League of Legends Championship Series
|Sport||League of Legends|
|Founded||2013 (NALCS) 2019 (rebranded to LCS)|
|No. of teams||2013–2014: 8|
|Team Liquid (3rd title)|
|Most titles||Team SoloMid (6 titles)|
|Relegation to||2013–2018: League of Legends Challenger Series |
2018–present: Franchising NA
Garena Premier League
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.
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.
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. 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.” The US government is also granting athlete visas for LCS competitors. The first LCS player to be awarded a P visa was Danny "Shiphtur" Le. The LCS has attracted sponsorships from Acer Coca-Cola and American Express. "League of Legends Championship Series" is a Delaware limited liability company.
- 1 History
- 2 Broadcast Talent
- 3 Media coverage
- 4 Format
- 5 LCS Summer 2019
- 6 Past seasons
- 7 References
Riot Games launched League of Legends in October 2009 and rapidly attracted 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.
Riot Games announced the formation of the LCS on 6 August 2012, 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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).
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. 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. 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. Other existing teams, such as Immortals, Phoenix1, Team Dignitas and Team EnvyUs, were declined from entry into the restructured league. 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. 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.
|Pastrytime||Julian Carr||Play-by-Play Caster|
|RivingtonThe3rd||Rivington Bisland III|
|Kobe||Sam Hartman-Kenzler||Color Caster|
|Dash||James Patterson||Analysis Host|
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, and the games have drawn over 1.7 million unique visitors. 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.
The scale and popularity of the LCS itself, however, has attracted considerable media attention, particularly around some events that legitimised the LCS as a serious competition.
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.
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.
- 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
|Teams||First appearance in LCS||Roster||Coach|
|Team SoloMid||Spring 2013||Broken Blade||Akaadian||Bjergsen||Zven||Smoothie||Zikz|
|Counter Logic Gaming||Spring 2013||Ruin||Wiggily||PowerOfEvil||Stixxay||Biofrost||Weldon|
|Team Liquid||Spring 2015||Impact||Xmithie||Jensen||Doublelift||CoreJJ||Cain|
|Echo Fox||Spring 2016||Solo||Rush||Fenix||Apollo||Hakuho||SSONG|
|100 Thieves||Spring 2018||Ssumday||Amazing||Soligo||Bang||aphromoo||pr0lly|
|Clutch Gaming||Spring 2018||Huni||Lira|| Piglet
|Golden Guardians||Spring 2018||Hauntzer||Contractz||Froggen||Deftly||Olleh||Inero|
|OpTic Gaming||Spring 2018||Dhokla||Meteos||Crown||Arrow||Big||Zaboutine|
Player of the Game standings (spring 2019)
|7||3||PowerOfEvil||Counter Logic Gaming|
|14||2||Broken Blade||Team SoloMid|
|Darshan||Counter Logic Gaming|
|Stixxay||Counter Logic Gaming|
|Biofrost||Counter Logic Gaming|
|Outstanding Rookie|| V1per|
|Most Valuable Player|| CoreJJ|
All Pro Team
|Playoffs Semifinal Bye|
|Not Qualified for Playoffs|
|7||Counter Logic Gaming||18||7||11||-4||39%|
- 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.
|3||Team SoloMid||3||1||Team Liquid||3|
|5||Golden Guardians||2||3||Team SoloMid||3|
Playoffs MVP Standings
Prize Pool and Championship Points
|Pos||Prize Money||Prize %||Championship Points||Qualification||Team|
|$100,000||50%||90||Q for MSI Play-In
Q for Rift Rivals 2019
|$50,000||25%||70||Q for Rift Rivals 2019||Team SoloMid|
|$25,000||12.5%||50||Q for Rift Rivals 2019||Cloud9|
|2013 Spring||Team SoloMid||Good Game University||Team Vulcun||Team Curse|
|2013 Summer||Cloud9||Team SoloMid||Team Vulcun||Team Dignitas|
|2014 Spring||Cloud9||Team SoloMid||Counter Logic Gaming||Team Curse|
|2014 Summer||Team SoloMid||Cloud9||LMQ||Team Curse|
|2015 Spring||Team SoloMid||Cloud9||Team Liquid||Team Impulse|
|2015 Summer||Counter Logic Gaming||Team SoloMid||Team Liquid||Team Impulse|
|2016 Spring||Counter Logic Gaming||Team SoloMid||Immortals||Team Liquid|
|2016 Summer||Team SoloMid||Cloud9||Immortals||Counter Logic Gaming|
|2017 Spring||Team SoloMid||Cloud9||Phoenix1||FlyQuest|
|2017 Summer||Team SoloMid||Immortals||Counter Logic Gaming||Team Dignitas|
|2018 Spring||Team Liquid||100 Thieves||Echo Fox||Clutch Gaming|
|2018 Summer||Team Liquid||Cloud9||Team SoloMid||100 Thieves|
|2019 Spring||Team Liquid||Team SoloMid||Cloud9||FlyQuest|
Team placement table
Denotes defunct team or team no longer participating in NA LCS.
|Counter Logic Gaming||2||0||2||1||5|
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