New faces, a brand new format, and all-new LCS Edition seats.
While the start of a new split usually sees plenty of roster moves, the LCS 2021 Spring Split promises a brand new landscape that is more exciting than anything we’ve seen in a while.
Old faces are retiring, while fresh Academy players and veterans from across the Atlantic are moving in. Major tournament format changes also up the stakes for the Spring Split, so you can be sure that everyone will be bringing their best game.
Will the same few teams dominate?
Images courtesy of Riot Games
One of the most dominant teams of 2020 was definitely Cloud9 — their unprecedented 13-game winning streak during the 2020 Spring Split was one for the record books, and even though they failed to clinch the trophy in the summer, they still established themselves as one of the best teams in the league. But Cloud9 is looking very different going into 2021. Former Academy player Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami is replacing Eric “Licorice” Ritchie in the top lane, but he’s already singled himself out as a player to watch out for with key roles in C9 Academy’s consecutive split and playoff victories.
Images courtesy of Riot Games
The most exciting change however comes in the mid-lane, where Luka “Perkz” Perković joins Cloud9 from G2 Esports in the LEC. Perkz holds the record for the most titles won in Europe, and he has put up stellar performances at multiple World Championships. With so much talent in one roster, Cloud9 looks primed to continue to sweep the competition at the LCS.
Another LCS giant that is seeing some significant changes is Team SoloMid. Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng have retired in shocking announcements, depriving TSM of arguably two of their best players. Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage and Lawrence “Lost” Sze Yuy Hui will replace them in the mid-lane and ADC roles respectively, but it remains to be seen how the 7-time LCS champions will continue to fare this spring.
Images courtesy of Riot Games.
Meanwhile, Team Liquid has added Barney “Alphari” Morris and Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen in top and jungle, bringing a wealth of experience to their line-up. Santorin in particular has had an impressive 2020 — his performance on FlyQuest was integral to multiple victories throughout the year, helping them challenge teams like TSM and Cloud9 on the same level.
You’ll want to keep an eye on Evil Geniuses as well. They’ve picked up former world champion Jeong “Impact” Eon-Young, frequently touted as one of the world’s best top laners. Impact has also won four consecutive LCS splits himself, so he’ll be bringing some serious skill and experience to EG.
In short, while you can continue to expect dominating performances from the traditional titans of Cloud9, TSM, and Liquid, there won’t be any shortage of capable challengers in the form of young and hungry talents.
A brand new format and an all-new LCS Edition chair
Each match during the Regular Season is a best-of-one, and the top six teams will advance to the Mid-Season Showdown, or what we usually think of as the spring playoffs. In the Summer Split, the playoffs will be replaced by the LCS Championship. Winning teams qualify for the Mid-Season Invitational and World Championship respectively, and how teams perform during the Spring and Summer Splits will affect their eventual seeding.
This change addresses fans’ complaints that the Spring Split used to matter less than the Summer Split, and will help make the upcoming split even more competitive.
Here’s an overview of the timeline going forward:
- Spring Split Regular Season (Feb 5 to Mar 14)
- Mid-Season Showdown (Mar 20 to Apr 11)
- Summer Split Regular Season (June 4 to Aug 1)
- LCS Championship (Aug 7 to Aug 29)
To cap it all off, North America’s best players will now be backed by an all-new LCS Edition seat, sporting a refreshed design in line with the LCS’ new look. A bright purple hue now takes centerstage, complete with repeating motifs of the league’s brand new logo on the side wings.
How to watch the LCS 2021 Spring Split
Catch all LCS 2021 Spring Split games at watch.lolesports.com or the LCS’ Twitch channel. Log into the official LOL Esports page and tune in there for a chance to score some Hextech Chests and Keys.
Here’s the schedule for the first week of games:
Friday, Feb 5
- 3PM PT – TSM vs. FlyQuest
- 4PM PT – Team Liquid vs. Immortals
- 5PM PT – Evil Geniuses vs. 100 Thieves
- 6PM PT – Golden Guardians vs. Cloud9
- 7PM PT – CLG vs. Dignitas
Saturday, Feb 6
- 1PM PT – FlyQuest vs. Evil Geniuses
- 2PM PT – Dignitas vs. Team Liquid
- 3PM PT – 100 Thieves vs. CLG
- 4PM PT – Cloud9 vs. TSM
- 5PM PT – Immortals vs. Golden Guardians
Sunday, Feb 7
- 1PM PT – FlyQuest vs. Team Liquid
- 2PM PT – Evil Geniuses vs. Golden Guardians
- 3PM PT – Cloud9 vs. Immortals
- 4PM PT – CLG vs. TSM
- 5PM PT – 100 Thieves vs. Dignitas
For the full schedule, please refer to the official LOL Esports website.