The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is about to begin! For the first time, professional teams compete every week in regular season games that will determine who makes it into an intense playoff race. The regular season culminates in an action-packed World Championship tournament to decide who hoists the Summoner’s Cup as the Season 3 World Champion.
Eight teams from North America and eight from Europe will battle for divisional dominance in a two-part regular season. The first half of the season runs February 7 through April 20, and the second half follows from June 1 through August 31. The top teams from each division at the end of the second half will advance to the World Championship to compete for millions of dollars in prize money.
The Championship Series competitors
In the North American division, top Season 2 teams – TSM, Dignitas and CLG.na – are gearing up for the start of the regular season. From Europe, M5.BENQ, SK Gaming, and the former members of CLG.eu have also secured their spots in the LCS based on their performance last season.
Each group will be joined by the top five teams from their division’s live qualifier. The qualifying tournament pits standout 5v5 ranked teams against established teams who are still looking to punch their ticket into the league.
The first half of the LCS regular season
North American teams will battle on Thursdays and Fridays, while the European division faces off on Saturdays and Sundays. All of the weekly action airs live in free HD with stats, in-depth interviews and expert analysis.
Teams will play a total of 28 games – four single-game matches against each of the other seven teams in their division – during both halves of the season.
The midseason playoffs and promotion
The top six teams in each division will compete in separate playoff tournaments with prizes, pride and a place in the second half of the regular season up for grabs. The top two seeds earn a bye, while the third through sixth seeds play in the wildcard round. The winners advance to play the top two seeds as the playoffs continue. The two defeated wildcard teams join the two lowest finishing teams from the first half in a promotion tournament. They’ll be challenged by rising stars from the amateur ranks for the chance to come back in the second half—or fall out of the league.
The All-Star break
After the promotion tournament, the international All-Star break showcases the best players from around the world assembled into regional teams. The tournament will pit region against region, and let’s just say the stakes will be high!
The second half of the LCS regular season
Following the All-Star break, the second half of the LCS swings back into action with the same structure but even more on the line, as the next round of divisional playoffs determine which teams will represent their region in the World Championships.
Follow the action
With the LCS, players and fans have an all-new way to get into the game. Weekly matches and high stakes competition —all broadcast free in HD—add up to an esports experience unlike any other.
Still have questions? Get answers in real time with our AMA on reddit January 9 starting at 1:45pm PST.