There are still a few days left before the conclusion of the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Spring Proving Grounds, but Riot Games has already announced changes coming to the LCS Academy league and the North American amateur scene this summer. Riot Games published an article on the official League of Legends esports website on Friday, April 23 that breaks down the changes coming to both levels of competition this summer.
The 2021 LCS Academy Summer Split will feature thirty-six regular season matches played by each team, a significant number from the nine in spring. Aside from the lengthier match schedule, the format for Academy teams remains virtually unchanged. The top six teams in the Summer Split will qualify for the post-season, while the bottom four teams will have to play through qualifiers to see who can fill out the rest of the spots at the 2021 LCS Summer Proving Grounds.
Amateur teams will be able to qualify for the next Proving Grounds via a series of tier 2, open circuit tournaments. Even if a team qualifies for the Summer Proving Grounds in the first of the three circuit events, it is eligible to compete in others, but should that same team 'qualify' a second time, its qualification will be passed on to the next closest competitor in placing.
In addition to standardizing each and every amateur tournament with 2021 North American Amateur Rule Set, as opposed to the more open regulation in spring, amateur rosters will also be expanded from five players to six.
Riot also mentions that after a full split of feedback from various members in multiple facets of the amateur scene, overarching goals to 'create more incentives for each T2 tournament and develop a simpler competitive system for fans to follow' and 'develop a better cadence of tournaments to allow for teams to practice, make roster changes, and integrate with their LCS affiliates.'