League of Legends Championship Series

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League of Legends Championship Series
League of Legends Champion Series Logo.jpg.png
SportLeague of Legends
Founded2013 (NALCS) 2019 (rebranded to LCS)
Owner(s)Riot Games
No. of teams2013–2014: 8
2015–present: 10
ContinentsNorth America
Most recent
champion(s)
Team Liquid (3rd title)
Most titlesTeam SoloMid (6 titles)
Relegation to2013–2018: League of Legends Challenger Series
2018–present: Franchising NA
Related
competitions
LEC
LCK
Garena Premier League
LMS
LPL
Official websitewww.lolesports.com

The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is the name of the professional League of Legends eSports league run by Riot Games with ten teams from North America competing. Each annual season of play is divided into two splits, spring and summer and conclude with play-off tournament between the top six teams. At the end of the season, the winner of the summer split, the team with the most championship points, and the winner of the gauntlet tournament qualify for the annual League of Legends World Championship.

The LCS represents the highest level of League of Legends play in North America. The North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) has a franchised league, consisting of ten teams. However, even franchised teams can still be expelled from the NA LCS for poor performance.[1]

With the exception of some touring events, all games of the LCS are played live at Riot Games' studios in Los Angeles, California. In addition to a small studio audience, all games are streamed live in several languages on Twitch.tv and YouTube, with broadcasts regularly attracting over 300,000 viewers.[2]

The popularity and success of the LCS has attracted significant media attention. On September 30, 2016, the French Senate unanimously adopted the last version of the Numeric Law, significantly improving the visa process for LCS players and eSports athletes in general, giving a legal frame to eSports contracts, introducing mechanisms to ensure payment of cash prizes, specifying rights for minor eSport athletes, and more.[3] A few months before, France also introduced a new eSports federation, “France eSports”, which has the duty to be a representative body of eSports towards the government and serve as a “partner of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee for all matters relating to the recognition of electronic sports as sport in itself.”[4] The US government is also granting athlete visas for LCS competitors.[5][6] The first LCS player to be awarded a P visa was Danny "Shiphtur" Le.[7][5] The LCS has attracted sponsorships from Acer[8] Coca-Cola[9] and American Express.[10] "League of Legends Championship Series" is a Delaware limited liability company.[11]

History[edit]

Riot Games launched League of Legends in October 2009 and rapidly attracted[12] attention from the competitive gaming community. The first two seasons of competitive play consisted of a series of tournaments mostly organised by third parties, such as Intel Extreme Masters in Europe and Major League Gaming in North America, capped by a world championship tournament hosted by Riot Games.[13]

Riot Games announced the formation of the LCS on 6 August 2012,[14] creating a fully professional league run by the company with a regular schedule and guaranteed salaries for players, featuring eight teams in both North America and Europe. Since the LCS was only launched in the third year of professional play, it was immediately dubbed "Season 3". The top three finishers in both the Riot Games European and North American regional championships held in August 2012 automatically qualified, with the remaining five teams being decided in qualifier tournaments held in January 2013. Each LCS season is divided into two splits for spring and summer; the first games of the first spring split took place on 7 February 2013 in North America and on 9 February 2013 in Europe.

Season 3 of the LCS finished with the summer split playoffs, held on 23 to 25 August in Europe at the Gamescom in 2013, which was held in the Koelnmesse in Cologne, North Rine-Westphalia, Germany, and 30 August to 1 September 2013 at PAX Prime 2013 in Seattle, Washington in North America.[15][16] In Europe, the Fnatic finished first, Lemondogs second, and Gambit Gaming third. In North America, the top three finishers were Cloud9, Team SoloMid, and Team Vulcun. The top three teams from each continent advanced to the Season 3 World Championships. ` Riot Games changed naming conventions in 2014, calling the season the "2014 Season" instead of "Season 4". The League of Legends Challenger Series was created as a second tier of competition for promotion and relegation.[17]

