markz league of legends
Credit: Riot Games

New year, new LCS

The LCS schedule just got way better with MarkZ as commisioner

The LCS has a new commissioner for 2024 and more importantly, it’s going to return to weekends after a disastrous scheduling change in 2023.

Ahead of the 2024 season, Riot Games designated former on-air caster and coach MarkZ as the new Commissioner for the LCS. MarkZ has been part of the LCS ecosystem since 2014 when he joined Team Curse as Head Analyst.

“MarkZ brings a truly unique perspective on our league and ecosystem, as he has worn a variety of hats throughout his career…We look forward to seeing his passion and deep knowledge of the LCS shine through his new role as our Commissioner,” said Americas League of Legends esports head Carlos Antunes said in a statement.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, the announcement received mostly positive reactions from fans. MarkZ is a familiar face to anyone who watches the LCS, working as an analyst for Team Curse and Team Liquid before moving to an on-camera role with the LCS. Sandwiched between those roles was a run with streaming group Offline TV.

That familiarity is giving the community hope about the future of the North American league. In 2023, the LCS faced a significant decrease in its viewership numbers. This is one of the many reasons behind the LCS’ decision to reduce the number of active teams to eight.

The LCS returns to weekends in 2024 after major viewership declines

Riot Games confirmed the LCS broadcast would be returning to weekends in 2024. The reveal was made on the LoL esports website alongside the announcement of MarkZ becoming commissioner. Though the decision was likely made before MarkZ even got the job, it still marks a new era for the league.

In 2023, the LCS experimented with a new broadcast schedule where games were played Wednesday through Friday during the regular season and weekends were silent. The decision caused an uproar among the fans who were against the change. Some believed that Riot Games decided to prioritize the VCT broadcast and wanted “the LCS to die.” Riot Games denied these claims, but viewership dropped significantly with the move.

Those struggles seemingly inspired Riot to backpedal on the move.

“After careful examination of our schedule and listening closely to community feedback, we are confident the 2024 LCS schedule will allow fans to follow their favorite sports and leagues during a schedule that works for them,” said Antunes in the official announcement.

The 2024 LCS Spring Split will start on January 20 at 12 p.m. PT. The exact format is unclear at the moment and will be revealed in January. Considering the LCS has fewer teams in 2024, teams will have to face seven opponents instead of nine. This makes for possibly a shorter regular season with fewer teams qualifying for playoffs. The LCS could take a completely different route with its format.

The LCS is currently ready ready to move forward with the season. All eight LCS teams have their rosters locked in for the 2024 season,  

Steven Rondina is a long-time gamer who loves the Persona series, but not quite as much as he loves all things Pokemon. He has a background in writing about video games, gaming culture, and combat sports.