So there have been complaints about competitiveness (bo1 vs bo3) and viewer fatigue (all bo3 too many to watch, people don't just watch their own team) and also about very short breaks for the players between splits and MSI and stuff plus the regular season being kinda meaningless because all that counts is playoffs, right?
Last night before I fell asleep I came up with an idea. Shorten the League, make the regular season more meaningful, get bo-series back and still don't have viewer fatigue or super weeks which the teams don't like. I have taken ideas from the MSI format and the LPL and mixed my own experiences from European sports into it.
Extend the LCS to 12 teams (more money for Riot *wink*) and then divide it up into two divisions with a qualification before spring and promotion/relegation before summer. For clarification: The 12 franchised teams always stay the same, you just decide before spring which 6 teams go into which League and before summer you do promotion/relegation, next spring it's a closed qualification again (with some rules, see below).
League 1 consists of 6 teams which play a double round robin best of 2 format (a total of 30 matches / 60 games compared to 55 games in the current system with 10 teams).
(we kinda already had that in EU with the groups system but we skip the cross-group part)
Now it gets interesting. You do all that in 5 weeks. Every team plays two matches per week like they do now. One day then has 6 games (3 matches) instead of 5, not that much more, still watchable. But the teams have 4 weeks more "break time".
Top 4 teams qualify for playoffs. Number 1 seed chooses the semifinal opponent from 3/4 seed like in the MSI 2018 format, number 2 seed plays the other one. Therefore placement in regular season is much more meaningful. Also if you get 5th you're already out of playoffs. Alternatively you could do a king of the hill format like LCK does but that bears other problems like better team doesn't stay warm, you don't see the best team play much etc.
Top 3 teams of League 1 get circuit points.
The loser of 3rd/4th decider and 5/6th place go into relegation.
League 2 also consists of 6 teams, they play in the same format as League 1 (or bo1 instead of bo2 if you don't want too many games and some people wanna watch that stuff too). Winner gets to choose the opponent from 5th/6th of League 1, runner-up gets the other and 3rd place matches against the 4th from League 1 playoffs. The winners of these bo5s are promoted to League 1, losers demoted to League 2.
After that the remaining teams get circuit points according to their placement except 4-6th of League 2, they don't get anything.
Playoff format stays the same. Winner of League 1 qualifies for Worlds, place 2 and 3 get circuit points, circuit point leader qualifies for Worlds.
Instead of the promotion/relegation matches we go directly into the gauntlet. Winner of Summer League 2 is guaranteed a spot in the gauntlet even if they don't have enough circuit points, everything else as usual king of the hill and the boss is the team with the most circuit points. Gauntlet winner qualifies for Worlds.
Now you have freed up 4 weeks in spring and 4 weeks in summer to have breaks or to do other stuff. Well you actually have 5 weeks more because no quarterfinals but I'd just put a break before playoffs there. For the spring split I'd fill the 4 other weeks as follows:
Old week 1: Break (or scrim-time because what happens next)
Old week 2/3: Short Qualification Tournament which teams play in Spring League 1 or 2. The three Worlds participants are already guaranteed a spot in League 1 so they have a break here, the other teams who had a break already during Worlds all play here. So it's a 9 team tournament with 4 spots in League 1 to give out. You could do some double elimination bracket like the LPL used to have or whatever is cool and doable within 2 weeks.
Old week 4: Break
Spring split as usual happens 5 weeks of LCS without a break
And the summer split time schedule:
Summer old week 1: Break
Old week 2-3: First two weeks of LCS
Old week 4: Break
Old week 5: Rift Rivals
Old week 6: Break
Old week 7-9: Remaining three weeks of LCS
Playoffs and Gauntlet as usual
Now to the positives:
Players have more break times.
Spring split isn't meaningless because if you fail to qualify for Summer League 1 you effectively have to win League 2 to have a shot at Worlds.
You don't have all these H2K and Optic games anymore, only the good teams are in League 1.
bo2 format is more competitive than bo1.
You still have only 60 games that you all can watch, no viewer fatigue.
Regular season is more meaningful because seeding means more and less teams qualify for playoffs.
You can broadcast League 2 on idk Wednesday and Thursday evening with the casting talent that is currently casting Academy. Ditch the Academy broadcast if need be, I mean that's even more uninteresting than H2K vs Optic. As mentioned before you can do a bo1 format in League 2 to incentivize watching it additionally to the more interesting League 1.
What do you guys think?