The LCS Lock In starts the LCS 2021 season off.

18:30, 13 Jan 2021

To kick off the League of Legends Championship Series’ (LCS) new format for the 2021 season, teams are preparing for the LCS Lock In. Although the Spring Split regular season begins on Feb. 5 ending on March 14, teams will get a chance to experiment with their new rosters before its start. The three-week-long tournament will be played outside of the regular season meaning it won’t affect teams standings moving forward. 

This is a welcome sight as LCS teams were diligently working behind the scenes during the offseason resulting in over nearly half of the players in the league not returning from the 2020 season. This tournament will give a chance for these brand new rosters to buckle down and settle in prior to the regular season — giving a bit of leeway for teams to build synergies and warm up after the competitive break.

Format 

All ten LCS teams will take part in the LCS 2021 Lock In, with the groups decided via nemesis snake draft where each side took turns deciding what team would be placed into the other group. The top two teams from the 2020 season were the ones to draft — Team SoloMid in group A and FlyQuest in group B. 

The groups will be played out in a best-of-one single round-robin format for four days. The top four teams of each group will be seeded into an eight-team single-elimination bracket while the bottom teams of each group will get eliminated. The single-elimination bracket matches will be played as best-of-three until the tournament reaches the semifinal. Once at the semifinals, the format will switch to best-of-fives until a champion is crowned. 

Winner of the LCS Lock In will not only get bragging rights to start the brand new 2021 season but will also receive a $150,000 prize plus an additional $50,000 towards a charity of their choice. The champion will also get side selection for Game 5 of the regular season if a head-to-head were to be tied. 

LCS Lock In Schedule

Groups - Teams 

Group A

  • Team SoloMid 
  • Team Liquid
  • 100 Thieves
  • Counter Logic Gaming
  • Golden Guardians

Group B

  • FlyQuest
  • Cloud9
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Dignitas
  • Immortals. 

Schedule 

Day One – Friday, January 15

  • 11 pm GMT/6 pm EST – 100 Thieves vs. Team SoloMid
  • 12 am GMT/7 pm EST – Counter Logic Gaming vs. Team Liquid
  • 1 am GMT/8 pm EST – Cloud9 vs. Evil Geniuses
  • 2 am GMT/9 pm EST – Dignitas vs. FlyQuest
  • 3 am GMT/10 pm EST – Golden Guardians vs. Counter Logic Gaming 
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Day Two – Saturday, January 16

  • 9 pm GMT/4 pm EST – Immortals vs. Evil Geniuses
  • 10 pm GMT/5 pm EST – Golden Guardians vs. Team SoloMid
  • 11 pm GMT/6 pm EST – Cloud9 vs. FlyQuest
  • 12 am GMT/7 pm EST – Immortals vs. Dignitas.
  • 1 am GMT/8 pm EST – Counter Logic Gaming vs. 100 Thieves

Day Three – Sunday, January 17

  • 9 pm GMT/4 pm EST – Immortals vs. Cloud9
  • 10 pm GM/5 pm EST – Team Liquid vs. 100 Thieves
  • 11 pm GMT/6 pm EST – Dignitas vs. Evil Geniuses
  • 12 am GMT/7 pm EST – Counter Logic Gaming vs. Team SoloMid
  • 1 am GMT/8 pm EST – Golden Guardians vs. Team Liquid
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Day Four – Friday, January 22

  • 11 pm GMT/6 pm EST – Dignitas vs. Cloud9
  • 12 am GMT/7 pm EST – Golden Guardians vs. 100 Thieves
  • 1 am GMT/8 pm EST – Evil Geniuses vs. FlyQuest
  • 2 am GMT/9 pm EST – Team Liquid vs. Team SoloMid
  • 3 am GMT/10 pm EST – Immortals vs. FlyQuest

Quarterfinals - January 23 & 24

Saturday, January 23

  • 9 pm GMT/4 pm EST - TBD vs. TBD
  • 1 am GMT/8 pm EST - TBD vs. TBD

Sunday, January 24

  • 9 pm GMT/4 pm EST - TBD vs. TBD
  • 1 am GMT/8 pm EST - TBD vs. TBD

Semifinals - January 29 & 30

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Friday, January 29

  • 11 pm GMT/6 pm EST - TBD vs TBD
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Saturday, January 30

  • 9 pm GMT/4 pm EST - TBD vs. TBD

Finals - Sunday, January 31

  • 9 pm GMT/4 pm EST - TBD vs. TBD

Where and when to watch the LCS 2021 Lock In Tournament 

The LCS Lock In begins on January 15 with the first matchup between 100 Thieves taking on the reigning champions, Team SoloMid at 10 pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) — both sporting completely new rosters except one player. The matches can be watched on the LCS’ official Twitch Channel as well as the LoL Esports website  — allowing for watchers to secure in-game League of Legends loot while watching the tournament. The tournament ends on Jan. 31 after a champion is crowned; shortly after in just a few days time the LCS regular season will begin. Once in the regular season, teams will bide for a spot at the Mid-Season Showdown (MSS) in order to determine which team will represent North America at the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). 

The North American region has been through a tumultuous ride this past couple of years, often to the dismay of their fans. Disappointment has been an apt word for one of the “four main regions”. A new change of pace, a new LCS format and multiple tournaments throughout the season look to change that. With a historic offseason to boot, this perhaps may be the year of the North American region finally elevating itself. 

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