At the end of the 2014 season, an expansion tournament was held in both Europe and North America that added two teams in region, giving the LCS a total of 10 teams per region for the start of the 2015 Season.[18] Additionally, Riot introduced the concept of "Championship points", which teams would earn based on performance across both splits and playoffs in order to qualify for the World Championship.[19]

A new sale of sponsorship rule was instated for the 2015 season. As a result, several teams were forced to rebrand and leave their respective parent organizations. Europe's Alliance and North America's Evil Geniuses are both owned by GoodGame Inc. CEO Alex Garfield, and thus their League of Legends teams left and became Elements and Winterfox, respectively. Curse Inc. could no longer sponsor LCS team Team Curse, thus the entire esports organization merged into Team Liquid.[20]

The 2015 Summer European LCS Finals were played at Hovet Arena, Stockholm. The series ended with Fnatic winning 3-2 over Origen and peaked at close to 1 million concurrent viewers on twitch.tv, Youtube, and Azubu - the highest number of viewers for any LCS match to date. North American LCS finals were played at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where Counter-Logic Gaming defeated Team Solomid in 3 games to secure their first regional championship. Though NA LCS summer finals were typically held previously at PAX West in Seattle, this would be the start of the split finals being held in various locations around North America.

The 2016 Spring European LCS finals were held at Rotterdam Ahoy in Rotterdam, with G2 winning 3-1 against Origen, making it their first LCS title. The 2016 Spring European LCS split was the first time G2 played in the professional LCS after having been promoted due to winning the European Challenger Series and European Promotion Tournament in Summer 2016. The North American LCS finals were held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, featuring a rematch from the last split's finals, with CLG repeating as LCS champions over TSM in five games.

The 2016 Summer European LCS finals were played at the Tauron Arena in Kraków, Poland. G2 won 3-1 against Splyce and secured their second LCS title. Splyce would later win the 2016 Summer European Gauntlet and qualify for Worlds as the third-seeded European team. The NA LCS finals were played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which was the first time an official NA LCS match was played outside of the US. TSM would defeat Cloud 9 to secure their record fourth title.

The 2017 Spring European LCS finals were held at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, where G2 won 3-1 against Unicorns of Love, securing their third LCS title and qualifying for the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), an annually-held international League of Legends competition. G2 placed second at the MSI 2017, losing 1-3 to SKT T1, the Korean representatives, in the finals. The North American Finals were held at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; The second consecutive time that the final match was held in Canada. TSM would once again hold onto its title by defeating Cloud 9 for the second finals in a row.

In 2018, "Europe League Championship Series" (EU LCS) was renamed to "League of Legends European Championship" (LEC) and the "North American League of Legends Championship Series" (NA LCS) changed it's name to "League of Legends Championship Series" (LCS).[21]

Franchising NA[edit]

Starting in 2018, the North American LCS became franchised. There are various reasons for this. First, it changed the overall structure of the league, encouraging long-term investments from owners. This allowed the league to implement revenue sharing, leading to a better foundation for both the teams and professional players. Lastly, the professional players were given a larger voice and more protection within the league.

The buy-in price for the league was $10 million for existing League of Legends teams, who had previously participated in the League Championship Series or Challenger Series. New teams would be subject to an additional $3 million (a total $13 million), which was distributed to the teams that were replaced in the league. Interested parties were given applications in June, due on July 28, 2017. Over 100 existing esports organizations, traditional sports teams, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs reportedly applied.[22] Those applications were then narrowed down to a shortlist, nicknamed "phase two", which saw participants travel to Riot Games' Los Angeles office to interview and review their applications.[23] Riot Games and the North American League Championship Series players' association also decided that league would not expand and instead remain at 10 teams.

