We already knew that the schedule of the League of Legends Championship Series would change in order to spotlight the Academy teams. With the same amount of matches, the upcoming season will operate over nine weeks. While nothing change here, the playoffs will now operate differently.
Previously, LCS teams were playing the Spring Split in order to win points taken into account for their qualification for Worlds. The new system will drastically change this, by removing both Championship Points and the Regional Qualifier from the circuit. It means that the Summer Split will be directly determining qualification for Worlds, since the three NA seeds will be decided at the outcome of the Summer Playoffs.
It also means that the Spring Split won't have any impact on Worlds anymore, with the winner of the 2020 LCS Spring Finals advancing to the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational instead.
At the same time, both Playoffs from each Split are going to change their format.
In short, it means that the four first seeds — i.e. the four first teams in rankings at the end of the Spring Split — will have the opportunity to lose their first match without being immediately eliminated. Moreover, the first seed will also have the possibility of choosing which of the 3rd or the 4th seed they will play for their first match.
These advantages will certainly motivate LCS teams to be at least in the top four at the end of the Spring Split, thus bringing more competitiveness into the Spring Split.
The Summer Playoffs are also going to evolve and will be now split into a Winner's and a Loser's Brackets. They will follow the same logic than the Spring Playoffs: the better ranking teams will have at the end of the Summer Split, the more advantages they will benefit from.
The first and the second seed will be directly qualified for the second stage of the tournament. The six other seeds will have to face each other in the first stage, but the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th seeds will have another chance if they lose this match. The 7th and the 8th seed will risk direct elimination.
Until finals, teams will be able to lose one match without being instantly eliminated from the tournament. Honestly, we couldn't be more happy about this format change. It will avoid us to see two one of the favorites teams getting eliminated by another one just at the beginning of the tournament, and will certainly ensure more spectacle!
LCS starts on January 25, so get ready to cheer your favorites teams up!