LoL esports represents professional League of Legends on a global scale. Primarily it includes the five major professional leagues from around the globe:
- North America: North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS)
- Europe: European League of Legends Championship Series LCS (EU LCS)
- Korea: League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK)
- China: League of Legends Pro League (LPL)
- Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao: League Master Series (LMS)
These leagues, plus international qualifiers from regions not represented above, feed into the annual World Championship.
The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is divided into two regions: North America and Europe. Each 10-team league competes over nine weeks, with every team facing one another twice per split, for a total of 18 games each. The regular season is played in a Best of 2 Round Robin format, with each team playing once a day. You can watch the LCS live every Thursday through Sunday on lolesports or on our spoiler-free VODs page once each match is finished.
- EU LCS: Airs every Thursday and Friday at 9:00am PST/18:00 CET.
- NA LCS: Airs every Saturday and Sunday at 12:00pm PST/ 21:00 CET.
After the first split of the season, the following split will follow the same outlines with the exception of the playoff format. Based on the playoff results, the top teams will earn a trip to the 2015 World Championship.
This season, LCS teams will receive championship points based on their performance in the LCS playoffs each split. The points will be used to determine seeding for the World Championship and Regional Qualifiers for North America and Europe.
The NA and EU LCS Playoffs will take place over a three week period with each round of matches (Quarters, Semis, and Final) taking place on separate weekends. All playoff matches will be a Best of 5. The NA and EU Spring Split Playoffs will take place over the following weekends:
- NA and EU Summer Playoffs, Quarters: August 8-9
- NA and EU Summer Playoffs, Semis: August 15-16
- NA and EU Summer Playoffs, 3rd and Final: August 22-23
At the end of the season, the top seven teams will automatically re-qualify for the LCS. The 8th and 9th place LCS teams will then play in a Promotion Tournament against the 2nd and 3rd place Challenger Series (CS) teams to retain their spot in the LCS. The 8th place LCS team will get their choice of CS opponent. The 10th place LCS team will automatically be relegated to the Challenger Series, while the 1st place Challenger team will automatically qualify for the LCS. You can find more information on the 2015 LCS changes here.
The Challenger Series (CS) is the birthplace of future esports champions in North America and Europe. As the only path for players to join the premier LCS, competition in the CS is fierce. The Challenger series is comprised of six teams facing each other team twice in a double round robin season. All matches are played in a Best of 1 format.
Challenger Series playoffs are comprised of four teams in a seeded, single elimination playoff. Finals are played in a Best of 5 format, all other matches are Best of 3. The 4th place team re-qualifies for the Challenger Series, 2nd and 3rd place teams advance to the LCS promotion/relegation playoffs, and 1st place is automatically promoted to the LCS.
- EUCS: Airs every Wednesday at 9:00am Pacific / 18:00 Berlin Time.
- NACS: Airs every Wednesday at 6:00pm Pacific / 3:00 Berlin Time
You can find more information on the Challenger Series here.
League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) is the ultimate League of Legends esports league in Korea. The LCK features ten teams facing every other team twice over the course of the split. Each season is divided into two six-week splits. All matches are played in a Best of 3 format. At the end of the LCK season, the bottom two teams drop into a promotion/relegation tournament while the top four teams advance to a playoff series.
LCK playoffs are comprised of four teams in a winner-advances tournament with #3 and #4 place teams battling their way through each other (and then #2) for a chance to face the #1 seed in a finals match. All matches are Best of 5 format.
The Tencent League of Legends Pro League (LPL) is the premier League of Legends esports competition in China. The LPL features 12 teams facing every other team twice over the course of the season, for a total of 22 matches. At the end of the LPL season, the bottom four teams drop into a promotion/relegation tournament while the top eight teams advance to a playoff series.
Regular season points are distributed as follows for Best of 2 matches:
- 3 points for a 2-0 (winning both matches).
- 1 point for a 1-1 (a tie).
- 0 points for a 0-2 (losing both matches).