Buyers for the league were decided in mid-October. Several existing teams from the league — including Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Echo Fox, FlyQuest, Team Liquid and Team SoloMid — were reportedly accepted back into the league.[24][25][26] Other existing teams, such as Immortals, Phoenix1, Team Dignitas and Team EnvyUs, were declined from entry into the restructured league.[27][28] The team welcomed four new teams — one endemic esports team and three NBA franchises or affiliates. Longtime esports organization OpTic Gaming was reportedly awarded a spot in the league after receiving investment from Texas Rangers co-owner Neil Leibman.[29] The other three new spots went to Golden State Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob and his son Kirk as the Golden Guardians, the Cleveland Cavaliers and affiliated venture capital firms as 100 Thieves, and the Houston Rockets as Clutch Gaming.[30][31][32][33]

Broadcast Talent[edit]

ID Name Role
Pastrytime Australia Julian Carr Play-by-Play Caster
Phreak United States David Turley
CaptainFlowers United States Clayton Raines
RivingtonThe3rd United States Rivington Bisland III
Kobe United States Sam Hartman-Kenzler Color Caster
Zirene United States Aidan Moon
Azael Canada Isaac Cummings-Bentley
Dash United States James Patterson Analysis Host
MarkZ United States Mark Zimmerman Analyst
Hai United States Hai Lam
Crumbz Venezuela Alberto Rengifo
Ovilee United States Ovilee May Interviewer

Media coverage[edit]

The LCS primarily reaches its viewers through online streaming using its own channels on Twitch and YouTube. On Twitch alone, viewership numbers regularly exceed 200,000 for regular season play,[2] and the games have drawn over 1.7 million unique visitors.[5] However, Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck stated in 2012 that there were no immediate plans to try to bring the LCS to traditional TV, and news coverage of the regular season is generally limited to dedicated electronic sports news sites, such as CBS Interactive's onGamers.[34]

The scale and popularity of the LCS itself, however, has attracted considerable media attention,[35] particularly around some events that legitimised the LCS as a serious competition.

Format[edit]

As of 2019, 10 teams from North America compete in the LCS. Each season is divided into two splits with a 9-week regular season and a 3-week playoff bracket. In the regular season of each split, each team plays each other twice, for a total of 90 games. Teams are ranked by win percentage, with ties split by tiebreaker games if necessary at the end of the regular season.[36]

At the conclusion of each split, a playoff with the top 6 teams of the regular season is played to determine the final standings. The top 2 teams of the regular season receive a bye into the semi-finals, and the remaining 4 teams play each other in the quarter-finals. Each split's playoffs award cash prizes and Championship Points, which are used to determine qualification into the annual League of Legends World Championship. The winner of the summer split and the next team with the highest number of Championship Points automatically qualify. The next four teams ranked by Championship Point total then play the Regional Qualifier tournament to determine the final qualifying team.[37]

Overview[edit]

  • 10 teams participate:
    • Using a Double Round Robin format
    • Each match is a best of one.
  • Top 6 teams qualify for playoffs
  • Top 2 teams receive a bye to the semifinals
  • All teams receive a Summer Season seed
  • Official 2019 Season LCS Rulebook

LCS Summer 2019[edit]

Teams[edit]

Teams First appearance in LCS Roster Coach
Top Jungle Mid ADC Support
Team SoloMid Spring 2013 Germany Broken Blade United States Akaadian Denmark Bjergsen Denmark Zven Canada Smoothie United States Zikz
Counter Logic Gaming Spring 2013 South Korea Ruin United States Wiggily Germany PowerOfEvil United States Stixxay Canada Biofrost United States Weldon
Cloud9 Summer 2013 Canada Licorice Denmark Svenskeren Belgium Nisqy United States Sneaky United States Zeyzal South Korea Reapered
Team Liquid Spring 2015 South Korea Impact Philippines Xmithie Denmark Jensen United States Doublelift South Korea CoreJJ South Korea Cain
Echo Fox Spring 2016 United States Solo South Korea Rush South Korea Fenix United States Apollo United States Hakuho South Korea SSONG
FlyQuest Spring 2017 Canada V1per Denmark Santorin United States Pobelter Canada WildTurtle United States JayJ Canada Invert
100 Thieves Spring 2018 South Korea Ssumday Germany Amazing United States Soligo South Korea Bang United States aphromoo United States pr0lly
Clutch Gaming Spring 2018 South Korea Huni South Korea Lira South Korea Piglet
United States Damonte
China Cody Sun Canada Vulcan United States mcscrag
Golden Guardians Spring 2018 United States Hauntzer United States Contractz Denmark Froggen United States Deftly South Korea Olleh United States Inero
OpTic Gaming Spring 2018 United States Dhokla United States Meteos South Korea Crown South Korea Arrow United States Big France Zaboutine

