The New Year is just around the corner which means we’re just a few weeks away from the brand new season of League of Legends Championships Series. For that purpose, Riot Games made some changes for the EU and NA LCS Spring Split in 2017 in a bid to ensure that the upcoming season becomes the best and most exciting one so far. While there have been a lot of roster changes going on in the last couple of weeks this article will solely focus on the format changes to the EU and NA LCS. So, what changes you can expect? Keep reading to find out!
NA LCS Spring Split changes
Starting this year, Riot Games will introduce expedited arbitration for ruling disputes and NA LCS ruleset violation. The main goal of arbitration is to establish an independent body to offer both affected teams and Riot a unique opportunity to validate and present their findings after a serious judgment without putting a burdensome cost on player or team.
Teams involved in disputes will be able to provide their evidence for arbitration and they’ll, also, get to review evidence submitted against them. The arbitration will be available for judgments resulting in:
- A fine of $10,000 USD or more
- A suspension of 1 or more games
Furthermore, when it comes to disputes that include termination from NA LCS, teams will still be able to opt for traditional arbitration.
New digital goods
Every NA LCS team will get a minimum of $50,000 of new digital product revenue per split along with their existing revenue from team icons. This change is particularly beneficial for new teams as they continue to grow their fan base.
Head coach protection
Starting the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split, head coaches will have the same contract requirements and poaching protection as pro players. Additionally, they will be listed in the Global Contract Database. The main goal of the extra protection for head coaches is to provide an additional level of support and protect the investment that teams made in them.
Riot Games also made some changes regarding the inactive roster. Starting this season, the inactive roster will allow NA LCS teams to add 3 “inactive” players max to their roster during the interim phase. The “inactive” players will still count against the team’s maximum of 10 rostered players. However, they won’t be allowed to play in any League match until they move to the active roster.
2017 NA LCS Spring Split team rosters will look like this:
|Active Roster||Reserve Roster||Inactive Roster|
|5 players||2-5 players||0-3 players|
|Starting line-up||Substitutes who can be swapped in the active roster||Players associated with the team, but not eligible to play|
Riot Games increased prize pool to $200,000 per split. Although the prize pool isn’t the main driver of competition thanks to rising salaries and minimum compensation requirements, this change aims to provide improved compensation. This is, logical, considering the fact the league matures and grows rapidly.
- LCS-Challenger Sister Teams – Riot Games will continue to allow NA LCS teams to operate a Challenger team in 2017, but those teams won’t be allowed to participate in the Promotion Tournament
- Relegation – this Spring Split, the 8th place LCS team won’t be sent to the Promotion Tournament, but the NA LCS 9th place and 10th place, NA CS 1st place and 2nd place teams, will still participate in the Promotion Tournament at the end of the Spring Split. The tournament will now use Bo5 format or “dual-style”
EU LCS Spring Split changes
Regular season format
Here is where the biggest changes come in. First of all the format of the 2017 EU LCS Spring Split is moved to a Best of 3 Format – so no more ties possible. Moreover the 10 teams get divided into 2 groups, each containing 5 teams . The regular season will be divided into three sections:
- Weeks 1-3 – teams play a single Round Robin Bo3 against other teams in their group
- Weeks 4-7 – single Round Robin Bo3 against teams in opposing groups
- Weeks 8-10 – single Round Robin Bo3 within groups
Therefore, throughout the season teams will play other teams from their groups twice and opposing groups once.
Starting January, EU LCS draft will determine the teams for each group. Considering the fact that G2 Esports and H2K won the highest amount of championship points during the 2016 EU LCS season, they will take seeds 1 and 2 and act as the head of their groups. The groups will be drafted through snake draft resembling Nemesis draft. It’s important to mention that playoffs will retain the same format as last season.
The new season of EU LCS Spring Split will witness the reduced number of teams entering the promotion tournament from 3 to 2. The number of CS teams will be maintained at 2, and there will be a double elimination Bo5 format.
The bottom of every EU LCS group enters the promotion tournament while the higher seeded team can pick the CS team they want to battle in round 1. At the end of the promotion tournament, teams that won 2 Bo5 games are promoted to EU LCS while those that lost 2 matches are relegated to the Challenger Series.
- Prize pool – the prize pool will increase to €200,000 per split
- Arbitration – teams will have the ability to contest competitive rulings with manageable costs and in a timely manner
- Head coaches – the same changes as in NA LCS, head coaches will have the same contract requirements as pro players
- LCS-Challenger Sister Teams – EU CS teams that are sister teams of EU LCS teams can compete in the Promotion Tournament. Starting the 2017 Summer Split sister teams won’t be able to compete or advance to Challenger Series, but they’ll still be able to compete in the European Regional Leagues
- New Digital Goods – each EU LCS team will get a minimum of €50,000 per split for the new digital line
New League of Legends Season will start with major changes that will not only benefit players and coaches but also improve the tournaments and quality of play. We’ll have to wait a few more weeks for Spring Split to start thus marking the onset of a season full of excitement and stay tuned for more news regarding the LCS Live Stream!
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About the Author: Amna El Tawil is a news reporter and a technology blogger. For the past five years, she has worked for major publications and TV networks in the Middle East, covering one of region’s hotspots. When Amna is not chasing after the truth amidst gas canisters, she can be found cheering her favorite football team on, or unwinding with some online gaming.