The EU LCS is the main League of Legends competition in Europe, now rebranded as LEC (League of Legends European Championship). It was created by Riot Games in 2013 with the intention of hosting competitive matches between the best teams in the region. The league is known for its unorthodox strategies and mechanically gifted players, which is one of the reasons why its participants are often imported to North America. The EU LCS acronym stands for the European League of Legends Championship Series.
EU LCS Live Stream
EU LCS Regular Season
Each EU LCS season is divided into Spring and Summer Splits. Every split has 10 teams competing with each other over the course of 9 weeks. The competition is conducted in a Double Round Robin format, meaning that every team plays two Bo1s (single games) against every opponent.
EU LCS Playoffs
When the regular season comes to an end, 6 teams with the best record qualify for the EU LCS playoffs. There, they clash in grueling Bo5 series, and the first team to win three games advances to the next round. The change in format is particularly important since longer series are better at determining the stronger team and simultaneously showcasing its adaptability. Plus, fans get to enjoy the benefit of watching more high-quality League of Legends.
The top-2 teams from the regular season secure byes to the Semifinals. Meanwhile, the other four have to play through the Quarterfinals to challenge them. All playoffs contenders are awarded Championship (Circuit) Points that are necessary for qualifying for the World Championship. Naturally, the league’s champion receives the most points, and the fifth/sixth-place teams get the least.
The Spring Split winner can take part in the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), a large competition that occurs during the downtime period between the splits. The Summer Split winner and two teams with the most Championship Points are invited to the most prestigious tournament in the scene, the League of Legends World Championship (Worlds).
Most lineups use the spring split to learn teamwork and practice intricate strategies, but the competition really reaches its peak in summer. After all, every LoL player dreams of going to Worlds.
EU LCS Champions: Fnatic, Alliance, and G2
The first half of the EU LCS was the era of Fnatic. Holding the bulk of the EU LCS trophies, this team established itself as the most dominant force in the region. And while Fnatic’s winning streak was interrupted by Alliance in the 2014 Summer Split, no one actually managed to overshadow it.
But one team came close.
In 2016, G2 Esports qualified for the EU LCS and proceeded to win four splits in a row. The feat itself and the one-sided manner in which they accomplished it earned G2 the nickname of “The Kings of Europe”, and they still tower above most European teams.
EU LCS at Worlds and MSI
The EU LCS teams enjoy moderate success at international events. In fact, the first League of Legends World Championship was won by Fnatic after they defeated Against All Authority in the finals. That was a different time, though, and Korean teams haven’t entered the scene yet.
Still, even as competition grew stiffer, the region kept showing up. The 2013 World Championship had two European teams—Moscow Five and CLG EU—going all the way to the Semifinals. In 2014, all three EU LCS teams failed to make it out of the group stage, but Europe redeemed itself next year when Fnatic and Origen made it to the Semifinals. The 2016 World Championship once again saw an EU LCS team—H2K Gaming—reaching the Semis.
And while Europe couldn’t quite live up to its own standards in 2017, both Misfits and Fnatic made it out of groups to display a high level of play in the Quarterfinals.
A similar trend can be observed at the Mid-Season Invitational. The 2015 MSI had Fnatic passing the group stage before falling short in a close series against the Korean powerhouse SKT T1. And while the 2016 MSI ended with a disappointing showing by G2 Esports, the Kings of Europe struck back in 2017, going all the way to the finals before losing to SKT T1.
Why watch the EU LCS?
At its core, League of Legends is about player skill. And ultimately, no competition showcases this better than the EU LCS. Europe has one of the largest talent pools in the world, meaning that new names are constantly challenging the veterans to a battle for fame and glory. And even though the EU LCS teams aren’t as organized as their counterparts from the LCK or LPL, they make up for it with their willingness to experiment and take risks.