In 2021, the LCS is changing its format by expanding the regular season to five games a day, three days a week. The end-of-season records from the Spring and Summer will be combined for the playoffs. Let’s take a look at what this means for the teams and how they can qualify.
The Spring Split has been condensed to six weeks instead of the usual nine weeks. This means teams have less time to turn things around and qualify for the playoffs. However, even teams that have fallen out of the running still have a chance to impact the seeding.
The playoffs have been converted into a separate event called the LCS Mid-Season Showdown. The winner of the Showdown will qualify for the Mid-Season Invitational in Reykjavík, Iceland in May, representing North America.
The Mid-Season Showdown will feature the top six teams from the Spring Split in a double-elimination bracket, similar to last year’s playoffs. The fifth and sixth seeds will start in the lower bracket, while the first seed will play against the fourth seed in the upper bracket.
Now let’s look at what each team needs to do to qualify for the Mid-Season Showdown.
If 100 Thieves win two of their next three matches, they will qualify for the Mid-Season Showdown. Winning just one match could still give them a chance in a tiebreaker for sixth place.
With an 11-4 record, Cloud9 is guaranteed to qualify for the Mid-Season Showdown. Even if they lose their next three matches, there’s a good chance they’ll still be in the upper half of the bracket.
Despite a recent resurgence, CLG will not be able to qualify for the Mid-Season Showdown. Their 4-11 record means they will be watching from the sidelines.
Dignitas has already locked in their spot for the Mid-Season Showdown with a 10-5 record. However, they might be seeded into the lower half of the bracket.
Evil Geniuses is on the cusp of qualifying for the Mid-Season Showdown, but they’re at risk of losing their spot to Immortals. This weekend will determine their fate.
In the scenario that Evil Geniuses beat TSM, Team Liquid, and CLG, they will qualify. Winning two of their next three matches will also likely secure their qualification. Failing to win any games this weekend could result in a tiebreaker for sixth place.
FlyQuest has narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Mid-Season Showdown this year.
With a 2-13 record, there’s no chance for Golden Guardians to qualify for the Mid-Season Showdown.
For Immortals to qualify for the Mid-Season Showdown, they will have to rely on multiple factors. If Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, or 100 Thieves fail to improve their records, and Immortals win two or three of their next matches, they could enter a tiebreaker. If Immortals lose all their matches this weekend, they won’t qualify. But even one win could lead to a tiebreaker with Evil Geniuses for sixth place.
Team Liquid is in a relatively safe position in the table. If they win two of their next three matches, they will qualify for the Mid-Season Showdown. Winning just one match could still put them in a tiebreaker for sixth place.
At this stage of the split, TSM is almost guaranteed to qualify for the Mid-Season Showdown. Even if they lose their next three matches, there’s a slim chance they’ll be in a tiebreaker for sixth place.
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