Riot Games is planning to merge the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Spring and Summer splits into one longer season, according to journalist Travis Gafford. The change has not been officially announced by Riot, though Gafford states that this move is likely to happen. The LCS 2021 season is expected to start in January.
Launching in 2013, the LCS has had two splits each year since its inception. The Spring split typically runs from January until April, while the Summer season usually runs from June to September. The Mid-Season Invitational takes place after the Spring season, with the winners of the split earning a spot in the international event. The Summer champions advance to the World Championship, which takes place after the second split each year.
Some LCS fans have called the Spring split “pointless” or said it “doesn’t matter” in regards to the World Championship. This year, Cloud9 crushed the Spring split, going 17-1 in the regular season before defeating FlyQuest 3-0 in the Grand Final. A fourth-place overall finish in the Summer split meant the team narrowly missed out on a World Championship appearance, as their Spring performance was not weighed in the Championship Point count. While the team’s form did slightly dip, many fans expected them to compete at Worlds.
Riot Games now looks to reformat the LCS in 2021, merging the Spring and Summer splits into one long regular season, according to Travis Gafford. Gafford explains that this could still change before the LCS’s expected January start date, but that the merge looks likely. “From what I’ve heard, this is the most likely set of changes that we’re gonna see in the LCS,” Gafford states.
While one long season seems beneficial to teams’ World Championship journeys, a new system would have to be put in place for deciding an LCS representative at the Mid-Season Invitational. Typically, the LCS sends its Spring split champion to MSI. Should these changes be made, Gafford explains, the league will implement a “Spring tournament” to qualify teams to MSI.
Should the LCS make this change, it will be the first major League of Legends league to combine its Spring and Summer seasons. Riot Games has not yet confirmed whether or not the reformatting will go ahead.
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