LEC New Format
The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) is rumored to be changing its format ahead of the 2023 season. The league will have three splits throughout the year, as well as a GSL-style format for regular seasons and split playoffs, according to Alejandro “Anonimotum” Gomis of blix.gg.
What are these changes?
The format adjustments, according to the report, will include a three-split system instead of the prior two-split method (Spring & Summer). The first split will begin around January 20th, and each will consist of a three-week regular season. There will be three game days, similar to the LEC Superweeks (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). There will be three phases in all.
Following each regular split, the top eight teams advance and compete in a GSL-style elimination bracket (a Swiss bracket), while the two remaining teams (ninth and tenth place) are eliminated. The tournament’s second phase (GSL) lasts two weeks, with games played in a best-of-three format. According to Anonimotum’s report, the GSL tournament for the third split could go place.
The third phase of the competition will feature another GSL-style bracket, with the top four teams from the second phase progressing. The subsequent games, however, will be played in a best-of-five style.
The LEC finals will be held in August 2023, with the top six teams qualifying and participating in a bo5 format identical to the 2022 LCS spring playoffs. The top four seeds will spawn the lower bracket, while the fifth and sixth seeds will spawn the upper bracket.
The new arrangement will allow clubs to gain extra practice time. However, doubts remain about the prospective MSI qualifying and whether that tournament would be altered as well.
What exactly is a GSL-style format?
The GSL format, like the double-elimination bracket, allows for an error. Teams are not eliminated immediately and are given a second chance to qualify. Teams in a GSL bracket would have two chances to qualify or win the tournament.
The number of games played is determined by the number of teams in the bracket. In the case of the LEC, this would be eight teams in the second phase and four teams in the third. The winner of each match advances, while the loser is relegated to a losers match or round, where they may be eliminated.
Pros and Cons of the format changes
The revisions to the formula ahead of 2023 will be a breath of fresh air for the LEC. Teams will be able to play more games and, for the first time, experience a bo3-style of play. There will be more practice, which will eventually make European teams more competitive on a global scale. Due to the lengthy timeframe, the modifications may allow for roster additions.
However, it remains to be seen how successfully it will affect the players. Burnout is possible as the number of games increases. The MSI spot will also be at stake, raising the question of whether the first split will even matter on the international stage. Why should players be concerned?
Furthermore, the schedule may not allow for extensive rests between splits. The league has yet to decide how to implement the required amount of rest time.
The LEC has yet to confirm the modifications, but if the format changes are implemented, all potential questions will be fully addressed.