We’re only a short few weeks away from the 2016 LCS Summer Split, and with this new Split there’s going to be a lot of changes in the formatting of the matches, and the streams which broadcast their matches. Hope everyone got their vacations in (looking at you, G2) and is ready to play some League! The European and the North American LCS are both going to be operating under different formats for this year’s Summer Split and we’ll likely see another change after Worlds to make both of the formats the same, as it’s Riot’s plan to use this Summer Split to test their format changes and decide which is better. The European LCS will start on June 2nd, 2016, while the NA LCS will start on June 3rd, 2016. Let’s dive right in.
The European LCS will be moving from a best of one format to a best of two. This is familiar among European sports (mainly football, and not the one made of pigskin) which is why Riot will be testing this format within the EU LCS opposed to the NA LCS. The pros to this format are that the players will have to adjust after their first game and adapt to how the winning team played in the series. It creates more “mind games” and overall will most likely be better than a best of one.
The stream schedule will also be changing. The EU LCS will be played on Thursdays and Fridays however there will be multiple streams running at once to make up for the fact that the games will now be twice as long because of the best of two format. The matches and streams will both run concurrently. This image will show how this will work, with two match ups streaming concurrently and the third match up being streamed only by one broadcast, likely for a “Game of the Week”.
The North American LCS is going to be going through some changes that are a little more difficult to understand than the European LCS. The NA LCS will be moving to a best of three format opposed to the best of one format as well as competing over a three day period (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Best of three makes sense for North America because in US sports we do not typically do draws. There’s overtimes, extra innings, and best of 7 series in traditional US sports’ playoffs. Riot will also be changing the stream schedule for NA as well.
The first day of competition (Friday) will be one a solo stream with two matches, no concurrent games going on at the same time. Saturday and Sunday however will have four matches a piece with concurrent streams running. This leaves Friday as a day for the “Games of the Week” if Riot so decides to do that.
All in all, these format changes should be good for the game. Riot has also had to add new staff in order to accommodate for the longer hours of the players and other staff members that keep the LCS rolling. Most recently they added PastryTime as an NA LCS caster. It’s possibly Riot may announce they’ve added more talent in the coming weeks as the LCS is only two weeks and a day away.