Last season was the start of something new in the NA and EU LCS. The groups switched to the Bo3 and Bo2 formats, respectively. The community has given it’s feedback and it’s been in resounding support of the Bo3 format as you get more interesting games and just an extra game in general. Well, with that feedback Riot has gone off and concocted something straight out of left field for the EU LCS this split, but at least it includes Bo3s.
So here’s the skinny, The EU LCS is switching to the LPL style and the 10 teams present will split off into two groups. Those groups of 5 will all play in a double Round Robin Bo3 within their group and then play a single Round Robin Bo3 against the other group of 5. So everyone will play everyone at least once, but now you have two groups of five.
Splitting into groups will happen in early January and seeding will be based off of the 2016 season. That mean G2 and H2k will take the top two spots and be at the top of the two groups. Here’s where things get weird:
Groups will be drafted via snake draft, similar to Nemesis draft. There will be a pick order per turn, but the team picking will select a team to go into the opposing group rather than their own.
So each team is going down the line and picking who will be placed in each group, instead of just splitting the groups up based off of standing. For whatever reason that’s the route they took.
Playoffs are also getting a slight change when it comes to seeding. So there are still 6 teams going into everything, but whoever wins their respective group will get a bye. So the top three teams in each group go on to the playoffs with the Group A’s second place team taking on Group B’s third place team. The other side is just the same, but flipped.
All of the matches will be in a Bo5 format and reseeding will happen going into the Semis to try and create matches against teams that haven’t played each other. So if all three of Group B win, Group A will play the number 2 Group B team and the top spot in Group B will get the third seed of their group.
There’s a lot of change happening in the EU LCS, some for the better and others are just odd. Promotion and Relegation are changing, the broadcast schedule, and some of the rules governing everything. You can see the full list of changes as well as explanations of eveything here.