The League of Legends Championship Series is a League of Legends esports league officially run by Riot Games and split into many separate regions, with the European League of Legends Championship Series (LEC), the North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), League of Champions Korea (LCK) and the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) being the top-tier tournaments that run two splits each year, with their own different structures and rules.
All four competitions represent the highest level of LoL play in their respective continents, and the the teams who win the splits and walk away with the most championship points qualify for the annual League of Legends World Championship, held late in the year. For esports betting tips, team profiles and schedules on the latest LCS tournaments, look no further than this page.
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About the League of Legends LCS
The League of Legends Championship Series was officially established by Riot Games in early 2013 to consolidate the esports scene surrounding its game and effectively replace the third-party profesionally organized tournaments running high-level LoL competitions previously, like the Intel Extreme Masters and Major League Gaming. Still, two seasons of LoL Championships ran under these banners, and Riot Games provided a world championship tournament at the end of each. When the third season rolled around, Riot Games’ re-structuring allowed them to run these competitions with a more regular schedule and guarantee salaries for professional LoL players in the four major countries’ leagues.
The LCS in all countries are divided into seasonal splits, called Spring Split and Summer Split. The teams in each continent enter each annual season of play, battling for top standings in each split and for the play-off tournaments, which a certain amount of the top teams from each region will qualify. Every participating team will also earn championship points to qualify for the LoL World Championships at the end of the year, depending on their performance.
90% of the games in the LCS are streamed and played live in Germany, China, Korea and the United States, with Twitch and YouTube esports live streams of the event pulling in hundreds of thousands of viewers from all over the world every year.
At the end of the LCS season in the North American LCS, the top three teams from the Summer split will take their place at Worlds, whilst in the LEC the top four teams will be at Worlds later in the year. When it comes to the LCK and LPL, the winner of the Summer split and the top championships point earner will take their place alongside the top two regional finals place getters at Worlds.
League of Legends Championship Series North America (LCS)
The North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) has undergone a major revamp for the 2018 season and is now structured under a franchise system, similar to US sporting leagues and other recent e-Leagues like Blizzard’s Overwatch League. The move was to allow revenue sharing, and give professional players additional flexibility and a voice within how the league functions, with team buy-in prices going for $10 million for existing teams and $3 million to new teams. Notable outfits which carried over to the new NA LCS league’s format include Cloud9 and Team Liquid.
Essentially, any teams playing in the NA LCS from 2018 onward do not have to face regulation or promotional tournaments.
Those that have applied and have been selected are now permanent partners of the league and will play year-to-year, which include:
- 100 Thieves (100)
- Cloud9 (C9)
- Immortals (IMM)
- Counter Logic Gaming (CLG)
- Dignitas (DIG)
- FlyQuest (FLY)
- Golden Guardians (GGS)
- Evil Geniuses (EG)
- Team Liquid (TL)
- TSM (TSM)
A major difference between NA LCS’s past seasons is they have re-introduced Bo1 (Best of 1) matches, so games are now only played over one round rather than best Bo3 (Best of 3) as it was before. Teams are ranked by win percentage and tiebreakers employed similarly to the EU LCS or play-off seeding purposes.
Throughout the 2022 season all teams will play 18 Bo1 matches, meaning every team play eachother twice, with the win-loss record determining the standings positions at the end of every round. The top eight teams in the standings will make the playoffs, with all playoff matches being Bo5 (Best of 5) series. The top two teams will bypass the first round and go straight through to the upper-bracket semi-finals.
The teams that finish in 3rd to 6th-place will play off in the first round of the upper-bracket, whilst the 7th and 8th-placed teams will wait in the first round of the lower-bracket for the losers of the upper-bracket first round matches.
A typical League of Legends double-elimination playoffs bracket will take place, with the winner of the 2022 NA LCS coming from the Grand Final that will be the very last series of the tournament.
The presently announced prize-pools (in US Dollars) for the 2022 NA LCS are as follows:
- First Place – $100,000
- Second Place – $50,000
- Third Place – $30,000
- Fourth Place – $20,000
League of Legends Championship Series Europe (LEC)
The European League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS) has 10 teams in one single table that play 18 BO1 matches, with every team playing each other twice. At the end of every week, the win-loss record will determine the positions of every team in the standings.
