Riot Korea has announced that the LCK will be switching up its playoffs format for the 2021 season. The changes will come into effect when the newly-franchised league’s Spring Split kicks off on January 13.
Under the previous format, the team which secured first place during the regular split would advance directly to the playoffs final. The remaining teams (fifth to second seed) would then duke it out in order to get their shot at the LCK title.
The new format instead does away with the ‘king of the hill’ format, placing the regular split’s first seed team into a semi-final spot. As such, the team must play at least two best-of-fives in order to attain victory. The regular split system meanwhile remains unchanged, with teams playing two best-of-threes over the course of each week in a double round robin format.
The LCK will also be getting a prize money boost this season. Each split’s prize pool has been increased from 300 million won ($275,000) to 400 million ($370,000). From that, the first place team will take home 200 million won, while the runner-up secures 100 million won. Not a bad incentive.
2021 LCK Spring Split Match Schedule
Which match are you looking forward to most? 🧐 pic.twitter.com/9uImLOB17r
— LCK Global (@LCK_Global) January 6, 2021
Additionally, the LCK has instated an improved minimum salary of 60 million won ($55,000) for players, while coaches will receive a minimum of 40 million won ($37,000). This pay bump has perhaps been inspired by the increased spending on player contracts in other regions, and may help the region retain talent.