LEC Summer Playoffs Format Explained | RiftFeed
Everything you need to know about the LEC playoffs format

LEC Summer Playoffs Format Explained

Rouge vs Misfits
Is anyone else confused with the playoffs format? | © Riot Games

With LEC Summer Playoffs 2022 coming up, we are, yet again, left to understand how the playoffs format works. But don't you worry! In this article, you will get an explanation of everything you need to know about the LEC playoffs format before it kicks off.

The current LEC format was first introduced in 2020. Each match in playoffs is a best of five (BO5), which means the first team to three wins, wins the whole match. Whether the losing team is eliminated depends on their bracket. In this article, you will learn about the different brackets and the difference between single and double elimination. 

LEC Playoffs: Winner and Losers Bracket

The LEC Playoffs format contains two different brackets, the winners and the losers bracket. Here is a brief introduction to both of them and their differences. 

Winners Bracket

First, we have the winners bracket. To be in the winners bracket, you must be placed in fourth seed or higher in the regular season. Being put here is an advantage because there is a double-elimination format in the winners bracket. We will explain what this means more closely after introducing you to the other bracket, namely the losers bracket.

Losers Bracket

The second bracket is called the losers bracket. Here, you will find the two teams that ended fifth and sixth place in the regular season. When you find yourself here, there is no room for mistakes because the loser bracket has a single-elimination format. You also have a way longer road to finals in losers bracket. If you start in the losers bracket, you have to win four BO5s before getting to the finals, whereas teams in the winners bracket only have to win two BO5s.

LEC Playoffs: Single vs. Double Elimination

In order to understand the single vs. double elimination, let's look at a scenario in the picture below with teams 1-6. In this scenario, the teams' number relates to the seeding they had in regular season, so team 1 finished first in regular season and team 6 finished sixth place. We already know that teams 1-4 would be located in the winners bracket, whereas teams 5-6 would be in the losers bracket. If you finished first (team 1), you get to choose to play either against team 3 or team 4 for the first match. After that, the team not picked by the first place team will have to play against team 2. So, if team 1 decides to play against team 4, team 2 would have to play against team 3. With me so far? Great, let's move on.

The difference between double and single elimination is the number of times you can lose a BO5 before being eliminated from the playoffs. If you start in the losers bracket, you have to win every BO5 not to be eliminated. Moving back to our scenario, teams 5 and 6 will play the first match in the losers bracket against each other. If team 6 loses, they are eliminated, whereas team 5 moves on to the second game in the losers bracket.

LEC playoffs format
LEC playoffs format | © Riot Games

Team 5 will then meet one of the losers of the first matches in winners bracket. If you lose a BO5 in the winners bracket, you are not eliminated, but you will move on to the losers bracket. Whether you have to play the second or third match of losers bracket depends on your regular season results. Basically, between the two teams that lose in winners bracket, the team that placed lower in regular season will be put in the second match of losers bracket, whereas the higher placed losing team will play in the third match of losing bracket.

Let's explain this with our scenario: If team 4 loses against team 1 and team 3 loses against team 2, team 4 would have to play the second match of the losers bracket (because they placed below team 3), and team 3 would play in the third match of the losers bracket.

Being in the winners bracket is, of course, a big advantage. Not only do you have more chances to make finals, but also, you only have to win one game to secure a spot in the semifinals. Looking at our scenario, if team 1 and 2 win their first game in the winners bracket, they will face off, and the match-winner immediately gets a spot for the LEC summer finals. In contrast, the loser moves on to the fourth game of the losers bracket, also known as the semifinals.

Finally, the finals will be against the team from winners bracket that didn't lose a single BO5 in playoffs vs. the team from the losers bracket that managed to win the semifinals (game four in losers bracket).  In the finals, there are, of course, no more double elimination.

And… that's that! Now, this is a lot of information to take in, which is why we've also made a summary to help you along the way. Then, with help from the summary and the picture, I believe you can do it! The only thing left for you to do now is to show off your newly acquired knowledge to your friends.

  • Every match in playoffs is a best of five
  • Winners bracket consist of top four seeds in regular season
  • Losers bracket consists of seed five and six from regular season
  • Teams losing in winners bracket will not be eliminated but placed in losers bracket
  • Placement in losers bracket depends on regular season seeding
  • Losing BO5 in losers bracket will get you eliminated

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