The NA LCS is the premier League of Legends competition in North America. The league was founded by Riot Games in 2013 with the intention of hosting the matches between the best teams in the region. The NA LCS is regarded as one of the most famous and financially secure competitions in the scene, and its participants often recruit star players from other regions. The NA LCS acronym stands for the North American League of Legends Championship Series.
NA LCS Live Stream
NA LCS Odds
NA LCS Regular Season
Each NA LCS season is divided into Spring and Summer Splits. During this time, 10 teams battle each other over the course of 9 weeks of the regular season. The competition follows the Double Round Robin format where every team plays two Bo1s (single games) against every opponent.
NA LCS Playoffs
Once the regular season ends, the top 6 teams move on to the playoffs. These are conducted in a Bo5 format, meaning that the first team to win three games advances to the next round of the competition. The main reason behind this is that Bo5s are much better at determining which team is the strongest and showcasing its adaptability. Besides, fans get the benefit of enjoying more high-quality League of Legends.
The first- and second-place regular season teams secure byes to the Semifinals. As for the other four, they have to play each other in Quarterfinals for the right to challenge them. All playoffs contenders gain Championship (Circuit) Points that go towards qualifying for the World Championship. Naturally, the first-place team gets the most points, and the fifth/sixth-place teams get the least.
Additionally, the Spring Split winner can take part in the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), a large competition that occurs between two splits. The Summer Split winner and two teams with the most Championship Points are invited to participate in the most prestigious tournament in the scene, the League of Legends World Championship (Worlds).
With that, it’s not exactly surprising that most teams treat spring as a warmup split, and the competition reaches its peak in summer. After all, every League of Legends lineup dreams of going to Worlds.
NA LCS Champions: TSM, CLG, Cloud9, and Team Liquid
Having won the majority of the NA LCS splits, TSM are currently the NA LCS top dogs. Considering how popular the league is across the globe, this makes TSM one of the most well-known esports organization in the world. The second place is shared by TSM’s biggest rivals—Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) and Cloud9 (C9)—and both of them have two NA LCS titles to their names. As for the third place, it belongs to Team Liquid that only scored a single domestic victory.
NA LCS at Worlds and MSI
The NA LCS teams haven’t enjoyed a lot of success in international tournaments. Even though TSM always qualify for the World Championship, they struggle to make it past the group stage. A similar thing happens to other North American lineups with the exception of Cloud9, who have repeatedly reached the Worlds Quarterfinals.
The Mid-Season Invitational tells a different story. At the 2016 MSI, CLG have gone all the way to the finals where they faced the Korean powerhouse SKT T1. And even though they couldn’t clinch the win, this result makes Counter Logic Gaming one of the best-performing NA LCS teams when it comes to international play.
Why watch the NA LCS?
The biggest reason to follow the NA LCS is its players. The league is home to some of the best competitors from Europe, North America, and South Korea, so you can see legends like Bjergsen, Doublelift, and Ssumday clashing with each other on a regular basis. This also makes the NA LCS one of the most entertaining competitions in the scene, as the league constantly rewards its fans with new exciting storylines.
As for the level of play, the NA LCS is often stuck in a self-contained meta game. North American teams prioritize teamwork and synergy above all else, which means they invest a lot of resources into supporting staff. The introduction of franchising attracted big-time investors, further raising the bar of the North American competition. But whether that will be enough to bring the NA LCS its first international victory still remains to be seen.