LCS game days to shift to Wednesday, Thursday in 2023
Since its inception in 2013, the League Championship Series has been traditionally scheduled on Saturday and Sunday. That might change starting next year, as according to multiple sources, Riot Games reportedly plans to shift the LCS’s game days to Wednesday and Thursday in 2023.
In the past, the LCS would occasionally switch to Monday and Friday nights. They have previously hosted playoff games on Thursday nights too, but regular Thursday night games would be the league’s first.
The changes are most likely due to declining viewership. North America clearly shows this downward trend. In addition, Some minor leagues, such as the LFL (France) and CBLOL (Brazil), recently had higher multiple simultaneous viewership than the LCS.
The LCS only has the seventh-highest peak viewership in the world of League of Legends in the current split. The average concurrent viewership (ACV) for the LCS Summer 2022 is 80,688, with a total airtime of 84h 25m, according to the statistics website Esports Charts.
LCS players also have noticed this trend. Team Liquid’s Midlaner, Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, who began his career in 2013, acknowledged that viewership was lower than it had been a few years ago, though he was unsure why, saying, “I don’t know exactly why the viewership might be lower, I don’t think it’s really my place.”
“But we have had conversations with Riot. They’re aware of it and have a lot of ideas on things they can look to change within the next few years,” the player, who competed in the North American league for 16 splits and won six titles, told Dexerto.
“I’m definitely hopeful that the LCS can bounce back— I mean, I don’t think it’s dead or dying by any means, but viewership obviously isn’t as high as it was three or four years ago. I think Riot and the teams are going to have to get more creative to get people to care about the LCS and its players again.”
If everything goes as planned, next year’s LCS will begin in January. However, it is unknown whether the change in match days will coincide with a change in the LCS format. Recent reports have not indicated any changes to the schedules or formats of international leagues such as the LEC, LPL and LCK.
Why doesn’t LCS attract more audiences?
When the LCS debuted in 2013, the teams and the league as a whole were driven by prominent personalities. Streaming and online content helped some of the most popular teams grow their fan bases. Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming, for example, have been in the North American scene since the beginning of LoL Esports and have built a rivalry through Andy “Reginald” Dinh and George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis.
Nowadays, teams are spending more money than ever to acquire the best players for when it matters the most. As a result, training and competition have become more rigorous, leaving players with little time to stream and grow their fanbase outside the league.
In addition, people watch the tournament not to see teams compete at the highest level of League of Legends but to see their favorite teams and players — which, unfortunately, may be absent from the current LCS.