Articles:Introducing The LCS
Introducing The LCS
The Spring Season League of Legends Championship Series Format
The opening week of the Season 3 League of Legends Championship Series is finally upon us. February 7th and 8th marks the start of the North American Spring Season. The European Season opens on February 9th and 10th.
The North American and European League of Legends Spring Seasons consist of eight teams competing in each region. Three of the teams qualified through the Season 2 Regional qualifier, and five qualified through the spring qualifier tournament.
The League Championship Series is a 10-week round robin in which the teams will play a total of 28 games each. This includes four single-game matches against each of the other seven teams in their division during the Spring Season. Every week the North American region will play its games on Thursdays and Fridays while the European region will play theirs on Saturdays and Sundays.
At the end of the ten-week round robin format there will be a Spring Season Playoff for the top six placed teams in each region. The top two teams from the LCS will earn a bye to the semi-finals. The next four teams will face off and battle for two more spots in the semi-finals.
The top four teams from the Spring Season Playoff will be automatically qualified for the Summer Season, while the bottom four teams will have to take part in the Summer Season qualifying tournament against the top four teams from the North American Challenger tier.
North American LCS Preview
The League Championship Series has started! Unfortunately, the lackluster performances of the North American teams during the Season 2 World Championship have left fans with many questions:
-Why did the North American teams have such a poor showing at the Season 2 World Championship?
-What effect will the lineup changes have on Counter Logic Gaming and Team Dignitas?
-Will Team Solomid remain on top of the North American League?
-How will this season’s new teams, compLexity Gaming (formerly The Brunch Club) and Team MRN, impact the returning teams?
Week one will help to answer some of these questions. The matches begin February 7th, and there are a few familiar teams: Team Solomid, Dignitas, and Counter Logic Gaming. These veteran teams will be able to show how they have developed and improved during the offseason after they qualified for Season 3 during Season 2. All three teams made it to the World Championship, but only TSM made it out of the group stage. Both CLG and Dignitas have new members in their lineups who will need to prove themselves. On the other hand, TSM return with all five of their members from last season and are looking to remain the number one team in North America. Seven other teams will be in TSM’s path and will be eyeing the title for themselves. Five of these seven teams started their journey January 4th at the North American MLG online Qualifier.
The five teams that fought through the qualifiers between December and January to earn a spot in the LCS will enter with chips on their shoulders: Team Vulcun (formerly Team FeaR), Curse, Good Game University, compLexity Gaming, and Team MRN. Three of these teams are familiar to the fans of last season: Good Game University (formerly Team Dynamic), Curse, and Vulcun. However, all three failed to make it to the WCS last season. Two brand-new teams, compLexity Gaming and Team MRN, are relatively unknown on the North American scene. Week one will show if these two rookie teams can stand toe-to-toe with the veteran teams. Look for all five of these teams to come out swinging with a hungry intensity.
The first match will kick off February 7th at 1:00 PM (PST) with the classic rivalry of CLG vs. TSM. Our Leaguepedia team will have the coverage for this match and all of your LCS needs. Make sure to check out our previews of this week’s games to see what is in store for our North American teams.
European LCS Preview
The League Championship Series is finally here and it is going to be monumental. Six out of the eight teams that qualified in EU West will play two to three games each on February 9th and 10th to begin the round-robin style that will define the season. DragonBorns and against All authority will spend their bye week on the sidelines in anticipation as they get a first-hand look at what their competition will bring to the table. The first match of each day will be at 18:00 CEST (12:00 PM EST).
The lovely Sjokz will be hosting the EU LCS throughout the season, and the ever-popular announcers Joe Miller, Leigh "Deman" Smith, Trevor "qu1ksh0t" Henry, and Jason Kaplan will be casting the matches. Tickets for all 10 weekends of the live events in Cologne, Germany will be available for purchase.
Gambit Gaming, SK Gaming, and Evil Geniuses guaranteed their spots in Season 3 as a result of their Season 2 performances. They will set the gold standard for the LCS. Five more exciting teams have joined the ranks in the recent qualifiers. These newly-qualified teams have much to prove and the momentum to do so.
SK and Fnatic, two of the most well-established organizations in the League, will launch the weekend on February 9th. One of the stories to watch will be xPeke’s and ocelote’s sportsmanship after xPeke’s amazing Kassadin backdoor, which knocked SK out of the group stage at IEM Katowice. Expect tension to also surround YellOwStaR, the ADC who left SK Gaming and seamlessly joined Fnatic only a few weeks ago. SK will be looking for "gentlemen's revenge" for the sneaky xPeke backdoor and another chance to demonstrate that replacing YellOwStaR was the best decision for them.
Gambit Gaming (formerly Moscow Five) and Evil Geniuses (formerly Counter Logic Gaming EU) will continue their friendly rivalry. The recently-signed GG took first place at IEM Katowice, but the former CLG.EU members will be competing as EG for the first time. They will be looking to justify their sponsor’s long wait in signing a LoL team.
After sweeping the qualifiers with unorthodox picks and unbending team trust, GIANTS! Gaming could be said to radiate an Invictus Gaming vibe. They are not going to let off the gas no matter which team they play against. This may involve strategies like an AD Kennen who blows their opponents away. As evinced by their performance at the qualifiers, they always play to win. Fnatic would be wise to not phone in their first game against the GIANTS!.
The Copenhagen Wolves are fighters, first and foremost. They get ahead by playing a bit cheekily and then capitalizing on situations with devastating synergy and mechanics. The level of play will be elevated in the LCS, but the Wolves are well-equipped for the competition. Their first game will be against SK, and their ever-growing fan base will be there for every minute of it.
Each of these teams will play at least one more game on February 10th to bring the eventful first week of LCS play to a close.
AP mid veterans ShLaYa and Shushei will be watching and waiting to see what they will be up against in week two. Originally formed in 2010, against All authority is ancient in LoL terms. However, aAa disbanded late last year and barely resurrected in time for Season 3. ShLaYa has always been a great player, but he has had trouble finding and staying on a team with longevity on the competitive scene.
Shushei’s DragonBorns are another newcomer that will be looking for validation. As with the Copenhagen Wolves, the DragonBorns had an electrifying journey through the qualifiers, but their true top tier ability has yet to be proven. How teams approach and handle the Wolves and GIANTS! in week one will give aAa and DragonBorns a good idea about how to prepare for week two. They may feel a little jilted since they were left out of the opening weekend lineup, but they can use this scheduling quirk to their advantage.
The first week of the EU LCS will set the tone for the season. Teams will quickly find their places as they exhibit their full capabilities. The fantasy leagues will begin, and LoL statistics will be crunched like never before. Teams will have access to long histories of matches against each of their competitors for the first time, and fans will be able to tap into a wealth of information. It is going to be groundbreaking. Here’s to Riot’s “Great Experiment”, of sorts; may our journey be as grand as our hopes.