Riot Games has announced the new format and broadcast schedule for the European LCS in 2017.
The big news is that after just one split playing best of twos the EU LCS will now transition to best of threes, which the NA LCS tried out last year. Riot said that best of twos left many feeling unsatisfied in not having a winner, so decided to add in the extra game.
This of course means that the EU LCS will have a lot more games to play, so has prompted a rethink of the format. At the start of the season the ten teams in the league will be split into two groups of five. G2 Esports and H2K will be the first seeds into each group after their performances in 2016 and will choose the teams to go into the other group. Teams will play every team in their group twice, and every team in the opposite group once.
More games also means longer broadcasts, and to eliminate the need for dual streams Riot has decided to add Saturday, and some Sundays, as broadcasts days. Two best of three series will be played every Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the regular season, with some Sundays being used to fit in the extra games.
The top three teams in each group will head to the playoffs, with the top seed going straight into the semi finals. Matches will be drawn to make sure that teams from different groups play each other.
This new group stage has also changed relegation. Now only the bottom team from each group will have to play in the relegation tournament, against the two best teams from the challenger series. This tournament will all be best of five matches, if a team wins two they are in the LCS and if they lose two they are in the Challenger Series.