Riot Games Announced NA LCS 2018 Format Update

Every League of Legends player, team, or fan is used to constant changes. It seems like Riot Games introduces new changes every month and it can be quite difficult to keep up with everything. Even though these changes are meant to improve the quality of competition and improve fans’ experience, it seems like they do the opposite. The latest set of changes, regarding format in NA LCS 2018, was met by disapproval of loyal LoL enthusiasts. We bring you all the details.

What will Riot Games change now?

Riot Games released an announcement on their official website wherein they informed both players and fans that NA LCS 2018 will switch back to Bo1 (best of one). According to the official statement, officials from Riot Games spend a lot of time after every split to analyze whether the NA LCS format and schedule create competitive and entertaining games. After the league was based on three splits of Bo3 in the regular season, they decided to spice things up and go back to Bo1 for the new season starting in 2018.

How do they evaluate format?

Bearing in mind that fans will want to know how they evaluate the format in the first place, Riot Games provided the answers immediately. Before they determine the format to use, people from Riot Games consider:

  • Community feedback – they carry out surveys, online sentiments, and focus groups to measure community feedback and determine whether the current system is competitive and exciting enough to target group
  • Fan behavior – are fans queuing up to watch matches of some specific team or they just tune in and watch whatever is on at the moment
  • Viewership – strong league depends on how many people tune in and how long they watch the matches

Why returning to Bo1?

Okay, it’s understandable Riot Games wants to improve the quality of leagues in order to make battles more exciting and, eventually, generate more profit. And since their evaluation showed Bo3 isn’t the format they should use the next season, why returning to Bo1? According to Riot Games, fans prefer watching multiple teams and view more content rather than focus on one specific team only. Bo1 format is making a comeback because it is more digestible for fans to watch compared to Bo3 and it cuts the need for dual streams. After they carried out their surveys in search for community feedback, results showed that fans, players, pros prefer watching a single stream rather than more of them. Also, Bo1 was chosen due to its ability to give fans more time to explore the content and it is easier for fans to follow all the action from the beginning to an end. That being said, Riot Games also explained that they will continue on evaluating their format each season and if they see a change in players’ and fans’ opinions that give fertile ground for Bo3, they will bring back the format again.

How did fans react?

While in many instances fans welcome changes made by Riot Games, they weren’t thrilled with this one. They took to the official website to complain about the changes and also fans voiced their disapproval on Reddit.

One user wrote on their official site: “I am very disappointed in this decision. It’s like you care more about viewership numbers than a good competitive environment for the players.”

Another unimpressed fan added: “Huge disappointment. Not sure which fans they surveyed if anyone at all.”

A Reddit user Hawkson2020 wrote: “They backtracked because they’re moving to franchising, in which viewership matters more than competitiveness. End of story.”

Alibobaly said: “Bo1 is a terrible format for any sort of competitive integrity. You’re also effectively making the region worse in the grand scheme of things.”

There are hundreds, or even thousands, of statements like these. Fans are disappointed with this decision and claim it shows Riot Games only cares about money and sponsors, not players and fans.

Bottom line

Riot Games announced they will bring back Bo1 format in NA LCS starting 2018. Although they claimed these changes were made to create a more competitive league that will benefit both fans and players, reactions to the announcement are negative. Fans are truly disappointed with the new format with some of them even doubting Riot Games surveyed any fans at all.

More about the League of Legends LCS 2018 – Season 8:

About the Author: Aman El TawilAmna 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.