The Spring Split is gone!
According to journalist Travis Gafford, Riot Games is reportedly opting for considerable changes to its competitive format for the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). In his video report, Gafford states that the LCS will move to a seasonal format, merging the Spring and Summer Split with each team having to play each other five times in total instead of the current amount of four times (two times in Spring and Summer respectively). Due to this, an increase in broadcast days is anticipated with the LCS running from Friday to Sunday. The qualification for the Mid-Season Invitational will subsequently have to work differently, with the top teams having to go through a mid-season qualifier of which no more information is currently known.
Moreover, Riot Games is allegedly taking the axe to the barriers between the academy team and the amateur level structure, planning to have these teams face each other more frequently, possibly in order to facilitate talent development more quickly. Gafford speculates that some teams will be opting to have an academy and amateur level roster like 100 Thieves does currently, helping talent development that has historically been a weakness of the North American region.
Gafford's report also includes a season kick-off tournament likely expected soonish considering the impending season start in which LCS teams will be facing off against each other.
After another underwhelming performance of the North American representatives at the World Championship finals, the changes could be addressing the region's issues in talent development. Currently, the market is slanted in a way that LCS franchises have to pay significantly higher salaries than for example the LEC for international imports in order to be competitive while also keeping their endemic talent from going down more lucrative non-competitive paths such as streaming. Furthermore, Gafford speculates that an increase in games could help the region to become more competitive overall due to more opportunities for gaining experience in official matches.
Riot Games has currently not given an official comment on the report. GGRecon will update with news as soon as more official information becomes available.
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Image via Riot Games