The 2018 NA LCS will be back on January 20th for the Spring Split, and it couldn’t come sooner. Given the recent franchising changes, the NA LCS will likely be one of the most exciting leagues to watch in 2018. And let’s not forget about the up-and-coming talent through the Academy League that’s worth a watch as well.
For now, whilst offseason is still in full swing, let’s make recap which teams will take part in the 2018 NA LCS and how you can watch all the games, along with a look at the recent announcement made regarding the Academy League, and all the other things you'll need for the Spring Split.
The participating teams
The ten NA LCS teams for the 2018 season are:
100 Thieves, Cloud9, Clutch Gaming, Counter Logic Gaming, Echo Fox, FlyQuest, Golden Guardians, Optic Gaming, Team Liquid, and TSM.
The schedule for the 2018 Spring Split has already been released, and can be found here.
Like the EU LCS, there will no longer be any promotions or relegations at the end of the 2018 Spring Split, as the NA LCS has moved to a “permanent partnership structure,” a.k.a franchising. This has led to an influx of money into the NA LCS league, and as a result there has been huge activity in the off-season with respect to player transfers, which should yield very interesting results when season 8 starts up in January.
The broadcasting schedule
Games in the 2018 Spring Split will be in a Bo1 format. They will start on January 20th and will run for nine weeks. Pre-game coverage will start at 1.30pm PT on Saturdays and Sundays, with the first game on that broadcast day starting at 2pm.
Playoffs will then happen after the end of the regular season, and will keep their Bo5 format from last year. The quarterfinals will take place over March 24th and March 25th, the semifinals will be on March 31st and April 1st, and the finals will be shown on April 7th and April 8th.
By changing the day of regular broadcasts to Saturdays and Sundays, Riot has tried to avoid any overlap with the EU LCS broadcast schedule, so that fans of both leagues can catch up with all the action as it unfolds.
There will also be a weekly recap show “NA LCS Tonight” on Sundays that will review the past weeks’ games. So there’s plenty to get stuck into!
The full NA LCS Spring Split announcement can be read here.
Further details regarding the Academy League have now been released, with Riot confirming that the Academy League will adopt the same format as the NA LCS.
This means that the 2018 Spring Split games will comprise of a Bo1 double round-robin, with games taking place on Thursdays and Fridays over nine weeks. However, only the games played on Friday will be broadcasted. The first broadcasted games will take place on January 19th.
After week nine, the top four teams in the Academy League will face each other in a Bo5 playoffs that will happen over a two-week period, and all games during the playoffs will be broadcasted. The semifinals are scheduled for March 22nd and 23rd and the finals will take place on March 30th.
Riot has promised to announce further details regarding the Academy League in the New Year, but for now you can read the full announcement here.
And that's it for our NA LCS 2018 survival guide. It will certainly be an exciting year for North American League of Legends, so be sure to tune in and follow our coverage here to keep up.
Are you looking forward to the 2018 NA LCS? Let us know in the comments below!