Many structural changes are expected to be made to the League Championship Series (LCS), Academy and Amateur formats in 2022, Riot Games announced on Tuesday.
From updates to the 2022 LCS, Academy and Amateur season calendars, to the announcement of a new North American “super server” similar to the long-established system in China, here’s a breakdown of. Riot Games LCS 2022 update.
The 2022 LCS season will officially kick off the action on January 14, with the return of last year’s LCS Lock In tournament.
Its structure will remain unchanged in 2022 – the 10 LCS teams will face each other through groups and a support stage for the Lock In, $ 150,000 and “Bragging Right” Trophy – with finalists for the LCS 100 Thieves Championship and Team Liquid drafting teams into their groups for a single robin round.
Unlike 2021, however, the entire Lock In tournament is slated to take place on LAN at LCS studios, with the final set set for January 30.
As for the LCS regular season in 2022, the league is reverting to an even split between the spring and summer segments, each consisting of eight-week double round robin tournaments. Regular season team records will no longer also carry over from the spring to the summer segments.
In addition to the five games played every Saturday and Sunday, the league will also host two “LCS Super Weeks”, in which five more games will be played on Friday.
Here is the upcoming broadcast schedule for the LCS 2022 season:
By reducing the number of games played and pushing back start times, Riot hopes to “help combat player burnout” and “help” their East Coast and European fans to see “more meaningful games.”
The format and stakes for the Spring and Summer Split Playoffs will remain the same as last year, although new weeklong breaks will be granted between MSI and the start of Summer Split, as well as between the end of the Summer Split. regular season and the LCS Playoffs.
Here are the next key dates for the 2022 season: LCS:
Academy and Amateur
The LCS 2022 amateur program officially kicks off on January 10 with Open Circuit 1, while the LCS Academy 2022 season kicks off on January 19, with the launch of its Spring Split.
The LCS Academy’s spring and summer divisions will be double round robin tournaments with best-of-two games – a total of 36 games for each team each regular season.
LCS Academy games will normally be played on Thursdays and Fridays, but will also be moved to Wednesdays and Thursdays during LCS Super Weeks. A third would operate two Academy simulcast streams – one on their channel and the Academy channel owned by Riot.
Instead of hosting an Academy playoffs, which Riot saw as “unnecessary” to take place alongside Proving Grounds, the LCS will completely eliminate this concept and place the Academy’s 10 teams directly into Proving Grounds based on their role. of their regular season records.
Additionally, citing a “refocus and further investment in building Proving Grounds and amateur tournaments next year,” Riot announced that Scouting Grounds will not return in 2022.
Meanwhile, the competitive amateur circuit will be consolidated into two tournaments that will run alongside each division of the Academy. The top 10 amateur teams after the two tournaments will qualify for Proving Grounds.
LCS amateur matches will be played on Mondays and Tuesdays and broadcast on Academy and broadcast partner channels.
The proving grounds will serve as the culmination of Academy and Amateur competitions at the end of each division.
First, the Academy’s final four seeds will face the last four amateur seeds in a best-of-three knockout format as a play-in stage. Once the Top 16 teams are defined, the rest of Proving Grounds 2022 will function as last year: best-of-three double-elimination matches, with the final being played in LAN.
Finally, Riot has announced plans to launch Champions Queue in North America – an exclusive matchmaking system with games hosted on a West Coast server for “top players keen to get better.”
While more details on the Champions Queue features and admission criteria will be revealed in the coming months, it’s really exciting to see one of the region’s long-standing complaints finally potentially resolved. .