Riot Games is rejigging the League of Legends eSports format for 2020 . The move comes hot on the heels of securing the coveted title as the third most popular major sports league among the 18-34 age bracket in the U.S.
Starting with the Spring Split, the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) expands its erstwhile exclusively weekend broadcasts to Monday. Dubbed Monday Night League, the show will feature two marquee LCS matchups alongside a second division Academy game.
The similarities between Monday Night League and ESPN’s Monday Night Football are clear for all to see. Riot Games appears eager to continue its adoption of features that define traditional sports following the league franchising in 2018.
Things kick off in style on Jan. 27 with a match between 2019 Spring and Summer champs Team Liquid and LCS mainstays Team Solo Mid. Following up is a head-to-head battle between the LCS’ newest team, Evil Geniuses, and 100 Thieves.
With the weekly LCS games set to start at 5:30 PST, it will be interesting to see whether viewership will match games broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays.
In other changes to the LCS for 2020, Riot Games has amended the World Championship qualification criteria for North American teams. The top three teams from the LCS Summer Playoffs are now guaranteed spots, bringing an end to regional qualifiers and the Championship Points system of previous years.
Additionally, the top eight teams from the Summer regular season will now qualify for playoffs. These will play out in three rounds with winner’s and loser’s brackets culminating in a Finals Weekend.
The League of Legends Championship Series 2020 Spring Split starts on Saturday, Jan. 25 with a match between Cloud 9 and Team Liquid.