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 by Riot Games’ studios in Los Angeles, California.
Starting from 2021, the LCS started featuring a special one-off event called LCS Lock-In, before the season officially kicks off. It is held to ease teams into the meta and get used to the on-stage experience. Nonetheless, there’s a $150K winner-takes-all grand prize to incentivize players to give their best.
After the Spring Split the LCS Mid-Season Showdown event is held to crown the winner and the participants will take part in the first international tournament of the year, the Mid-Season Invitational.
The LCS Lock-In is not the only change made in 2021. The LCS changed its records to determine the standings. Both Spring and Summer Split results carry over to the end of the season. Following the end of the Summer Split, the LCS Championship takes place, with the top 8 teams participating. The three best-performing teams will represent North America 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 into 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 come 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 as it became a double-elimination tournament. The LCS has also had a more minor rebrand in 2021, with a new visual identity and motto.
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 systems established in 2013. Each competitive split features a eight-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 2022 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
- 2021 Spring – Cloud9
- 2021 Summer – 100Thieves
- 2022 Spring – Evil Geniuses
TSM and CLG are the only two teams that have competed continuously in the LCS since its inception. In the last few years, however, new contenders like Cloud9 and 100Thieves have shown very high potential! 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 2022 Predictions and Favorites
Based on the 2022 off-season roster moves, there are some distinct favorites that have shown to have a very high potential for the upcoming 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 Team Liquid, Cloud9 and 100 Thieves to be the front-runners of the season, shortly followed by TSM and Evil Geniuses. All the other teams have the potential to make an exploit, but most of them will fall behind the top of the pack.
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: January 14 – 30
- Regular Season Starts: February 5th
- Regular Season End Date: March 28th
- Spring Playoffs: April 3 – 24
- Regular Season Start: June 18th
- Regular Season End Date: August 15th
- Summer Playoffs: Aug 20th – Sept 10th
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.