LCS 2024: New Format, Live Patch Play, And More

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LCS 2024: New Format, Live Patch Play, And More

What changes are you most excited about for the 2024 LCS season?

The LCS returns to screens on Saturday, January 20, with Team Liquid taking on 100 Thieves as the opening game of the split! Fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of the LCS, and with Mark “MarkZ” Zimmerman, the new league commissioner, we won't have to wait long for North America to see some much-needed changes.

Today, the media were given the 2024 LCS Spring Split primer, outlining the vital information ahead of the upcoming Spring Split. ESTNN will go through the competitive format, changes to the broadcast, and much more.

LCS 2024 Spring Split Format

The competitive format was the most significant topic on the agenda coming into the 2024 season. There is a need for a different format to rival the LEC's new competitive format that sees more games across a similar timeline. Unfortunately, fans hoping for a change in this department will be disappointed. The 2024 LCS Spring Split format will see the eight teams compete in a double round-robin, best-of-one regular season. This is followed by a six-team playoff tournament, with the top four teams starting in the upper bracket. Every playoff series will be a best-of-five. The top two teams at the end of playoffs will represent North America at the 2024 Mid-Season Invitational.

The significant change in this department is the scheduling, with LCS officially back on weekends. This was first announced when MarkZ was announced as the new LCS commissioner in December. The decision to remain with best-of-ones for the regular season comes from the changes the league is making in other departments. As noted in their Spring Split primer, Riot Games and the LCS have not closed the door on a different format.

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LCS Regular Season To Be Played On Live Patch

From the start of the 2024 Spring Split, the LCS regular season games will be played on the live patch. Meaning the current patch the general community is on is the same one the LCS teams will be playing on. However, the tournament will be locked to a specific patch for playoffs. This is a hope from Riot to bridge the gap between the general League of Legends community and its pro players. Any cool picks they see in the LCS can immediately be translated to their Solo Queue games, as they are on the same patch. This should also benefit the LCS players, who will not have to play on two versions of the game across the year. Riot will ensure the LCS tournament realm is continually updated to the current PBE game state to make this possible.

Reduced Match Downtime for LCS 2024

Riot stated that one of the most requested changes for the upcoming year is for the fans to watch the games faster. Many times last year, it felt like the games would take 20/30 minutes to be ready after the broadcast had finished hyping up the game, amongst delays during champion selection. One of the methods the LCS is using next season to reduce the downtime between games is to have a pre-recorded champion select. This is straightforward: “LCS teams will complete and record their drafts in the practice rooms during the previous game. Once the draft is complete, they’ll head backstage to wait until the stage match ends. Then, while the teams take the stage and conduct tech and ready checks, we’ll air their recorded draft for the casters’ live reactions as usual.”

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However, this change will only take effect during the regular season with live drafts for the entirety of playoffs.

Emphasis On Fan Interactivity

Riot Games has acknowledged its struggles when it comes to fan interactivity compared to a regular sports broadcast. This year, the LCS is making major efforts to improve the interaction between the audience and its product.

“Starting in 2024, the LCS is going to begin exploring ways to utilize tools that will deepen fan investment and promote engagement with the live broadcast. Polls and predictions are good starting points, but we want to go further. Imagine if fans could vote on which lane the broadcast follows post-draft, or select which player stays on stage for the postgame interview. There’s so much untapped potential here, and we’re ready to examine it all. ” – Quote courtesy of LCS

LCS 2024 Spring Split Schedule

Here is the full schedule for the 2024 LCS Spring Split:

Regular Season
● Week 1 (Opening Week): Jan. 20-21
● Week 2: Jan. 27-28
● Week 3 (Super Week): Feb. 2-4
● Week 4: Feb. 10-11
● Week 5: Mar. 2-3
● Week 6 (Super Week): Mar. 8-10
● Week 1: Mar. 14-17
● Week 2: Mar. 23-24
● Spring Finals: Mar. 30-31

Stay tuned to ESTNN for the latest League of Legends news and updates.

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Jordan 'Marn' is an esports journalist from across the pond. Jordan has a passion for telling stories about the esports titles he loves such as League of Legends and Call of Duty. He has written for Esportz Network, Unikrn and United Stand. Twitter: @official_marn