Playoffs are comprised of eight teams in a seeded, single elimination tournament. All matches are played in a Best of 5 format. A 3rd/4th place match will be played.
The League of Legends Master Series (LMS) is the foremost League of Legends esports league in South East Asia. The LMS features 8 teams from the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Teams will face off in a double round robin season, each team plays every other team twice. Matches are played in a Best of 2 format. A 2W-0L record in a match will result in the winning team earning 3 points. A 1W-1L record in a match will result in both teams receiving 1 point. Regular season rankings are determined by total points, game difference, and shortest game time.
LMS playoffs are comprised of four teams in a seeded, single elimination ladder tournament. All matches are played in a Best of 5 format.
How to watch
You can watch the LMS live every week on Live Garena or on our spoiler-free VODs page once each match is finished. The full match schedule is available here. Matches are not currently available in English.
How to Watch
- EU LCS: Airs every Thursday and Friday at 9:00am PST/18:00 CET.
- NA LCS: Airs every Saturday and Sunday at 12:00pm PST/ 21:00 CET.
The live stream is also viewable via various stream providers, such as Twitch, Azubu, and YouTube. Multiple languages can also be found on Lolesports.
If you want to watch LCS matches live in person, here's how:
North America - Los Angeles, CA
NA LCS tickets are available on Eventbrite. The NA LCS studio is located at 12312 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064.
Europe - Berlin, Germany
EU LCS tickets are available on Eventbrite.The EU LCS studio is located in Berlin at Am Studio 20D, Studio K/L, 12489 Berlin (Adlershof).
To help plan your trip to the new studios, the full Spring Split schedule is available here.
Regular season matches of LCK will be live on Lolesports:
- Wednesdays: 12:00am PST / 10:00 CET / 18:00 KST and 9:00pm PST / 6:00 CET / 13:00 KST
- Fridays: 12:00am PST / 9:00 CET / 17:00 KST
- Saturdays: 12:00am PST / 9:00 CET / 17:00 KST
Regular season matches of LPL will be live on Lolesports:
- Thursdays: 9:00pm PST / Fridays 6:00 CET/ Fridays 13:00 CST
- Fridays: 9:00pm PST / Saturdays 6:00 CET/ Saturdays 13:00 CST
- Saturdays: 9:00pm PST / Sundays 6:00 CET/ Sundays 13:00 CST
Both the NA and EU Challenger Series will air on Wednesday in 2015. Matches will be live on Lolesports:
- EU Challenger: 9am PST / 6pm CET
- NA Challenger: 6pm PST / 3am CET
LCS Rules - Introduction and Purpose
These Official Rules (“Rules”) of the League of Legends Championship Series (“LCS”) apply to each of the teams who have qualified to play in the LCS in 2015, as well as their managers, coaches, players, and other employees. Season Three of the LCS will be divided into two halves (“splits”). Each split will consist of three phases (a) a regular season, (b) playoffs, which will be at the conclusion of the regular season, and (c) a promotion/relegation tournament after the playoffs are conducted. The top teams from the LCS division in North America, the LCS division in Europe, and from other regions around the world will advance to the Season Three League of Legends World Championship. These Rules apply only to official LCS play and not to other competitions, tournaments or organized play of League of Legends (“LoL” or the “game”).
League of Legends Championship Series LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, has established these Rules for the competitive play of LoL in order to unify and standardize the rules used in LCS competitive play.
These Rules are designed solely to ensure the integrity of the system established by the LCS for professional play of LoL and a competitive balance among the teams that play at the professional level. Standardized rules benefit all parties who are involved in the professional play of LoL, including the teams, players and general managers.
These Rules do not restrict competition for players. The terms of engagement between players and teams are left to each of the teams and its players and are set forth in written agreements between a team and each of its players (“Player Agreement”).
