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 by-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.
Teams that are crowned Champion of the LCS Spring and Summer Split receive an automatic invite to Rift Rivals and an invite to the League of Legends World Championship respectively. Additional slots for this events are determined by a point system or qualifier events called Gauntlets.
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 were consisted of eight teams competing in a promotion/relegation league system. Since the system entailed relegation an accompanying Challenger league was formed in both reasons to house up and coming and relegated teams.
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).
League of Legends Championship Series Format
Ten teams are competing in the League Championship Series (LCS) in 2020. 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.
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.
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.
The LCS trophies have been held by only four teams since the inception of the league. Teams Cloud9 (2), Counter Logic Gaming (2), Team Liquid (4) and TeamSoloMid (6) are the only teams out of 33 to have held the trophy in the LCS. TSM and CLG are the only two teams that have competed continuously in the LCS since its inception.
- 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 – *
Teams competing in the LCS in the 2020 season:
- 100 Thieves
- Counter Logic Gaming
- Evil Geniuses
- Golden Guardians
- Team Liquid
- Team SoloMid