The LCS officially announced that Monday Night League is no more. The show, which premiered at the beginning of the 2020 Spring Split, will now premier on Fridays with the title, as you can imagine, Friday Night League. This change comes after LCS staff reviewed feedback from the community at the end of the split.
One of the main issues that arose from the format of Monday Night League was its timing. The show had multiple Academy games before the two main event matches featuring LCS teams. The problem with this is that while it was prime time for viewers on the West Coast, East Coast and European viewers would have to stay up later just to catch the pros play.
Now, with the matches moved to Friday, it lets fans in all time zones justify staying up a bit later to watch the matches. “Our East Coast and European fans may be more free to stay up late Friday night to tune in live, or catch-up on the games Saturday morning, as we’ll rebroadcast the Friday games before the LEC begins” LCS staff stated in a blog post.
Academy Games Revamped
Along with the introduction of Monday Night League, the LCS also created Academy Rush in the Spring Split. This showcased four LCS Academy games at the same time with a fifth broadcasting in full. The format let some of the less skilled pros have their time in the limelight. Academy Rush had always been a Friday event, but it is now being pushed forward to an earlier time slot. This time, however, all five games will be played simultaneously and will lead right into Friday Night League.
In the past split, three Academy games would take place before the two main event matches, putting a strain on viewership for fans who weren’t interested in the lower-tier matches. Now, with the revamp of the system, Thursday nights will feature a full broadcast of five Academy matches. It is a good move for the LCS to make these changes; while they still want to promote the Academy squads, the fact that they were getting in the way of major matches was an issue.
Monday Night League always had weak viewership. With the adjustment to Fridays, we will now see if the schedule was the main factor for its failure. Friday Night League will make its debut on June 12th at 5:30 PT with 100Thieves vs. Evil Geniuses.