Riot Games has announced significant changes to the LCS structure, confirming a previous report by Travis Gafford.
Those changes include a three-week season kick-off tournament with a $150K USD prize pool as well as an expansion of the broadcast schedule to five games per day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Spring season will be condensed into six weeks of competition (with the same number of total games being played) and will culminate in a rebranded playoff competition called the LCS Mid-Season Showdown. This event will qualify a team for the Mid-Season Invitational.
Additionally, the LCS Championship (formerly Summer Playoffs/Championship) will now seed teams based on combined records from the Spring and Summer season, giving added weight to performance during the Spring Season. This has long been a criticism of the LCS format and of league structures in esports in general – there are fewer stakes to regular season play, particularly in the first half of the year, than in the tournament circuits esports was built upon.
The topic of league structures was brought to the forefront this year by the launch of the Call of Duty League, which moved its game from a tournament circuit structure to a proposed traditional league season format. Due to feedback from the fans, the CDL quickly revised its structure to focus on tournaments rather than regular season play.