Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Bi-weekly Gamer: Rebuilding the system

June 15, 2016 by Adam Boyle, Contributing Writer

After the end of the spring League of Legends (LoL) Championship Series (LCS) split, LoL developer Riot Games decided that it was time to bring some changes to the system.

After every split, Riot tends to shift the rules and format of the LCS slightly. Sometimes it’s larger changes (changing the total number of teams) and sometimes it’s smaller changes (changing backend rules for the players.)

This split is no exception. The highlight of these changes is that every match has been changed to either a best-of-two-games (Bo2) or a best-of-three-games (Bo3) format.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

In Europe, the format has been changed to a Bo2 due to ties being common in other European sports like football. Bo2 has been used in the Chinese pro league for many years, and a system like it has long been desired in the western regions. Changing to a Bo2 is great for the health of the LCS, since it allows for more games and gives teams a chance to try new strategies or substitute in new players.

The same goes for Bo3: it allows for even more games as well as a clear winner. The North American LCS changed to Bo3 because Riot seems to think North American spectators can’t handle ties.

To go along with these changes, Riot will now be having two matches on at the same time. Riot has also started a second streaming channel so that no games are missed.

After one week of play, viewer numbers seem to be higher than before, if you combine the view count of both streams. Players look to be adapting well, and already some second-line players have been substituted between games.

As a viewer, games are more engaging, and previously unseen strategies are becoming normal.

If Riot keeps perfecting their system, the LCS is sure to last a long time.

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