matches than they would play under a Bo1 format. The current format allows NA teams to play 18 games in group stage and face every opponent twice. When the Bo3s are in (given the same amount of teams) they will have the opportunity to play 36 to 54 games ONLY in the group stage. This alone is already a huge improvement. More games = More practice. It's that simple.
But, one important aspect of Bo3s is adapting from the previous game into the next one. This is present in any major League championship and NA teams weren't having enough practice with it. A Bo3 gives teams the chance to lose a game, understand the enemy they are playing against and try to come back. This is something that only experience on the field can teach and NA was getting almost none of it.
Another great problem in Bo1s that is completely eradicated by Bo3s is that weaker Teams are almost always hopeless. Yes, they might upset one or two big fishes, and that is going to hurt them a lot, but they are unable to lose a game, see what went wrong and then immediately test a new strategy. Bo3s can help a lot of talent to grow and for all we know, it's been working in Korea.
Plus, it's all about entertainment.
You've waited the whole week to see your favorite team playing this weekend. You are excited. Your Mom/Girlfriend is thinking about her life decisions, not understanding what's so cool about seeing a bunch of dudes in front of computers. You planned yourself to watch the game. It's going to be awesome.
Then your team kicks into the rift, brutally slaughters the enemy team and by the time the counter reaches 25 minutes, they won the match. SO FREAKING COOL. When it's the next game you are going to see them play? Sorry bud, you'll have to wait for next week. Bo3s ensures that you'll be watching, at least, two games of your favorite team when they get on the rift. And if you're a hardcore viewer that watches all the games, you now have a lot more content to consume.
I'm still a huge fan of the Bo2 format, but the Bo3 has big set of advantages and the scheduling times problem it's not a big one. Overall Bo3s provide the best competitive environment overall, with more games and more experience to the teams.
So, what it's your opinion? Bo1s, Bo2s or Bo3s? Let me know in the comments section bellow.
I hope you enjoyed the read and if you want to reach me, hit me up on twitter (@thypedroftw).