The premiere LoL esports competition for North American teams and players, the League Championship Series (LCS) has embarked on its 2023 Spring season with a new broadcast timeslot and a revamped format, offering excitement and intrigue for fans all around the world. Here is what you need to know about the competition and how you can follow the LCS Spring 2023 events and matches online to cheer on your favorite competitors!
The LCS Spring 2023 season will take place between January 26 and March 17, and it will feature the ten partnered organizations that fans have gotten used to across the years:
While some of the other League of Legends competitions saw serious changes made to their format, the only huge adjustment for the LCS is its scheduling change. The group stage is still a double round robin affair featuring best-of-one League of Legends matches, and the top six teams will make it to the playoffs at the end of the season.
The first four teams are seeded directly into the semifinals of the upper bracket, while the fifth- and sixth-placed sides will have to immediately battle it out for their survival in the lower bracket. The top two teams of the Spring Split will still qualify for the revamped, 13-team Mid-Season Invitational.
In total, there’s a $200 000 prize pool on the line: the winner will get half of this significant chunk of change and the runner-up will take another 25%. The third-place finishers get $30 000 and the 4th-placed team will go home with $20 000 – the rest will have to dust off themselves, shake off their disappointment and try to do better the next time around.
The tournament’s venue, previously known as the LCS Arena, has been rebranded as the Riot Games Arena, as the publisher will also feature tournaments from VALORANT’s VCT Americas competition there.
The biggest adjustment for competitive League of Legends fans will come in the form of a radically revamped esports calendar. The organizers are looking to mimic traditional sports by overhauling their broadcasting schedule, allowing players to watch the action across all the leagues without overlaps, stretched out across a larger period of time in every week of competition.
Controversially, the LCS was moved to a 2pm CT timeslot in the middle of the week, Thursdays and Fridays, which would have made it very had for domestic fans to follow their favorite League of Legends personalities in action. Ultimately, this was moved back by two hours, with changes made that were “optimized for a North American audience.”
The broadcast team also found a new role for the fan favorite Dash in the form of an all-new roadshow following players outside of the arena.
Riot’s president of esports, John Needham, had this to say to reassure fans about the changes and controversies that have been swirling around the LCS’s 2023 season:
“If there’s one thing I want to talk a lot about, [it’s] this whole narrative around not caring about the LCS – that just couldn’t be further from the truth. League esports is, by far, the biggest esport on the planet, [and] the LCS is one of our more important leagues within that ecosystem. We’re not going to do anything that weakens or hurts the overall sport [or] the LCS.”
The new and improved(?) version of League esports features a Season Kickoff event for each league, serving as a replacement for the previous All-Star events to generate hype for the new season. In the case of the LCS, it was a single showmatch between the Zoomers and the Boomers (Revenge, Spica, Jojopyun, Berserker and Busio going up against Solo, Contractz, Jensen, Array and Corejj), with the Zoomers winning 2-1 and a successful reverse sweep to give players and fans a tase of the new metagame that is to come.
You can follow the competition on all the usual places: either the official YouTube livestream or the LCS Twitch page. Live viewing and VODs are both available on the official LoL Esports website, too. Riot’s also been more open to co-streaming content creation than before, so be sure to keep an eye out for such broadcasts as well if you’re looking for something more laid-back.
North America’s best and brightest are all here with a singular goal: to triumph in the Spring Split and to build on towards even bigger things from there.
100 Thieves will bring us the long-awaited reunion of Bjergsen and Doublelift, which will be more than enough by itself for many fans to root for their success, and it goes without saying that Cloud9 also can’t be counted out either, as the winners of the previous split will feature the same foundational roster for another go-around.
And yet, perhaps the most exciting storyline to follow will be to find out how well FlyQuest’s massive revamp will turn out: the org significantly revamped their playing squad and their support structure as well, and they are seen as one of the teams with the highest potential alongside Evil Geniuses, or, as some might derisorily call them, Danny and co.
Meanwhile, Team Liquid will be looking to build on their impressive player pickups in the offseason in the form of Summit and Pyosik, though most fans and experts would not see them as favorites to do win the title in this crowded field.
Can the LCS defy expectations, both in terms of viewership numbers and their performances on the international stage. Only time will tell – but all pieces are in the right place for a super-exciting LCS Spring Split in 2023.