There’s never been a better time to start watching the League of Legends Pro League. China’s top league is the best in the world right now after victories at MSI and Rift Rivals. If you want to see the best League esports action, the LPL is what you want to watch.
Those who are avid fans of the LPL know that it’s long been the region with the most innovation and bloodiest fights. But figuring out the LPL can be confusing for those who haven’t gotten up early—or stayed up late—to catch the action.
That’s why we made this guide to make you the expert in all things LPL.
The LPL is the largest competitive region and also plays using a best-of-three format. Because of that, it requires multiple streams to support. The following streams are available for English viewers:
The English Twitch channel will broadcast on four days each week: Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, prioritizing the best game when two are being played simultaneously.
Fans who want to catch the action on non-English days can head over to the region’s QQ account to catch broadcasts in Mandarin Chinese.
Finally, fans can catch up on the action on the official LPL English Twitter account.
Unlike most major regions, which feature 10 teams at the top competitive level, the LPL expanded to 14 teams when it became a franchised league in 2018. It’s also the first league to move to a regional format in which teams will have a home city and stadium. Some teams, like Snake Esports, already play out of their home arenas.
Further emphasizing the geographic nature is the organization of the league into two conferences:
- Edward Gaming
- Team WE
- Oh My God
- Snake Esports
- BiliBili Gaming
- Vici Gaming
- FunPlus Phoenix
- Royal Never Give Up
- SN Gaming
- Invictus Gaming
- JD Gaming
- LGD Gaming
- TopSports Gaming
- Rogue Warriors
The conferences play each other a bit during the regular season, but most matchups are between teams of the same conference. So far in 2018, the East Conference has dominated, with RNG, IG, and Rogue Warriors all having strong starts to the season. It will be interesting to see if that dominance continues through the Summer Split.
Partly because of the larger number of teams, the LPL plays the longest season. Teams typically only have one day off each week—Thursday. Games start at 4am CT on each day of play.
The schedule for the summer split is as follows:
It’s a lot of games, but thankfully, there are never more than three series each day. For the first three weeks, all competition will be intra-conference. From weeks four to seven, the conferences will play each other, after which more intra-conference play finishes the split.
After the regular season is over, the top four teams in each conference will enter the Playoff Gauntlet. The highest two seeds will be placed directly into the semifinals, the next highest two gain entry to the quarterfinals, and the final eight will play in the first round.
Getting into the playoffs as a low seed sounds daunting, but it’s really not that bad. Last split, RNG went from the first round to the championship, proving that the gauntlet can be defeated.
They then went on to win it all at MSI—who knows, maybe the next LPL champion will also claim the crown at Worlds later this year.