FNL Announcement Header - Courtesy of Riot Games

The summer split has officially gotten its start date, and it’s coming sooner than expected! The League of Legends LCS summer split is officially set to kick off on June the 12th. If that date rings strangely in your mind, it’s probably because it happens to fall on a Friday. Along with the announcement of the LCS returning, Monday Night League is officially being transitioned over to Friday Night League.

Friday Night League

Monday Night League was a bold attempt at capturing the vibe the NFL has given off for years with their Monday night national game. However the numbers just never materialized. Esports fans aren’t used to watching esports on a Monday, and it didn’t take off the way Riot had hoped it would. And so we turn our attention to Friday Night League. They’ll be debuting the summer split with a spring finals rematch. Friday, June 12th will see Cloud9 taking on FlyQuest while Evil Geniuses squares off with 100 Thieves.

At a glance, it seems like a good strategy. Friday is a day that fans associate with esports, as it usually marks the beginning of tournament weekends. I was hopeful and excited for esports to come to Monday night, but even I’ll admit that staying up to watch esports on a work night wasn’t appealing. At the end of the day, esports doesn’t have the “gotta watch it live” factor that traditional sports does. Not yet anyway. As such, it was easy enough to find time throughout the week to go back and catch up on the Monday night match-up.

Weekly LCS Schedule - Courtesy of Riot Games
Weekly LCS Schedule – Courtesy of Riot Games

LeTigress, who made her debut on Monday Night League, will be hosting the new broadcast. Riot has said Friday Night League will serve as a test kitchen for new segments and content. The Bud Light League Lounge will be back this season as well, although it’s shifting to Sunday nights to cap off the weekend.


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What to expect this split

Who are the teams to look out for?
It’s a larger field than we’ve seen in splits past, but I’d expect it to look a bit like the Spring Split. Cloud9 is your clear front-runner, and the split is theirs to lose. After C9, it’s kind of a hodge-podge of teams that are pretty close. Is there a discernible difference between FlyQuest and 100 Thieves really? No. The good news is that outside of one or two teams, no matter who you root for, you’ve got a chance. Sorry CLG fans, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Are there any dark horse contenders?
As I said before, almost everyone is a dark horse contender with C9 as the front runner. If I had to pay special attention to someone, it would be Team Solomid. Will acquiring Doublelift in the off-season pay off big? Doublelift has every opportunity to return to form this split. Not only is he reunited with Svenskeren and Biofrost, but the Summer Split has a great deal more on the line than the spring does. Could this split be a revival of the TSM/C9 rivalry, one of the greatest in all of esports?

Did we miss out on anything with no Mid-Season Invitational?
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that MSI is the be-all-end-all of the season. It’s a nice holdover to get us to the summer split. Beyond that, it is definitely valuable to get an idea of how our region stacks up internationally. So what we miss out on is an indication of whether Cloud9’s dominance in the spring is due to them being that good or the region being that bad. However, don’t lose any sleep as you enjoy the summer split.

Key Dates

Here are some of the key dates to keep in mind for the summer split.

  • Friday June 12th: Summer Split begins
  • Friday June 12th – August 9th: Summer split regular season
  • August 13th – September 6th: Summer playoffs
  • September 5th-6th: Summer grand finals
Week 1 LCS Summer Split - Courtesy of Riot Games
Week 1 LCS Summer Split – Courtesy of Riot Games

How To Watch

Here’s the weekly schedule for the LCS this summer.

  • Friday Night League Pre-Show: 8:30 PM EST starting June 12th
  • Saturday LCS: 4:00 PM EST starting June 13th
  • Sunday LCS: 4:00 PM EST starting June 14th

You can tune in at their Twitch, Youtube, or website.

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Lead Image courtesy of Riot Games