Riot Games changes the LCS broadcast time

The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) has responded to weeks of backlash from the community, and has changed its broadcast times for the 2023 Spring Split.

Riot Games announces new LCS broadcast schedule

As revealed in an interview with Riot Games' President of Esports John Needham and Global Head of League of Legends Esports Naz Aletaha, Riot Games will be moving the Thursday and Friday broadcasts back two hours, which will now begin at 2PM PT/10PM GMT.

During the interview, Aletaha remarked that she hoped the new timeslot would fit around fans' schedules, adding that the new broadcast time had been "optimised for a North American audience."

Needham also added that they didn't want the league to run too late, particularly for fans in central and eastern time zones. It's a fair argument, given that Needham explained that 70% of the North American audience are on the East Coast.

That's a clear reversal of their initial 2023 schedule, in which Riot revealed that the LCS would be losing its Saturday/Sunday timeslot, with plans to broadcast the league at 12PM PT/8PM GMT.

Those changes proved unpopular, prompting an immediate backlash among fans. The move to weekday broadcasts was unpopular enough, and the early timeslot certainly didn't help - leaving many fans worried that they would be unable to see matches due to work commitments.

Many in the community were left worrying about the future of the league, with fans worrying that the early weekday broadcasts would make it more difficult for existing fans to keep up, while preventing new fans from discovering the LCS.

It also lead to complaints that Riot Games doesn't care as much about the LCS as it does about other leagues. Needham was quick to shoot these theories down, however. While he admitted that the company hadn't done the "best job" in terms of communicating with fans recently, he rejected the idea that Riot doesn't care about the LCS, saying that it "couldn't be further from the truth" and that it wouldn't do anything to hurt the "number two league in our ecosystem from a revenue perspective."

"League of Legends esports is by far the biggest esports on the planet, one of the biggest sports on the planet," said Needham. "The LCS is one of our more important leagues within that ecosystem. We're not going to do anything anything that weakens or hurts the overall sport, that hurts the LCS.

"It's our oldest league - Riot has invested, over the years, over $250 million into the LCS. We wouldn't just walk away from that investment."

We don't have long to wait until the LCS kicks off, now under its new timeslot. The LCS Spring Split will begin on January 26, and will run until March March 17. You can see the upcoming LCS match schedule right here, and remember to claim your free 100% bonus before the action begins!