The LCS fans are not buying Riot Games’ reasons for moving the matchday schedule for the 2023 season.


League of Legends Community Raises Eyebrows Over New LCS Schedule

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
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The LCS fans are not buying Riot Games’ reasons for moving the matchday schedule for the 2023 season.
While most of them could understand the games getting shifted to Thursday and Friday, they are highly doubtful of starting the matches at noon.
Fans took to social media sites to note that they will probably not find the time to watch the games live or online given the new timings.

Riot Games has officially moved the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) match days from weekends to weekdays as part of its broadcast schedule revision for 2023. Starting next year, the LCS will run on Thursday and Friday every week with matches starting at 12 pm PT, noted Riot Games. However, fans are not entirely convinced by this move and are raising several questions. They pointed out that the times are more Europe-friendly rather than favoring North American (NA) viewers. The biggest drawback of having LCS matches on weekdays at noon is that people going to school, university, or work will likely miss these games. LCS fans and even some of the prominent personalities in the LCS community including Isaac Azael Cummings Bentley voiced their fears.

What does the community think about the LCS schedule changes?

One LCS fan took to the League of Legends subreddit to write, “The changes to the LCS broadcast time are objectively bad and potentially damaging to viewership.” The Redditor explained that there are obvious problems like the games starting in the middle of the day and towards the end of the week when most of the workforce is the busiest. The user added, “Most people aren't going to be able to just watch it at work if they have a desk job, and it certainly won't happen for anyone working any kind of labor job. Second, most people won't be able to attend in person.”  They also pointed out that if the LCS’ goal was to cater to a younger audience, the change will do the exact opposite since school hours are typically between 7 am to 3-5 pm. 

Another user simply commented, “Lunchbreak Championship Series,” jokingly hinting at the LCS’ new timings. A college-going user commented on the thread, “I'm 4th year in college, and I hate that now LCS is in the middle of the day during the week. I have classes during those times, and I definitely will not be trying to get some scuffed workaround to watch in class now. And forget about watching the bottom teams lol.

Meanwhile, LCS caster Azael took to Twitter to talk about his fears about the new direction that Riot Games has adopted for the LCS. He noted that LCS moving to the weekdays is scary and that he raised a ton of concerns internally. Azael added, “It's one that makes me worried for the future of the league that I love, and for my career as an LCS caster. I was left with a lot of questions about what will happen to the LCS next.”

Though he acknowledged that there is data showing as many or even more viewers in some cases are watching Twitch on weekdays, he questioned how this would apply to the LCS audience. Azael said, “Much love to all the LCS fans, and know that many of us share the same concerns you have. We're seeing & reading everything people are saying online, and it really sucks to know lots of fans I've personally made connections with won't be able to watch live anymore.

On the same note, esports personality Travis Gafford questioned, “Man, is there anyone outside of Riot that believes in these 12 pm start times? It seems like everyone I talk to in the industry doesn't buy it.

Twitter user arsh noted that the LCS changes are not designed to prioritize the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) and that these decisions came from the LCS executives who had data to support it. He clarified that Riot is not de-prioritizing the LCS and that “LCS could have kept its spot on the weekend if it wanted - Riot Global did not force their hand, LCS wanted this.”

A lot of LCS fans are lamenting the change on social media sites. Many of them pointed out that the league was becoming hard to watch from a game entertainment perspective and labeled the midday weekday schedule, the final nail in the coffin. 

However, one has to pour confidence in Riot Games’ logic and data analysis behind the change for LCS heading into the 2023 season. The LCS viewership has been taking hits for a few years now and hopefully, this new schedule revives its viewership numbers.

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Sadakshi has been a gamer throughout her life and has followed League of Legends since Season 3, immediately falling in love with the esports scene. Bringing in her print journalism experience, she focuses on content that is both informative and innovative. While her heart still remains with League, her love for competition has pushed her to explore other titles such as Valorant and Apex Legends.

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