NA LCS has been one of the most popular eSports competitions in the world in the last couple of years. During all that time Riot did not make any big changes when it comes to the format of the competition. However, the LCS that we got used to will become a history soon. Riot has announced that starting from 2018, NA LCS will be based on the franchise format.
The implications of that change are immense. It will be interesting to see how League of Legends community in North America will react to these changes. Considering that there are many controversial issues with this change, the response will be quick.
Biggest Changes to the Format
Starting from the 2018 season, each team that is a member of LCS will become a permanent member of the franchise based league. Those teams will have to apply for the spot in the new league. There will not be plenty of time for teams to think about this. The applications process starts on July 14th.
The biggest factors in determining the members of the new league will be the development of the brand, operation of the team, franchise’s individual models, and player’s welfare as well as the credit checks and financial situation. Those teams that are currently in the LCS will have to pay $10 million dollars for the spot in the league while those teams who want a place in the league but who were not members of the LCS will have to pay #3 million more.
Challenger Series is Becoming a History
Among all the changes that Riot has announced, one of the most important changes is that there will be no more Challenger Series. So far, teams who won Challenger Series had the opportunity to play for the spot in the LCS. However, since 2018 that will no longer be the case.
Challenger Series will become something like a development league for the teams competing in the league. The new Academy Team League will feature 10 academy teams from 10 franchising teams competing in the league. This means that getting a spot in the LCS will become almost impossible. Those organizations that are willing to pay tens of millions of dollars will get their spot.
Riot has also announced that there will be relegation from the league in cases when a team finishes in the bottom two places in five splits during two years or eight splits. In that case, the team will be eliminated from the competition. Another team will have the opportunity to buy their spot in the league.
Right now, many fans do not have any idea on what to think about this change. According to them, the biggest issue with this change that they have is that they do not see how League of Legends of NA LCS might improve and go forward. You have such closed system of the competition in which it is almost impossible to enter.
Besides that, they also think that smaller or financially not so strong teams will not be able to pay tens of millions of dollars for their spot. They will suffer the most as they will not have the opportunity to participate in one of the most important League of Legends tournaments in the world.
All in all, this format of the competition will bring huge money to Riot. The game and competition will suffer as the event will be limited to only the handful of teams. The reaction on these changes will be evident in the upcoming days.