Today ESPN and Riot Games announced an agreement for ESPN to be the official U.S. linear and authenticated streaming platform for the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Spring Split Playoffs. Matches will air live on ESPN2 or the ESPN app, with all matches available on demand in the ESPN app immediately following competition. The first match will be 100 Thieves vs. TSM on Wednesday, April 8 at 4 p.m. EST on the ESPN App and ESPN.com.
“We’re excited to work with Riot Games to create innovative content opportunities around this amazing franchise system,” said John Lasker, vice president of digital programming at ESPN. “Showcasing one of the most popular esports in the world with the LCS’ Spring Split playoffs allows ESPN to serve new audiences.”
“Now more than ever, coming together to watch and enjoy elite competitive gaming has the power to unite us as a community”, said Chris Greeley, LCS Commissioner, Riot Games. “We’re thrilled to bring the very best of the LCS to new audiences and existing fans through this partnership and look forward to some high-skill games on the Rift as we crown a new Spring champion.”
The LCS Spring Split playoffs represent the most competitive moment of the year so far, kicking off on April 3 and 4 with the top six teams after a hotly fought first half of the season. The playoffs comprise of three rounds and culminate in a grand final on April 19 where a new champion will be crowned and go on to represent North America at the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational in July against teams from around the world. Their success will also be memorialized with a championship banner in the LCS Studios.
League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split Playoffs
|April 8||4 p.m.||100 Thieves vs. TSM (Match 4)||ESPN App|
|April 11||4 p.m.||Evil Geniuses vs. Cloud9||ESPN2|
|April 12||4 p.m.||Flyquest vs. Winner Match 4||ESPN2|
|April 18||4 p.m.||Third Place Match Up||ESPN2|
|April 19||TBD||LCS Spring Split Championship||ESPN2|
About Esports at ESPN
ESPN has a long history of delivering live programming, coverage and content to esports fans. It televised and streamed the Overwatch League playoffs and Grand Finals alongside Disney XD in addition to televising the EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18 Championship Series with Disney XD. In 2019, ESPN Events hosted the first-ever Collegiate Esports Championship at Comicpalooza in Houston and also put on two owned and operated events featuring EA’s Apex Legends in conjunction with The ESPYS and X Games Minneapolis 2019. The network also delivered the Street Fighter V World Championship and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U from Evo 2017, as well as hosted the X Games Rocket League Invitational from X Games Minneapolis 2017, and the FIFA Ultimate Team Championship Series across ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3. In 2016, ESPN2 aired the Capcom Cup 2016 Street Fighter V Final in December, the Street Fighter V World Championship in July, and the Madden NFL 16 Championship from EA Play in June. In addition, ESPN X Games teamed up with Xbox to bring Halo 5: Guardians to X Games Aspen 2016, as part of the Halo World Championship Tour.
Since 2016, ESPN.com has also delivered year-round coverage through a dedicated esports vertical featuring some of the most voices in esports. Previously, ESPN3 carried live coverage of BlizzCon and The International Dota 2 Championships in 2014 and 2015, as well as the 2014 League of Legends tournament. The network also previously delivered exclusive live coverage of Heroes of the Dorm in 2015 and 2016, with the final airing live on ESPN2, and the 2015 tournament being the first ever live, televised coverage of a collegiate esports event for ESPN.
The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is the professional League of Legends esports league in North America. League of Legends is the most-watched esport globally with 12 international leagues worldwide. Now in its eighth year, LCS is the third-most popular major professional sports league among 18 to 34-year-olds in the United States. LCS is overseen and operated by Riot Games under the leadership of Chris Greeley, LCS Commissioner. To learn more about the LCS, visit lolesports.com.
Olivia Wilson, ESPN [email protected]
Kaitlin Stewart, Riot Games [email protected]