Throughout a typical Summer Split, League of Legends teams in North America usually play out 18 games during the regular season. But TSM have already played out a whopping 20 games in the Summer Split playoffs.
From their 0-3 series loss at the hands of Golden Guardians to their triumphant victory over Team Liquid yesterday, TSM have already played out an entire season’s worth of matches in the span of a month. This doesn’t even account for the upcoming 2020 Summer Finals, which will go to a guaranteed three games.
As a result, TSM have gotten a ton more practice “on-stage” than FlyQuest, who they’ll be facing against in the finals. FlyQuest have only played out 14 games in their run, since they were able to remain in the upper bracket. Even still, by the end of their series with TSM, they will have played a minimum of 17 games in the playoffs.
This number of games is comparable to the amount played in the LPL, which is currently running a best-of-three system for the regular season. Each team can play an upwards of around 35 to 40 games before going through the playoffs, giving them plenty of time to hone their skills both at a micro and macro level.
The only problem, however, is that a best-of-three system was never popular with fans in North America and Europe. Viewership was pretty low when this system was implemented, and because of this, Riot Games switched both regions back to a best-of-one environment.
Going forward, Riot Games has a good reasoning to swap formats if the viewership tanks. However, if the viewership actually increases with these changes, then this situation will continue and LCS teams will be playing much more games compared to the regular split. This shouldn’t happen in an ideal situation, but it will unless the format of either the regular split or playoffs is changed. Teams shouldn’t have to play their hearts out only in playoffs, but regular season as well. Currently, the created situation doesn’t favor teams which perform well in the regular season too much since they still have to play a lot of playoff games to secure the top standings.
However, when the format was different and LCS games were not a best-of-one, the viewership was quite low due to the fact that fans weren’t accustomed to it and no one cared about some match-ups at all. In best-of-one series though upsets can happen and that makes it exciting to watch for fans.