Player of the Game standings (spring 2019)[edit]

Rank Times Player Team
1 5 South Korea Crown OpTic Gaming
South Korea CoreJJ Team Liquid
Denmark Froggen Golden Guardians
4 4 United States Pobelter FlyQuest
Denmark Zven Team SoloMid
Denmark Jensen Team Liquid
7 3 Germany PowerOfEvil Counter Logic Gaming
Canada Licorice Cloud9
South Korea Fenix Echo Fox
Belgium Nisqy Cloud9
Philippines Xmithie Team Liquid
United States Zeyzal Cloud9
United States Akaadian Team SoloMid
14 2 Germany Broken Blade Team SoloMid
South Korea Rush Echo Fox
United States Hauntzer Golden Guardians
Denmark Svenskeren Cloud9
Denmark Bjergsen Team SoloMid
Canada V1per FlyQuest
South Korea Bang 100 Thieves
United States Damonte Clutch Gaming
Canada Darshan Counter Logic Gaming
United States Dhokla OpTic Gaming
South Korea Huni Clutch Gaming
Denmark Santorin FlyQuest
Canada Smoothie Team SoloMid
United States Sneaky Cloud9
28 1 United States Solo Echo Fox
United States Contractz Golden Guardians
United States Keith Cloud9
United States Deftly Golden Guardians
United States Stixxay Counter Logic Gaming
United States Apollo Echo Fox
China Biofrost Counter Logic Gaming
United States Doublelift Team Liquid
United States Hakuho Echo Fox
France huhi 100 Thieves
South Korea Impact Team Liquid
South Korea Piglet Clutch Gaming
South Korea Ssumday 100 Thieves
Canada WildTurtle FlyQuest

Season Awards[edit]

Award Players
Outstanding Rookie Canada V1per
(FlyQuest)
Most Valuable Player South Korea CoreJJ
(Team Liquid)

All Pro Team[edit]

Roster Coach
Top Jungle Mid ADC Support
Canada Licorice
(Cloud9)
Philippines Xmithie
(Team Liquid)
Denmark Bjergsen
(Team SoloMid)
United States Doublelift
(Team Liquid)
South Korea CoreJJ
(Team Liquid)
South Korea Reapered
(Cloud9)
Key
Symbol Meaning
Playoffs Semifinal Bye
Playoffs Seed
Not Qualified for Playoffs

Current Standings[edit]

# Team GP W L ± Win Rate
1 Team Liquid 18 14 4 +10 78%
2 Cloud9 18 14 4 +10 78%
3 Team SoloMid 18 13 5 +8 72%
4 FlyQuest[38] 18 9 9 0 50%
5 Golden Guardians 18 9 9 0 50%
6 Echo Fox 18 8 10 -2 44%
7 Counter Logic Gaming 18 7 11 -4 39%
OpTic Gaming 18 7 11 -4 39%
9 Clutch Gaming 18 5 13 -8 28%
10 100 Thieves 18 4 14 -10 22%

Playoffs Format[edit]

  • Top six teams from Spring Season participate
  • Single elimination bracket
  • Matches are best of five
    • Quarterfinals - 3rd seed faces 6th seed, 4th seed faces 5th seed
    • Semifinals - 1st seed chooses which quarterfinal winner they play, 2nd seed faces the remaining team
    • Finals - Winners from semifinals play each other
  • Winner qualifies for the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational
  • 1st to 3rd place qualify for Rift Rivals 2019
  • Patch Information: v9.6 with Taliyah disabled in Round 1.

