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Fans of the League of Legends LCS region are facing a drastically different schedule this season. No, the format isn't changing. Teams will still compete in a spring split to try to reach the LCS playoffs in April. However, the weekly competition will no longer be a weekend affair. Starting in 2023, the LCS has been moved to Thursdays and Fridays with games starting at 3 PM EST (Noon PST). As one might imagine, there have been some mixed responses to this news.

Why switch up the LCS Schedule?

The LCS has been one of the most successful esports leagues in history. Despite having never come close to producing a world champion, the LCS remains one of the most lucrative of Riot's leagues. Viewership has remained strong, although it has fallen off some from its height. And it does beg the question of why Riot would switch their flagship broadcast to what many would consider a less than ideal timeslot.

Two reasons spring to mind. First, they've begun to see that LCS fans are viewing other leagues as well. This would include the ever dominant Korean LCK League and the generally well liked European LEC. By switching the LCS to Thursdays and Fridays, they allow their fans to watch multiple leagues without cannibalizing one another. While this may make sense in some ways, it still feels like LCS fans would much prefer their home league on the weekends when people are off work and school.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 13: Cloud9 takes a final pose onstage after their elimination at the League of Legends World Championship Groups Stage on October 13, 2022 in New York City.

Cloud9 exiting Worlds 2023

The second reason is the massive success of VALORANT competitive, which Riot is looking to massively expand in 2023 with the VCT. With VALORANT still a much more nascent scene, Riot might be betting that people will be more willing to make the jump to Thursdays and Fridays to follow the game they have a long history and attachment to. In that way, they may succeed in locking down viewership from Thursday to Sunday between LCS and VCT. Will this work in practice? Time will tell. History has shown that most people only follow one or two esports at most, and League and VALORANT seem to target different audiences.

Will this negatively impact the league?

Whether this positively or negatively affects the league will be dependent on what's important to you. If your goal is only to see a team capable of winning Worlds 2023 makes it to the LCS Finals, then this probably isn't going to change a whole lot for you. The change in time is unlikely to have much effect on the LCS standings this season. For the casters who date all the way back to the days of calling it the NA LCS, it's gotta sting to see your show relegated to daytime television during the week. And for the average fan who either has school or work during the day on weekdays, games starting at Noon on the west coast means most of your viewing will be done on VOD, and that's a shame.

Ultimately, only time will tell if this move makes sense. Riot is far from being infallible, as they've definitely made missteps before with the LCS and with League of Legends in general. On the other hand, they've generally earned the benefit of the doubt, as their decisions have no doubt brought League of Legends to the unbelievable heights it's at. That's the nice thing about being in charge; you get to make the decisions. You also have to own the results, and everyone is going to be keeping an eye on viewership metrics this season.