LEC in 2023 will have a new format, possibly with Bo3 games in the regular season.
The format is a big discussion in the League community when it comes to professional play, especially in the Western leagues, LEC and LCS, where the regular season consists of only best-of-ones. This Bo1 format is hotly debated among the community, with more involved fans having a lot of criticism about it such as the lower competitiveness, worst practice for international play and a more boring regular season. These fans have been asking for a switch to a best-of-three style format for the regular season for a while now.
And it looks like LEC finally listened. According to a report from blix.gg’s Alejandro “anonimotum” Gomis, LEC will have a much different format starting with 2023. Instead of having two splits, Spring and Summer, as it does now, the premier European competition will have three splits.
Sources: LEC 🇪🇺 will change its format for 2023
– There will be 3 splits and a grand-final.
– The first 3 weeks will be the regular season (Superweeks).
– 8 best teams will face each other in a GSL-format tournament. The top-4 will advance to playoffs.
— Alejandro Gomis (@anonimotum) October 21, 2022
A new and improved LEC
According to anonimotum’s sources, each LEC split will have three weeks of regular season which will qualify the eight best-performing teams into a GSL-style tournament. The current regular season for LEC lasts eight weeks, two three-day superweeks and six two-day weeks. With the new format, all three weeks will have three gamedays: Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The eight qualifying teams will then compete in a GSL-style tournament where half of them will get eliminated. The remaining four teams will be in the playoffs, which will be played in Bo5s.
If LEC decides to move forward with this format, it will greatly increase the number of games played for its four playoff teams, while decreasing the number of games for the first two eliminated teams. This could prove to be a good move as one of the biggest perceived obstacles to increasing the number of games was the thought that fans would not want to watch more games from “worse” teams in the league.
What is the GSL format?
GSL-style is one the three most common group stage formats used in esports competitions, the other two being Swiss and round robin, which LEC and LCS already use. GSL-style is very close to a double-elimination bracket. It is usually used when you want half the teams in the group to move forward and a half to be eliminated. In a four-team GSL-style, winning two matches in a row means that topping the group while losing a match will move a team down to the lower bracket. Losing another match means that team is eliminated.
Example of GSL-style groups from FaZe Invitational. Image from Liquipedia.
While a format change can be beneficial for LEC as it could bring fresh air for the fans, there is no official confirmation that there will be one, or this format will be it if there is. It is also a question of how LEC being three splits can impact international competition. Currently, there is one international event scheduled after each split in all Riot leagues, MSI after Spring and Worlds after Summer. This change might be a signal about Riot making changes to its international circuit, or it could be a LEC-only independent change where they will play two splits between events.
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