LCS, LEC slated to return online this weekend
After a tumultuous few weeks that have rocked the schedule for international LoL across the globe, a slight return to normalcy will occur with LEC and LCS being reinstated after a brief hiatus. Recent events had a worldwide effect on industries and markets everywhere. Esports has felt the impact on a global scale. With just two weeks left to go, LCS plans to return with an online version of their regular season as early as March 21. Spring Playoffs will then take place from April 4 through April 19, and the LEC will follow an identical schedule up until the Postseason.
LCS and Academy changes
While the recent situation globally has forced rapid changes across the board for multiple esports, Riot have made proactive changes early. The changes could have possibly prevented further issues in regards to social distancing and playing games without fans. The LCS and Academy League continue to be the premier League of Legends competitions in North America. Finding a way to continue the competition from a remote standpoint is one of the few advantages that esports has over traditional sports, and these advantages are being utilized in this instance.
In lieu of the recent schedule move, Monday Night League has been axed for the remainder of the season. LCS games will exclusively be played on Saturday and Sunday. The newly synthesized Academy Rush show that took place on Friday will also be cancelled in favor of airing all five Academy games back-to-back for the final two weeks of regular season play.
In spite of these last minute changes, the silver lining for Western LoL will be that both Europe and North America can share identical schedules on the way to a potential international tournament later this year. Riot Games announced last week that the Mid Season Invitational (MSI) would be postponed until July 3-19. With this extra month window, the rest of the international leagues can play catch up. This would also help with travel bans from severely affected areas in hopes that MSI can continue with all its designated participants.
Moving on in troubling times
Recent events have taught us that the world is a lot more vulnerable than we had imagined. However, the quickfire response from team owners, management and Riot personnel ensuring safety across the board has been admirable to say the least. In order to prevent a further complications, multiple leagues have taken the steps to avoid further exposure. Luckily the LCS and LEC have found a loophole to continue having players compete without the threat of putting others at risk.
Competing in an online setting instead of on stage also poses a new list of questions for teams that were fumbling their practice with bad LCS performances. Team Liquid is a prime example of a team who were supposedly doing just fine in practice, but on stage their execution lacked. Their lack of performance has led to a mixed bag of results thus far.
Competing in a more intimate environment than that of the LCS or LEC stage could be a blessing in disguise, especially teams with rookie talent. The next few weeks of play will be interesting to see which teams actually possess those ‘scrim god’ players. It will also tell us if tendencies change from on stage gameplay to this newly formatted online version of the regular season.
The full schedule is available HERE.