After a busy and exciting free agency period, the hype surrounding the upcoming LCS season has charged up to new levels among North American League of Legends fans. But when Riot Games announced the controversial changes to the league’s schedule, concerns started to bubble from supporters around the state of the league, including 100 Thieves’ superstar AD carry Doublelift.
The 29-year-old veteran recently announced his return to professional play with the Thieves this past offseason, and during his latest stream, he voiced worries about how moving broadcast hours to Thursday and Friday at midday would affect viewership.
“How much percentage drop off could merit them to rethink the schedule?” Doublelift said. “Obviously, doomsday is [where] the new schedule drops, and the LCS has half the viewership from before… Would that be enough for the LCS’ managerial staff to revert the change? Or is it one of those things where we have to just tank it for a whole year or a whole split?”
Related: LCS could easily lose more than just its primetime slot after 2023 schedule changes
One of Doublelift’s fans also brought up the fact that even if the league decides to revert the changes, it would be extremely hard to return to the original format because the new NA VALORANT broadcast has taken over the weekend spot at the Riot Games Arena.
Given “Riot’s new favorite child” has shifted into place and the LEC also has a different schedule to avoid overlap on weekends, there are many different aspects that will have to be moved around to accommodate the LCS if the company decides to return things back to normal. This means that if viewership numbers begin to struggle in North America, the LCS will have to deal with the drops until the end of the season.
“[Riot has] finessed themselves mentally into thinking this is actually going to be better for the LCS,” Doublelift concluded. “What I don’t like about this plan is they are so sure of it, that there is no way for them to walk it back. Worst case scenario, we could potentially be locked into a situation where LCS has -30 to 50 percent viewership for a whole year, and that would suck for everyone trying to get sponsorships, secure more funding, or sell their LCS spot to a new, shiny investor.”
The 2023 LCS Spring Split is scheduled to begin on Jan. 26.