After Cloud9 dominated the LCS Spring Split and then missed out on qualifying for Worlds in the summer, Riot is reportedly making some changes for the 2021 season.
Riot is “planning” to get rid of the league’s Spring Split, which has typically run from January to April, and replace it with one, season-long format, according to Travis Gafford. Currently, no other major regional league in the world does not have at least two splits.
The reported system would also ensure each team would play each other five times throughout the season, which is one more game than teams are accustomed to in the current format. In the two-split system, a team plays the other nine teams twice in the spring and twice in the summer.
Gafford also reported the LCS season would begin with a kick-off tournament and that each of the league’s three days of broadcasts will be “full days” to make sure it can fit the season’s additional games into the schedule. And while the LCS broadcasts are reportedly growing, Academy League is not, according to Gafford.
There will reportedly be more crossover between Academy and the amateur level of competition. This would allow teams like 100 Thieves Next, which competed in various amateur leagues in 2020, chances to prove itself against some of the top Academy talent. Gafford said he had heard more teams would follow in 100T’s footsteps and begin signing younger players for a third-tier amateur scene.
The removal of the Spring Split comes after Cloud9, a team that thoroughly dominated competition en route to a LCS Spring Finals title, failed to qualify for Worlds. With no Championship Points being awarded for Spring Split placings this year, C9’s success in the spring was essentially useless when it came time to secure a spot at the most important event of the year.
With C9 out of the picture, FlyQuest, TSM, and Team Liquid became the three teams to go to Shanghai for Worlds this year. None of the three teams made it out of the group stage, with TSM, the Summer Split champions, finishing 0-6.
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