League of Legends announces Season 3 plans, attempts to organise eSports
Riot have announced the details for the third season of the League of Legends Championship Series, and they're looking mighty exciting for fans of eSports. There are plans for regular season play, an All-Star tournament, and an attempt to reign in the many disparate worldwide championships into the main series' action.
"For the first time, professional teams compete every week in regular season games that will determine who makes it into an intense playoff race," Riot reveal on their website post. Eight teams per division, picked from top Season 2 teams and qualifying winners, will play each other four times each across the season - a total of 28 games per team. This will mean regularly scheduled matches, with North American teams facing off on Thursday and Friday, and EU on Saturday and Sunday.
During the midseason break, an All-Star play-off tournament will take place. "The international All-Star break showcases the best players from around the world assembled into regional teams. The tournament will pit region against region, and let’s just say the stakes will be high!"
Riot plan to provide a free HD stream of every game, and, in the Reddit AMA about the event, also announce that they're working on a website to host spoiler-free VODs for fans.
The AMA also hints at the company's intentions regarding "partner" events, like MLG and IPL. Regular LCS matches will take place at the events, but they'll also host tournaments for challenger teams. "Those tournaments will send teams to the Promotion tournament (up-and-down) happening at the All-Star break."
It's an exciting and ambitious undertaking, and one that, if successful, could take a lot of the confusion out of eSports - which traditionally has been a very fragmented and unpredictable experience. From the season's start in February, LoL fans will be able to look forward to regular matches, all available at a consistently scheduled time and viewable from the same place. It would be great to see some of eSports other big games follow a similar philosophy. I'm looking at you Starcraft.