Recent changes in the LCS schedule for 2023 have upset both fans and Riot Games employees alike, with professional LCS caster Isaac "Azael" Cummings-Bentley expressing a "worry for the future" of the league.
Riot Games announces new LCS schedule
Riot Games announced the changes to the LCS schedule late last week, revealing that it would be losing its Saturday/Sunday timeslot, and would instead take place during the week on Thursday/Friday.
Riot made the announcement in a statement on its website, revealing that LCS will start at 12pm PT on Thursday and Friday, while the LEC will start at 6:00 PM CET on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The move has been met with widespread criticism - with many worrying that the move to a weekday Championship Series will lower viewer numbers, and negatively impact on its overall popularity.
Azael shared his concerns about the change in a lengthy Twitter thread, in which he said that he was "worried for the future of the league that I love" and feared for his "career as an LCS caster."
Azael stated that while Twitch viewing figures are roughly equal on weekdays vs weekends, we don't yet know if the same will be true for esports events. Indeed, he added that the move to weekdays would put the LCS in direct competition with Twitch streamers, asking "are those folks even interested in esports vs the streams they already enjoy?"
He did have more positive things to say about LCS next year, however. Azael stated that the league could be "the most competitive it has ever been," adding that he was excited about "almost" every roster.
"The whole team is working hard to create an amazing product," Azael tweeted, "and I hope you'll give the changes a shot."
Still, he remains concerned that the new timeslot will mean fans will end up missing out due to work or family commitments.
"We're seeing & reading everything people are saying online," said Azael, "and it really sucks to know lots of fans I've personally made connections with won't be able to watch live anymore."
Azael isn't alone in his concerns either. Team Heretics coach Peter Dun also has his doubts. While he noted that moving the timeslot to 12pm PT would help attract international fans from the EU, the Thursday/Friday slot would put LCS in "direct competition for those fans with LVP/LFL."
The worries are hardly universal, however. Immortals Midlaner Nicholas "Ablazeolive" Abbott was somewhat more optimistic, saying that the change is "worth trying," and that Riot can "always swap back" should the change prove to be a mistake.
What's your take on the new LCS schedule? However successful it proves to be, we'll keep you updated here on Luckbox throughout the year. Remember to sign up for your free account, as we look towards the next year of League of Legends!