On the 23rd, League of Legends Champions Korea announced the playoffs schedule for the 2021 spring season. The LCK attempted a lot of change as it was the first season of franchising. Until last year, teams up to 5th place reached the playoffs. The 1st place team headed straight to the finals and the teams below went up in order, but this was changed drastically.
The new playoffs format expanded playoffs to six teams. In the first round, the 3rd place team plays the 6th place team, 4th plays 5th. The 1st and 2nd place team heads straight to the second round, and the 1st place team could select from the teams who got through the first round. All playoffs matches are played in a best-of-5 format.
After the 9th week, the teams that have reached the playoffs in the 2021 LCK Spring Split are DWG KIA, Gen.G, Hanwha Life Esports, T1, and DRX. Nongshim RedForce, kt Rolster, Liiv SANDBOX, Fredit BRION are competing for the last 6th place slot. As DWG KIA secured 1st place, they will be headed straight to the second round.
The first round of playoffs will be held on Mar. 31 and Apr. 1. Round 2 will continue on Apr. 3 and 4 to decide the teams that reach the finals, and the grand finals will be held on the 10th.
The total prize money for the LCK Spring Split will be 400M KRW (~354K USD). To the champions, 200M KRW (~177K USD) will be awarded and be invited to the Mid-Season Invitational that will be held in Iceland in May.
The LCK decided to have the playoffs online. Although the COVID-19 situation is being improved with the vaccine, there still are more than 300 people diagnosed per day and it cannot be considered fully safe. Also, as the LCK spring champions would have to participate in the MSI in Iceland — they decided to hold the series online to prevent any issues.
LCK secretary-general Lee Jung-hoon said, “We consider the safety of the players and league members as the no. 1 priority, so we decided to hold the playoffs online, the same as the regular season. I feel sorry that the day we could meet with the fans is getting delayed and I hope the day that fans could come to the arena to cheer for the teams very soon.”
The schedule for the LCK Awards was also announced. Awards will be given to the Player of the Split, Regular Season MVP, All-LCK Team, and Finals MVP. They will be announced through the LCK social media in order. The Young Player Award was changed to an annual award with the name Rookie of the Year. The Best Coach award was also changed to an annual award. They will be announced after the summer split. The voting for the LCK Awards will take place from the 28th after the last game is over to the 30th.
Images by: Riot Games