NA LCS will return to best-of-one format due to low viewership
The North American League Championship Series (NA LCS) is waving goodbye to the current best-of-three tournament format for the next upcoming season.
According to the official announcement, the original goal was to give the community more competitive games to watch. However, data collected from the past year revealed that viewers are more likely to tune into the middle of a best-of-three series. There was an insignificant amount of fans that actually watched from the start till end. This trend worsened over time and more would only watch the concluding match to know how their favorite teams fared.
The overall viewership of the NA LCS has dropped by a large margin since Riot Games switched to a best-of-three format last year. The developer has decided to revert back to the best-of-one format in order to combat prevailing issues for the health of the competitive circuit.
“Across all of these mediums, the message that we’ve received from fans is that they’d welcome a change back to Best of 1,” Riot Games stated. “We believe this format change is the way to make the NA LCS more intuitive for new fans, makes following and watching easier for everyone, and is the right decision for the health of the League.”
Riot Games also wants to assure the community that it discussed the pros and cons with professional players before solidifying its position on the matter. Majority of them agree that the benefits of a best-of-three format are not enough to outweigh the trade-offs.
Interestingly enough, the best-of-three tournament format was brought on the behest of the community so that it had more to enjoy. In addition, a series allows both competing teams an opportunity to come back from a loss. The notion of a more tense and competitive environment was why Riot Games changed the format before.
League of Legends will kick off the spring split for its new season on January 20.