This information has been confirmed and expanded upon, and can be found in our new article here. There is more information about the LCS and Academy structure, plus a new playoff format.
For the past two seasons, LCS has been held entirely on Saturday and Sunday, ever since changing from the old Best-of-3 format to the current "Best-of-1" as they say. Each team played one game Saturday and one game Sunday for a total of five games each day.
This Spring, however, sources close to Inven Global report that Riot is implementing a new schedule, seemingly to help the Academy system gain more relevance. The Academy teams will have their first five games on Friday, with one highlighted feature match at the end. Then on Saturday and Sunday, there will be a total of four LCS games each, followed by one Academy game on stage in-studio each day. The remaining three Academy games will be played Monday in-studio, followed by the remaining two LCS games.
Last year, Riot implemented the Match of the Week for Academy, but they're putting even more emphasis on it this Spring. Not only is there a featured game on Friday, but each team will have one in-studio game per week. Each game will be officially broadcasted as well. Additionally, it can't be understated how well the actual stage time helps Academy players develop. Playing from the game house/office is very different to in-studio games, and this gives the players an additional way to progress to being "LCS ready".
The downside, of course, is with this schedule, both the LCS and Academy teams will have rather varied weeks, meaning scrims and days off will be more difficult to plan. The LCS now has three possible days for games, shifting the traditional day off from Monday to Tuesday. Scrims will be harder to schedule, because one of the "working days" will have two stage games, taking the time away from four teams.
The Academy teams also have the potential for two days between their games now as well, with every team playing a Friday game and six teams not playing again till Monday. Also, because the games are after LCS on the weekend and before LCS on Monday, rather than embedded in the middle, they may see some viewership drop-off for the Academy games specifically.
Here is a better view on the schedule:
Friday - 4 remote Academy games, followed by 1 remote Featured Academy Match
Saturday - 4 in-studio LCS games, followed by 1 in-studio Academy game
Sunday - 4 in-studio LCS games, followed by 1 in-studio Academy game
Monday - 3 in-studio Academy games, followed by 2 in-studio LCS games
Whatever the results, this is a strong step forward from Riot and at the very least provides clarity on their willingness to support the Academy system. Their support is necessary to continue growth in the league, especially with the current situation around NA talent development and infrastructure.
Let us know on Twitter if you like the changes and if you plan to watch the Academy games more closely. Are you more excited for the Featured game, the stage games on the weekend, or the new games on Monday?
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