The LCS (or League of Legends Championship Series) is a major LoL esports competition in North America.
It was founded by Riot Games in 2013 to serve as the battleground for the strongest teams in the region.
The LCS is regarded as one of the most famous and financially secure competitions in the professional League of Legends, and its participants often recruit star players from other regions.
Bookies pay this league the attention it deserves and punters can find LCS odds at most esportsbooks.
NA LCS Live Stream
LCS Regular Season
Each LCS season is divided into a Spring Split and Summer Split, during which, 10 teams battle each other over the course of 9 weeks.
The competition follows the Double Round Robin format where every team plays two best-of-ones (single-game matches) against every opponent. Players have a single chance to showcase their quality so LCS betting provides punters with unique opportunities. They can take advantage of the higher LoL odds on underdogs, as upsets are more frequent.
Until 2020, the League of Legends Championship Series scheduled matches on Saturdays and Sundays. This season, LCS betting fans can also follow their favorite teams on Mondays, with two games scheduled for this day. They can use their knowledge at both League of Legends betting sites and LCS Fantasy to hit two birds with one stone.
The NA LCS Academy teams also play over the weekend, mirroring the schedule of the LCS squads. LCS odds on Academy teams are also available in advance at the top esports betting sites and punters can bet on these matches live.
Once the regular season ends, the top six teams advance to the playoffs. All playoffs matches are conducted in a best-of-five format, meaning that the first team to win three games qualifies for the next round of the competition.
The reason behind this is that Bo5s are much better at highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the participating teams, so each lineup has to go the extra mile to take the W. On top of that, LoL esports fans get the undisputable benefit of watching more quality League of Legends.
The first and second-place regular-season teams secure byes to the Semifinals. Meanwhile, the other four have to play each other in the Quarterfinals for the right to challenge them.
All playoffs contenders gain Championship Points that go towards qualifying for the World Championship. The first-placed team gets the most points, and the fifth/sixth-placed teams get the least. The LCS odds are published in advance and then updated to reflect the latest changes in form, as well as any replacements made to the rosters.
The Spring Split winner also takes part in the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), a large international competition that occurs in between the splits.
The Summer Split winner and two LCS teams with the most Championship Points are invited to participate in the most prestigious tournament of all, the League of Legends World Championship (Worlds). With that, it’s not exactly surprising that most lineups treat spring as a warmup, so the competition reaches its peak in summer. This is the best time of the year for LCS betting, as games are scheduled on a daily basis and they also feature teams from other regions.
LCS Champions: TSM, CLG, Cloud9, and Team Liquid
Having won the majority of the LCS splits, TSM was the most accomplished team in the region.
And considering how popular the league is across the globe, this made TSM one of the most recognizable esports organizations in the world.
In the early days, TSM’s only rivals were Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) and Cloud9 (C9), as both had two LCS titles to their name. However, Team Liquid has made a solid claim to the LCS throne by winning three LCS trophies in a row.
Team Liquid’s recipe for success was simple, as it allowed its core players to grow as a team, rather than importing new talent every year. When they tried to bring in top players from Europe, visa issues hurt their plans and sent the team crashing.
By the time Team Liquid was able to return to its winning ways, Cloud9 had an insurmountable lead. And for the first time in years, punters are blessed with higher LCS odds when backing Team Liquid for victory.
LCS at Worlds and MSI
LCS teams don’t enjoy a lot of success at international tournaments. Even though TSM and Team Liquid usually qualify for the World Championship, they struggle to make it past the group stage.
Other North American lineups suffer from similar issues. The only exception is Cloud9 who has repeatedly reached the Worlds Quarterfinals. An obvious choice when it comes to LCS betting, this team has the advantage of an experienced roster and excellent coaching.
On the domestic front, they are the dominant force, after starting the regular season with 10 consecutive victories. They are the team to beat in 2020, as reflected by the LCS odds which highlight their status as bookmakers’ favorites regardless of their opponents.
As always, the real challenge for North American teams is to prove their quality in international esports tournaments such as the MSI and the Worlds. Past performance gives few reasons for optimism, but Cloud9 is playing amazingly and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Photo Credits: Riot Games / LoL Esports