Players Will Once Again Compete On Stage At the LEC Studio in Berlin
At long last: players will once again compete on stage at the LEC Studio in Berlin, Germany! This has been a long time coming, and we’re elated that things have finally stabilized enough for players to step foot on stage and entertain the thousands of people watching from across the globe! The crowd is still sorely missed, but at least there’s been some actual progress towards restoring normalcy, so we’ll take this “small” triumph and savor it to the best of our ability!
The plan going forward is pretty simple: each game day, the teams and players competing in games 1, 3, and 5 will travel to the LEC Studio. Those competing in games 2 and 4, however, will still play remotely. This might seem somewhat strange, but there’s a very good explanation: player health and safety is still a top priority, and by having fewer teams in the studio, Riot can more easily maintain a safe distance between everyone on site. This way, they’ll also have enough time to “properly prepare the studio for arriving and departing teams.” In other words, they’ll be able to properly clean and disinfect everything between games.
This decision has been voted upon and passed by the League Governance Council which is comprised of representatives of all ten teams. Moreover, Riot will try its hardest to rotate teams throughout the remainder of the split so as to ensure that each team gets an equal amount of stage time as possible.
There are still four weeks of play left, so there’s more than enough time for everyone to get their turn!
Still A Ways To Go
It’ll probably be a while until fans are once again able to attend LEC games in person. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is by no means over — we’ve just been given a bit of respite to heal our wounds and prepare for the inevitable “rematch.” Regardless, we’re elated that players will once again be able to compete on stage, so kudos to Riot for finding a way to make it happen!
A similar setup is already used over in North America, but there are a couple of key differences when it comes to execution. The biggest one being that — unlike in the LEC — everyone’s playing on stage. As a result, the breaks between games tend to go on for what feels like an eternity. Add to that a seemingly inevitable Chronobreak every so often (not to mention a slew of in-game bugs) and you end up with a program that lasts far too long.
The casters and analysts try their hardest to entertain the masses, but they can only do so much. And, frankly, with the abundance of excruciatingly long breaks and game-crashing bugs, they’ve failed to keep the LCS afloat entertainment-wise, although certainly not for a lack of trying.
So, with that said, one could argue that the approach Riot has in mind for the LEC makes a lot more sense. A mix of both in-person and remote games is definitely the way to go as it’ll considerably cut down on “dead air time” — the one thing that has been plaguing the LCS broadcast ever since the Summer Split began.
The LEC returns to action this Friday (July 9) with Schalke 04 taking on SK Gaming.