Competitive League of Legends action is just around the corner, with most of the main leagues kicking off in January.
This no doubt comes as wonderful news to League fans all around the world who have been without high-level action since Worlds in October. The return of competitive leagues also means the return of consistent wagering, and you can already kick things off with futures being available for the biggest leagues.
While there is a lot to talk about, let’s start with the thing that’s on everyone’s minds: What are the spring season start dates?
League of Legends Spring Season Start Dates
The majority of competitive LoL action begins in January with the start dates staggered throughout the month. We’ll first see the Chinese LPL, followed by the Korean LCK. Then comes the American LCS Lock In event, followed by the European LEC, and finally the actual LCS season. You can find the exact start dates below:
As you can see, the dates are fairly spread out, easing us into some League of Legends action. By the start of the LEC Spring Season, we’ll have our hands full with every major region competing and there will be no lack of games to watch and wager on.
Are There Any Big League Changes?
There are a few changes in the competitive system each year, with the biggest ones coming from the LCS.
The 2021 LCS Spring Season starts a touch later than usual as an all-new tournament, called the Lock In, has been added to the region. It has no actual impact on the league overall and can be considered a bit of a warm-up to the Spring Season.
When it comes to the LCS itself, it has seen a bit of an overhaul. The Spring Season results now carry over to the Summer Season, meaning each game matters that much more and sustained consistency is needed to attempt to qualify for Worlds. Additionally, a Mid-Season Showdown has been added, giving one team a chance to earn a spot at the international Mid-Season Invitational.
The other leagues, meanwhile, remain relatively the same. The LPL and LCK have seen slight adjustments, extending their Spring Season to 10 weeks (from nine and seven last season respectively). And, finally, no changes have been confirmed for the LEC so far.
What is the LCS Lock In?
If you’ve not been keeping up with LCS news, you may be wondering: What exactly is the LCS Lock In?
It’s a fair question and fortunately an easy one to answer. The Lock In is an all-new tournament for LCS teams to spice up the competitive season. It doesn’t have any direct impact on the league, but it does give teams a chance to warm up before the season kicks off and gives us an opportunity to see the new squads in action.
The teams are first drafted into two groups by the two grand finalists of the 2020 Summer Season Playoffs (TSM and FlyQuest) and play in a round-robin format. Afterward, four from each group advance to a single-elimination playoff and the Sportsbook of those playoffs grabs the entire $150,000 cash prize, as well as the first-ever Lock In trophy.
If you’re a bettor, it’s a great chance to see how teams will shape up ahead of the Spring Season, as well as get some bets in on NA League of Legends earlier than usual.
Who Are The Favorites For Each Region?
Odds are still fluctuating and may change depending on any upcoming offseason transfers, but we do already have a decent look into who the favorites are for most regions. Although, as you might expect, it’s mostly the usual top dogs.
Reigning LPL champion Top Esports is the favorite for the Chinese league, coming in at a smooth +150 to win it on Sportsbook. They do face some stiff competition from the likes of Suning, Invictus Gaming, FunPlus Phoenix and JD Gaming, but the Sportsbooks tip them to continue their strong form.
Unsurprisingly, the LEC is all G2 Esports, who come in as the biggest favorite in any league at a huge -250. With the signing of Rekkles, they’ve not only improved a key role but also dramatically weakened their biggest rivals, Fnatic. It should really come out all G2 in the LEC.
We don’t see any odds for the LCS or LCK just yet, although the LCS Lock In is a strong indication of the kind of odds we could expect for the Spring Season. There, Cloud9 enters as the favorite at +160, but there may be stiff competition with Team Liquid.