Riot Games announced a change to the 2022 LCS Format as well as changes to the LCS Academy and introduced Challenger’s Queue.
The LCS has made some changes ahead of the upcoming season.
First: returning from last year is the 2021 Lock-In Tournament which gives the teams a chance to test out their rosters and earn the chance for bragging rights, a $150,000 prize pool as well as the title of Lock-In Champions.
Also continuing from last year will be the playoff formats from Spring and Summer. The formats, consisting of Upper and Lower Brackets, will remain in place for the 2022 Midseason Showdown and the LCS Championship weekend. The LCS Midseason Championship will take place in Houston, Texas April 23rd and 24th.
Next, match weeks will be condensed from three days a week (Friday through Sunday) to two days (Saturday and Sunday). Each day will continue to be five games a day.
Twice a season, there will be what is called a Super Week. Similar to how the LEC in Europe, this three-day week will have each team play three times during the week.
Eliminated this year will be the combined match score. Last split, a team’s record will continue into the summer. For example, a team that went 9-9 in Spring 2021 would have started 9-9 atthe beginning of the Summer. Now, each split will start over with each game being more meaningful.
Changes to Academy and Amateur
There are significant changes to the Academy and Amateur scenes.
First: Academy Playoffs have been eliminated entirely. Instead, based on the positions of the standings, the LCS Academy teams will be seeded into a playoff bracket.
For the Amateur scenes, there will be two tournaments that will qualify teams into the Proving Grounds. The top ten teams who perform in these respective tournaments will qualify alongside the Academy teams for the 2022 Proving Grounds Series.
Proving Grounds Changes
Like last year, two Proving Grounds tournaments will take place at the end of the Spring and Summer seasons. A play-in stage will field the bottom four teams in both Academy and Amateur will play in a single-elimination tournament to determine the last four spots in the main event.
In addition, the finals of the Proving Grounds will take place in person rather than online only.
Finally, the landscape is constantly changing. As such, and with the development of this format, the 2022 Scouting Grounds will not take place next year.
Finally, in response to the criticism of soloqueue in North America, Riot announced a West Coast-based server for competitive players and prospective players known as Challenger’s Queue. More details on that to come.