LCS | League of Legends Championship Series
The League of Legends Championship Series or LCS for short, is the highest tier league for the USA and Canada. The LCS is one of the twelve regions in the League of Legends competitive ecosystem and one of the four premier leagues together with the LCK, LPL and LEC.
Competition is held bi-annually in two competitive splits (Spring, Summer) both of which are followed by an offseason and accompanying events. Since 2018, the LCS is a fully franchised league with ten permanent teams in the competitive line-up. Matches for both competitive splits are played Riot Games’ studios in Los Angeles, California.
Before the season kicks off, a special one-off event called LCS Lock In is held to ease teams into the meta and earn a $150K winner-takes-all grand prize.
After the Spring Split a LCS Mid-Season Showdown event is held to crown the Spring champion. After the Summer Split a Postseason event called LCS Championship will determine the North American representatives at the League of Legends World Championship.
The idea for the LCS dates as far back as the launch of League of Legends back in 2009. Riot Games were seeking a way to fully own and control the competitive ecosystem for the title after the inaugural years saw mixed success. Starting in 2013, the LCS became the premier competition in League of Legends for both Europe and North America. Riot Games pledged to run a league featuring a standardized schedule and guaranteed salaries for players as well as direct support for each team qualified to compete.
The League was divided in two competitive regions, NA LCS for USA and Canada and EU LCS for all European Countries. Both leagues consisted of eight teams competing in a promotion/relegation league system. Since the system entailed relegation an accompanying Challenger league was formed to house both relegated teams and up and comers. This added a more dynamic element to the League, allowing for new people to rise up the ranks. Although, it now consists solely of ten franchised teams competing with changes in the roster comes from expansions or sales of slots.
Both Leagues largely retained the competitive system and operated under the League of Legends Championship Series brand between 2013 and 2017. Starting in 2018 and following the move to a franchising system, the LCS brand was solely retained by the North America region, while Europe rebranded their league to League of Legends European Championship (LEC). Now there is ten stable teams, LCS betting is slightly simpler to track with no relegation.
In 2020, the League’s format changed. It is now a double-elimination tournament. The LCS has also had a more minor rebrand in 2021, with a new visual identity and motto. However, this hasn’t impacted the format of the competition or the LCS teams.
League of Legends Championship Series Format
Ten teams are competing in the League Championship Series (LCS) in 2021. The esports season still follows the two split system established in 2013. Each competitive split features a nine-week round-robin system of play with games being played mainly on Saturday and Sunday of each week. An occasional “Super Week” is organized during each split hosting more games and extending the schedule by an additional day. Out of the teams competing, four of them have been active since 2013, with the most recent addition being Golden Guardians and 100 Thieves in 2018.
Following the regular nine-week season, a postseason Playoff bracket is held for three weeks that ultimately crowns the Split Champion. The top two teams from the regular season are automatically seeded into the semi-finals while the remaining four play in the quarterfinals. Based on the results in each Playoff points are awarded to each team that determines their end of season standings.
The points from each split determine the final placements for the Regional Qualifiers and potential seeding for the League of Legends World Championship. They’re also a good indicator for LCS predictions.
LCS Teams & Placements
A total of 33 teams have competed in the LCS since its inception. Following the 2018 move to franchising, a permanent roster of 10 teams has been established in the league. The lineup has shifted slightly between each season as teams have sold their slots or rebranded between seasons.
Teams competing in the LCS in the 2021 season:
- 100 Thieves
- Counter Logic Gaming
- Evil Geniuses
- Golden Guardians
- Team Liquid
- Team SoloMid
NA LCS Winners
The LCS trophies have been held by only four teams since the inception of the league. Teams Cloud9 (3), Counter Logic Gaming (2), Team Liquid (4) and TeamSoloMid (7) are the only teams out of 33 to have held the trophy in the LCS!
- 2013 Spring – Team SoloMid
- 2013 Summer – Cloud9
- 2014 Spring – Cloud9
- 2014 Summer – Team SoloMid
- 2015 Spring – Team SoloMid
- 2015 Summer – Counter Logic Gaming
- 2016 Spring – Counter Logic Gaming
- 2016 Summer – Team SoloMid
- 2017 Spring – Team SoloMid
- 2017 Summer – Team SoloMid
- 2018 Spring – Team Liquid
- 2018 Summer – Team Liquid
- 2019 Spring – Team Liquid
- 2019 Summer – Team Liquid
- 2020 Spring – Cloud9
- 2020 Summer – Team SoloMid
TSM and CLG are the only two teams that have competed continuously in the LCS since its inception. These four teams have completely dominated the LCS since launch. That’s something to consider if you’re looking at LCS betting, although the others can still surprise you!
What You Need to Know to Start Betting on LCS Champion Series
The LCS Champion Series is one of the most important events in the competitive calendar for League of Legends. Betting on the LEC or LCS can be difficult at first. You shouldn’t just jump in without knowing what you’re doing. You need to understand how the LCS works, what the markets are, and what everything means, so you can judge if the LCS odds are actually good or not.
Betting on LCS
Betting on LCS works pretty much the same as betting on any other League of Legends event. You can bet on overall winners and on individual matches. Beyond this though, When you bet on LoL you can look at map winners, in game objectives or player performances.
If you’re looking to bet on League of Legends, then the relatively self-contained LCS is a good starting point. It is widely broadcasted, followed by a lot of people, and with a small roster it is simple to understand even for newcomers to League. Make sure you do your research on Esports bookmakers though, and LCS predictions.
The NA LCS Power Rankings are also important to understand the overall strength of each participating team, and the potential of its players. The meta might shift between patches or competitive weekends, but the players and teams that perform well will have a handle on their game regardless.
Read also: Betting on the LEC
LCS 2021 Predictions and Favorites
Based on the 2021 Lock-In tournament, and overall team compositions from the free agency period, some distinct favorites have shown themselves ahead of the 2021 LCS Season. Our Power Rankings feature all the nitty gritty details you might need, but here’s a short overview of league favorites coming into the season.
We expect the entire season to revolve around Team Liquid and Cloud9 and their battle for dominance in both splits.
Fan favorites TSM are in a rebuilding phase after both veteran carries, Bjergsen and Doublelift retired in the off-season. We have very low expectations for both TSM and CLG as teams from the “winning quartet”. Potential good week-to-week performers can be found in Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves when matched with opponents that are ranked lower in the power rankings.
Our week-by-week match predictions are available in our News Section before each competitive week commences.
The LCS schedule involves a lot of games given the format of the tournament. This is the general schedule for each stage of the league.
- LCS Lock-In: Jan 15 – 31
- Regular Season Starts: Feb 5
- Regular Season End Date: Mar 14
- Mid Season Showdown – Mar 20- Apr 11
Individual games and end dates are subject to change depending on how things progress, but this is the general schedule for the entire event. If you’re looking to catch LCS Twitch streams though, you’ll have to look up the exact times of each match through this period. You can always check the up-to-date weekly schedule on the official lolesports page.
Where to watch the LCS live:
LCS betting is really more fun if you can actually watch the games! Luckily, the tournament really isn’t very hard to find. You can watch the matches on TV and online, offering a lot of different ways to enjoy things. An official LCS Twitch stream runs weekly and is often the easiest way to watch.
However, you can also find it on the YouTube channel and ESPN if you’d rather watch the traditional way.