The North American League of Legends region announces some unwanted changes in its scheduling that has both the fans and their own staff upset at the decision from the higher-ups. The LCS schedule 2023 changes have been changed to 1200 PST on Thursdays and Fridays, instead of it being around 1400 PST on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. Many have spoken out on social media about the absurdity of this decision.
The LCS Schedule 2023 Changes
The LCS Schedule 2023 changes are definitely unwelcome for the vast majority of the fans. For western fans, the games will begin at 12 noon going until the afternoon, which would be tolerable if not for the fact that it will be running on the weekdays. This means that North Americans who are working or studying will not have as much freedom to watch the games as they would like to as compared to the previous schedules.
These changes were brought about by Riot Games in response to their research that found that, contradictory to the fans opinions, content was more popularly consumed during the weekdays. They hope that this change will improve the poor viewership count that the region has been seeing for the past few years. Despite their findings, many can’t help but be confused as how they would ever believe that content would be more popular while everyone was at the workplace or school.
The LCS’ Declining Viewership Count
The LCS has been experiencing horrible viewer counts, falling from its former glory of being the most viewed region in the world. Recently, the LCS – who is the FOURTH major region – has been overtaken by Brazil’s CBLoL in terms of Twitch viewership. This has caused many fans around the world to speculate that the interest for League of Legends esports has seemingly fallen off in North America, whereas it has only continued to grow in the rest of the world.
North America is the home of League of Legends and it is unacceptable that the region has been performing poorly in terms of viewership. As of now, China’s LPL is the most viewed region when combining all their primary streaming platforms with the one on Twitch. The NA LCS is the only major region to not consistently hit 100,000 active viewers.
Outrage Among the Community
The LCS fans and some former and active staff of League of Legends esports scene have expressed disappointed about the region’s decision to change the LCS schedule 2023. For the viewers, many of them have took to social media to say that they are saddened that they will no longer be able to follow the show live because of the conflicting schedules, stating that most of them don’t have the luxury of watching esports games while at the workplace.
For the staff, especially the broadcast team, they are upset that they will not be able to cast their games to the benefit of the crowd. They believe that the effort they are making are for the benefit of both the live viewers on stage and the fans who are watching at the comfort of their homes. Now that the LCS team has theoretically cut the number of viewers, they feel like their efforts are being thrown aside by the company they are working for.
Why Did Riot Games Change the LCS Schedule 2023?
Riot Games recently made a study that observed the trends in viewership regarding which timeframes people are most active in consuming content. According to their study, they found that people are actively consuming more content on the weekdays as compared to the weekends. This, combined with their declining viewership count, has opted them to try out a weekday schedule to help improve their performance.
For fan speculation, many people believe that the NA LCS is simply giving away their primetime spot to the VALORANT esports scene. They believe that Riot Games NA has given up on League of Legends esports growing any further in the region, so they’re shifting their focus on adding more viewership to the VALORANT league. This is merely speculation and Riot Games has denied that this is the primary motivation for their LCS schedule 2023 changes.
Will a Weekday Schedule Work?
If Riot Games’ study is true, a weekday schedule should help them in their viewership count. The biggest issue is that the LCS opted to start their games at 12pm PT / 3pm ET, which is a horrible time for fans in the western time zone because it is simply inaccessible, regardless of the week schedule. This is because fans are busiest during these hours either preparing or eating lunch as well as doing and continuing their work.
The weekday schedule does make the LCS more accessible for eastern and European fans. However, European League of Legends fans aren’t all that interested in the NA LCS, so drawing foreign viewers simply isn’t going to happen. This is especially true now that the Asian fanbase, where the LCS might have the largest foreign fanbase, is not completely cutoff since the games now begin at the early hours of the day.
The Best Solution for the LCS
The only way to bring back viewership for the LCS is for the region to become better overall. Fans love winning regions and the fact that the LCS is considered to be the biggest joke in League of Legends esports is simply hindering it from garnering interest from viewers, even in their own country. The region has done nothing to help improve the competitiveness of the region and the organizations have fallen even further from creating a culture of winners.
Now that even the former commentators and staff of League of Legends are calling out the LCS for its poor decision-making skills, the fans will simply stray even further away from retaining interest in the region. The LCS needs to stop being a retirement home for professional players and begin trying to become top competitors once again as a true representative of the western League of Legends esports scene.