The differing aspect between the LEC and LCS is that only six teams make the playoffs in the LEC whereas eight teams make the playoffs in the LCS. The teams that finish from 1st to 4th-place in the LEC start off in the upper-bracket semi-finals, whilst the 5th and 6th-placed teams play off in the lower-bracket quarter-final.
Once the playoffs begin, the LEC follows the double-elimination format, much like the LCS does with their playoffs, with all of the playoff series being Bo5 series. The winner of the LEC will come from the very last series of the tournament being the grand final.
The LEC commences in January every year. The teams set to participate include:
- G2 Esports
- Excel Esports
- Team Heretics
- Team BDS
- MAD Lions
- SK Gaming
- Team Vitality
The presently announced prize-pools (in US Dollars) for the 2022 LEC are as follows:
- First Place – $82,539
- Second Place – $51,587
- Third Place – $30,952
- Fourth Place – $20,634
- Fifth Place – $12,896
- Sixth Place – $7,738
League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK)
The League of Legends Champions Korea has a 10 team competition that play each other twice in a nine week fixture, with all of the regular season series being Bo3, which differs to the LCS NA and LEC.
After all of the regular season games are completed, every team will be ranked on a table and the positioning on the table will come down to each individual teams win-loss record and any ties will be sorted out by their map difference (+,-).
The top six teams in the standing will qualify for the LCK playoffs, where the top two seeds go straight through to the semi-finals and the remaining teams will battle it out in the quarter-finals, with all playoff series playing out as Bo5’s.
The Korean League of Champions are the only top tier league that features the single elimination playoff format meaning that we get to find out the split winner in just five playoff games.
The LCK commences in January every year. The teams set to participate include:
- Brion Esports
- DAMNWON Gaming
- Hanwha Life Esports
- KT Rolster
- Nongshim RedForce
- SANDBOX Gaming
The presently announced prize-pools (in US Dollars) for the 2022 LCK are as follows:
- First Place – $153,092
- Second Place – $76,546
- Third Place – $38,273
- Fourth Place – $19,136
League of Legends Pro League (LPL)
The League of Legends Pro League, or LPL as it is known to most people, is the LoL league that is based out of China which is actually organised by Tencent Games and not Riot Games but all of the LPL teams still gain Championship Points and qualify for Worlds and MSI every year. The LPL has 17 teams participating in a 10 week fixture, meaning all of the teams play each other once. All regular season series are Bo3 similarly to the LCK season.
All 17 of the LPL teams are placed on a single table with all of the positions sorted out by win-loss record first and then map difference, exactly like the LCK. Once the regular season is completed, the top 10 teams will proceed to the playoffs with all playoff games being Bo5, and the teams that finish from 7th to 10th will kick off the upper-bracket in round one, with the 5th and 6th-placed teams waiting for the winners in round two. After the round two series have been completed, the double elimination playoff bracket starts with the winners of the round two series taking on the 3rd and 4th-place teams.
Once the upper-bracket quarter-finals winners are confirmed they will then take on the 1st and 2nd-place teams with all of the teams now competing in the playoffs and there will be only six teams remaining. We will find out the LPL champion after the grand final, ending the longest playoff bracket across all of the top-tier leagues.
The LPL commences in January every year. The teams set to participate include:
- Anyone’s Legend
- Bilibili Gaming
- EDward Gaming
- FUnPlus Phoenix
- Invictus Gaming
- JD Gaming
- LGD Gaming
- LNG Esports
- Oh My God
- Rare Atom
- Royal Never Give Up
- Team WE
- ThunderTalk Gaming
- Top Esports
- Ultra Prime
- Victory Five
- Weibo Gaming
The presently announced prize-pools (in US Dollars) for the 2022 LPL are as follows:
- First Place – $296,661
- Second Place – $148,330
- Third Place – $74,165
- Fourth Place – $44,499
- Fifth and Sixth Place – $29,666
Can I bet on the League of Legends Championship Series?
Esports fans who like to bet on their favourite teams can find betting markets for the LCS, LEC, LCK and LPL competitions and the matches played across their seasonal splits at the world’s best esports betting sites.