Playoffs[edit]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
                           
  3 Team SoloMid 3 1 Team Liquid 3  
  6 Echo Fox 1 4 FlyQuest 0    
      1 Team Liquid 3
      3 Team SoloMid 2
  4 FlyQuest 3 2 Cloud9 2    
  5 Golden Guardians 2 3 Team SoloMid 3  

Playoffs MVP Standings[edit]

Rank Times Player Team
1 2 Denmark Bjergsen Team SoloMid
2 1 United States Doublelift Team Liquid
United States Pobelter FlyQuest
South Korea Impact Team Liquid

Prize Pool and Championship Points[edit]

Pos Prize Money Prize % Championship Points Qualification Team
1st, gold medalist(s) $100,000 50% 90 Q for MSI Play-In
Q for Rift Rivals 2019
Team Liquid
2nd, silver medalist(s) $50,000 25% 70 Q for Rift Rivals 2019 Team SoloMid
3rd, bronze medalist(s) $25,000 12.5% 50 Q for Rift Rivals 2019 Cloud9
4th $25,000 12.5% 30 FlyQuest
5th/6th 10 Golden Guardians
Echo Fox

Past seasons[edit]

Split 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 4th
2013 Spring United States Team SoloMid United States Good Game University United States Team Vulcun United States Team Curse
2013 Summer United States Cloud9 United States Team SoloMid United States Team Vulcun United States Team Dignitas
2014 Spring United States Cloud9 United States Team SoloMid United States Counter Logic Gaming United States Team Curse
2014 Summer United States Team SoloMid United States Cloud9 United States LMQ United States Team Curse
2015 Spring United States Team SoloMid United States Cloud9 United States Team Liquid United States Team Impulse
2015 Summer United States Counter Logic Gaming United States Team SoloMid United States Team Liquid United States Team Impulse
2016 Spring United States Counter Logic Gaming United States Team SoloMid United States Immortals United States Team Liquid
2016 Summer United States Team SoloMid United States Cloud9 United States Immortals United States Counter Logic Gaming
2017 Spring United States Team SoloMid United States Cloud9 United States Phoenix1 United States FlyQuest
2017 Summer United States Team SoloMid United States Immortals United States Counter Logic Gaming United States Team Dignitas
2018 Spring United States Team Liquid United States 100 Thieves United States Echo Fox United States Clutch Gaming
2018 Summer United States Team Liquid United States Cloud9 United States Team SoloMid United States 100 Thieves
2019 Spring United States Team Liquid United States Team SoloMid United States Cloud9 United States FlyQuest

Team placement table[edit]

  *   Denotes defunct team or team no longer participating in NA LCS.

Finishes
Team 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 4th Total Top
Four Finishes
United States Team SoloMid 6 5 1 0 12
United States Team Liquid 3 0 2 1 6
United States Cloud9 2 5 0 0 7
United States Counter Logic Gaming 2 0 2 1 5
United States Immortals 0 1 2 0 3
United States Team Curse 0 0 0 3 3
United States Team Dignitas 0 0 0 2 2
United States 100 Thieves 0 1 0 1 2
United States Team Vulcun 0 0 2 0 2
United States Team Impulse 0 0 0 2 2
United States Team Coast 0 1 0 0 1
United States Echo Fox 0 0 1 0 1
United States Phoenix1 0 0 1 0 1
United States LMQ 0 0 1 0 1
United States FlyQuest 0 0 0 1 1
United States Clutch Gaming 0 0 0 1 1
United States Gravity 0 0 0 1 1

References[edit]

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