All of these matches, tournaments, and events are commonly referred to as the Challenger scene, which consists of a series of tournaments that provide potential spots in the LCS.
How To Qualify
The Top 20 5v5 teams on the ladder qualify for the first play in where they compete and the Top 5 proceed to the next stage, where that face off in the Challenger Series 1.
Challenger Series 1
The top 5 teams battle it out against the 3 qualifying teams from the previous promotion tournament (This is a never ending loop, and it will make more sense as you read on toward the end.) The top 3 teams earn money, and all 8 teams either gain or lose series points, which determine whether they advance or not. This concludes the Challenger Series 1. The top 3 teams last mentioned repeat this lengthy cycle once more in the Challenger Series 2.
Challenger Series 2
Challenger Series 2 starts off the same as its counterpart, with the best 5 of the top 20 teams facing the top 3 from Challenger Series 1. The top 6 teams from CS2 advance to the Challenger series play off: their second to last step on the arduous journey to glory in the LCS.
Challenger Series Playoff
The Top 6 with the highest points compete in a final tournament hosted by Coke Zero. The top team wins the cup and advances to the promotion tournament along with the 2nd and 3rd place.
The Top 3 teams from the CS1, CS2, and the Playoffs duke it out with the teams that finish in the Bottom 3 spots after the LCS Summer Split, with all teams that lost in this Final Stage returning to the Challenger Series next season. The teams that finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd all secure a spot in the NA LCS.
This is a basic outline of how the whole series works
Ladder–> CS1 –> CS2 –> CS Playoff –> Promotion Tourney –> LCS
These are the teams that have fought tooth and nail, time and time again for their rightful spot in the NA LCS
New Teams That Started In Season 5
Two teams joined in the Expansion Tournament at the start of Season 5
Team Dragon Knights
** LMQ renamed to TIP after Xiao Wei Xiao felt that the organization was not truly LMQ anymore, as 4 players left
Upcoming Changes For the Season 6 Challenger Series
For the Season 6 Challenger Series during the Summer Split (the new Spring Split teams have already been decided), there are several changes with how teams qualify. Since many Challenger teams felt that the “Top 20 to qualify” rule was unfair, Riot Games has changed the way to get into the CS1. Teams must now register through League of Legends Battlegrounds and will compete in an open qualifier. After the signups end, teams that signed up face off against others, from the same region, and the amounts of standing participants are whittled down, leading into the finals, which then lead into the CS1. The days of Top 20 or nothing are gone, and now many more teams will compete for their chance at glory in the NA LCS.
Super Nova Orion
This is all that you need to know about the NA challenger scene. I hope you enjoyed!
Written by pendrite
Edited by Williaf