LCS and LEC set to resume their competition with an online format
Riot announced League of Legends European Championship (LEC) and League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) will resume their seasons with an online format, which will be in place for the entire duration of the Spring Split.
LCS commissioner Chris Greeley took on twitter to announce this Tuesday that LCS and its Academy league will continue with online format for the remained of the Spring Split following a relatively short hiatus due to the COVID-19 concerns.
As revealed, both leagues will resume from the scheduled Week 8 matches, while the Monday Night League matches are moving to Saturday and Sunday.
"We are pleased to announce the return of LCS and Academy, starting this week with online matches and continuing for the remainder of the Spring Split," read the announcement from Mr Greeley.
"Both leagues will resume with the scheduled Week 8 matches, although we'll be shifting the Monday League games to Saturday and Sunday.
"In addition to this change, Academy Rush will be cancelled and will be replaced with the five academy games broadcasted back-to-back for Weeks 8-9. We expect to have the academy and LCS match scheduled updated on lolesports.com soon."
“With us transitioning the LCS and Academy into a fully remote setup, you may see some changes or delays in the broadcast as we fine tune the new setup and you should expect that the broadcast will not have the usual level of polish,” added Greeley.
The Academy games will kick off this week on March 19 and 20, while LCS games return on March 21 and 22. Despite the shifts in Spring Split, the playoffs will proceed as normal, between April 4 and 19.
Week 8: March 21-22
Week 9: March 28-29
Spring Playoffs: April 4-19
Round 1: April 4-5
Round 1 Losers: April 7-8
Round 2: April 11-12
Spring Split Finals: April 18-19
Week 8: March 19-20
Week 9: March 26-27
Spring Playoffs: April 2-17
Quarter-finals: April 2-3
Semi-finals: April 9-10
Finals: April 17
The LCS and Academy were initially suspended on March 13, amid COVID-19 outbreak, with Greeley citing the health and safety of players, fans and everyone involved as the reason for the decision.
Shortly after Greeley's announcement of LCS' return, LEC unveiled its Spring Split will return with an online format as well, ending a relatively short hiatus, that started on the same day as that of LCS.
"Due to the ongoing developments of the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to play the remainder of the 2020 LEC Spring Split 100% remotely online, with matches resuming Friday, March 20th," read the announcement from LEC.
As revealed, all LEC teams will compete from their respective facilities in Berlin, except for Origen, who will be playing from their home headquarters in Copenhagen, due to the travel ban imposed on most European countries, including Denmark. That, however, could in theory negatively affect Origen, who might suffer from higher ping compared to other teams, who will play straight from Berlin.
In a bit to not risk the health and wellbeing of their players and referees, LEC also announced they will not be sending referees to teams' facilities for the duration of the split as it's usually the case with leagues that are played online. Instead, competitive integrity will be maintained by implementing camera systems in the rooms where teams will be playing. Furthermore, LEC referees will remotely monitor voice communications between the players and have a live feed of all screen recordings during LEC matchdays.
The announcement of LEC and LCS' decision to move to an online format comes shortly after League of Legends Pro League (LPL) decided for a similar step, while the Korean League of Legends Korean Champions (LCK) will look to do the same by the end of the month.
Other esports titles, such as CS:GO and Overwatch also opted to implement an online format, with both FLASHPOINT and ESL Pro league Season, as well as Overwatch League slated to be played online until COVID-19 epidemic slows down to a degree where the health and wellbeing of players and other involved in the competition will not be at risk.