Challenger Series Rules
These Official Rules (“Rules”) of the League of Legends Challenger Series (“CS”) apply to each of the teams who have qualified to play in the CS in 2015, as well as their managers, coaches, players, and other employees. The 2015 Season of the CS will be divided into two halves (“splits”). Each split will consist of three phases (a) Series 1, (b) Series 2 and (c) the CS Playoffs, after which the top three teams will advance to compete against the bottom three teams from the LCS in the Promotion Tournament. These Rules apply only to official CS play and not to other competitions, tournaments or organized play of League of Legends (“LoL” or the “game”).
Interregional anti-poaching and anti-tampering policy
What is the interregional anti-poaching and anti-tampering policy?
No team member or affiliate of a team may engage in the solicitation, luring, or discussion of employment of a player who is under a league-recognized contract with a professional team competing in the top-level league of a region. Similarly, players under league-recognized contracts cannot solicit or reach out directly to other team members or affiliates of other teams. In the event of prolonged discussions of employment that aren't sanctioned by the management of both teams, both the party attempting to poach and the player being poached will be subject to penalties at the discretion of league officials.
Should any interested team wish to engage in conversation with a player under a league-recognized contract with another team, they must first contact the management of the team holding the contract.
League Notification: After the teams have come to an agreement and before initiating contact between the interested team and player of interest, they must notify their respective regional office of the agreement, with confirmation from both teams' management via email.
Prospective teams and team affiliates (owners seeking to enter a league, etc.) attempting to poach players will also be subject to sanctions, up to and including denial of entry into Riot-sanctioned leagues and competitive events.
If I'm interested in acquiring a player, how do I know if he or she is currently under contract?
As a team, you can inquire about the availability of players - it just needs to be to the player's management so long as that player is under contract.
The database linked above contains the contract end-dates of contracted players currently participating in leagues where there are league-recognized contracts (i.e., contracts that conform with league minimum standards, such as minimum player compensation). It also includes contact information for teams who have volunteered contact information. It will be updated at the beginning of every split and periodically during the split to reflect roster modifications.
This database is intended as a resource to facilitate legitimate communication between teams and players. Where there is good reason to believe a player is under a league-recognized contract despite not being in the database (e.g. a brand new player in a league with officially-recognized contracts not yet having his or her information reflected in the database), teams are expected to contact management rather than approach players directly.
If I'm a contracted player interested in leaving my team, what are my options?
While contracted players cannot reach out to other teams' affiliates, they can:
- Publicly state their interest in leaving their team and encourage any and all interested party to contact their management.
- Players cannot encourage specific teams, publicly or privately, to reach out to their management.
- Exercise a buyout clause in their contract to leave their team if one exists.
- Reach out to teams once their contract expires (typically during the off-season for most players).
Clarification of restrictions:
- Teams and affiliates of those teams cannot engage in discussions with players under contract regarding potential employment.
- Teams are to reach out to other teams directly regarding employment of contracted players.
- Players under contract with a team should not engage in employment discussion directly with other teams.
- Players not under contract are free to reach out to potential employers and vice-versa.
Why do you have the current poaching policy?
Poaching protections are important both for the stability of organizations and to avoid competitive integrity issues. During the season, it's important that players aren't being distracted from their preparation or being tempted to play at less than 100% by offers of employment from rival teams.
When players and teams sign a contract they are entering into an agreement that a player will play for a team during a defined period of time and be duly compensated for their play - players abruptly dissolving their contracts due to employment discussions with other teams during the season creates a chaotic environment for teams and players and undermines the stability of the competitive ecosystem.
This doesn't mean that we want to prevent players from ever switching teams or finding the team that is the best fit for them - discussing the possibility of being traded to another team with their management, or simply waiting until their current contract is up before engaging in any negotiation they want. For players whose contract includes a buyout clause, that's an option they may be able to exercise as well. Ultimately, the value of contracts goes both ways. For players, contracts provide stability and the promise of a paycheck. For teams, contracts guarantee that contracted players play for their team and if a player wants to leave a team, the team management are a necessary part of that discussion. This is an important dynamic to preserve, and poaching protections are one way of doing so.