The 2020 League of Legends World Championships certainly saw a fairly huge amount of upsets with behemoths such as Cloud9, T1, and even defending champs FunPlus Phoenix missing the crosshairs on last year’s season. Titans fell and underdogs rose to the occasion, bringing forth a new era in the storied history of the LoL professional arena.
With that having said, sweeping changes have taken place throughout the landscape of the LoL esports scene ahead of the start of all regions’ respective spring splits in 2021. Tradeoffs and reshuffles shocked the league’s core, while seasoned players left the scene to seek greener pastures. Truly, 2021 will be an entirely new arena for all teams and fans alike.
In an effort to bolster Korea’s esports ecosystem, the LoL Champions Korea team announced that it will be making various changes to the league for 2021. Principal to those changes is the establishment of a new playoff format, which will see each qualified team playing at least two games. The top six teams from the regular season will compete in best-of-five matches across a more standard bracket.
Additionally, LCK has increased its prize pool from $276K to $368K. First placers will earn $183K, while runner-ups will receive $92K. The league also launched the LCK Challengers League, a secondary tournament that will pit Korean Academy teams against each other.
A reinvigorated G2 Esports team is set to raise the curtains on the opening day of the 2021 LEC Spring Split. Fnatic’s ace prodigy Rekkles reunited with his former teammate Caps following Perkz’ exit from the top European squad. With the team logging an impressive 61 percent win rate from the last season, critics expect G2 to remain at the top of the LEC food chain in 2021.
Fnatic will close Day 1 with a fated clash against veteran EU squad Misfits Gaming. The 2018 Worlds runner-ups look to reclaim their lost throne with the inclusion of Nisqy, a veteran midlaner from North America. Amid Rekkles’ departure, the black-and-orange squad remains confident in its capacity to win the LEC.
Following a dismal performance at Worlds 2020, several North American teams took efforts to rebuild their rosters in preparation for the 2021 LCS Spring Split. 100 Thieves acquired former Golden Guardians players Closer, Damonte, and Huhi, while prodigy player FBI joined the team as its newest AD carry.
Meanwhile, Cloud9 signed G2 Esports’ Perkz as its latest midlaner following Nisqy’s departure from the squad. The team also tapped LoL jungling veteran Reignover to serve as C9’s new head coach.
TSM also made huge changes to its lineup ahead of the Spring Split. Bjergsen retired from professional play and assumed the role of head coach, while PowerOfEvil, Lost and former Suning support SwordArt joined the North American team’s ranks.
Amid these various changes, the LoL esports circuit remains vibrant as ever. With the emergence of new faces and teams, there’s no telling what could happen within the Rift ahead of Worlds 2021.
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