After reports of organizations in the league wanting to opt out of fielding a roster in the developmental league, the LCS has confirmed that teams DID ask for the removal of said rule and that it will be removed starting in the summer split.
In the announcement the LCS stated, they will continue operating the Challenger league, as they are still committed to having a way to develop fresh NA talent. Riot Games will implement promotion and relegation to the league now that the LCS teams have left.
The LCS also revealed that they will make the league more geographically accessible, as they plan on using the Chicago servers instead to the LA servers the pro teams are using. Riot will also help the teams in the league financially.
The LCS Players Association responded
The LCS Players Association issued a statement after Riot released the news, voicing the players’ concerns.
“Three weeks ago, Riot claimed to be building the future of sports globally. Today, Riot abandoned that future in North America. While the statement today was framed as a commitment to the NACL, the reality is that as many as 70 players, coaches, and managers will lose their job overnight,” the organization’s statement said.
The players also said Riot told them, that no changes were going to be made to the Challenger series league just one week ago, and called on other members of the community to demand Riot reverses the decision.
LCS players agree to a walkout amid NACL changes
Just over a week before the Summer Split starts, the LCS Players Association took a vote to walk out because of the changes. The player union has announced that the vote has ‘’overwhelmingly passed’’.
“This is not a decision LCS players have come to lightly. Countless discussions and debates were had between all LCS players in the week leading to this historic vote.’’ The LCSPA said in their statement. ‘’One thing is clear from those conversations – our players want to play and compete above all else. Joining hands to put competition aside is a testament to the significance and urgency of the issues at hand.”
Is Riot threatening the LCS players?
LCS has tweeted its response to the player walkout sharing an update on where they stand regarding the matter.
‘’ Riot has successfully architected a Tier 2 ecosystem in other major regions – Europe, China, and Korea – and we want to do the same for North America,’’ Riot said in their statement, also mentioning that are giving their NACL partner the additional $300,000 to jump-start the NACL season next week.
Riot also stated that they’re delaying the LCS season for two weeks, to make sure they live up to the promised quality. Hopefully, the extra time will be enough for the league, teams, and LCSPA to find common ground.
‘’Delaying beyond the two-week window would make it nearly impossible to run a legitimate competition, and in that case, we would be prepared to cancel the entire LCS summer season. Carrying this forward, if the LCS summer season is canceled, this will also eliminate LCS teams qualifying for 2023 Worlds. I want to be clear: That is not an outcome we’d want, but it’s, unfortunately, the reality of ensuring we run a fair, competitive global system.’’ – a paragraph that many perceive as a THREAT, as they know every pro players dream is to play at the world championship.
Riot also responded to requests made by the LCSPA. You can read their whole statement here.
Riot and LCSPA are working together on resolving the issue
”Tonight, one thing is back in clear focus: players are the LCS. Without players, there is no league, and there is no esport.” the LCSPA said in the latest statement.
At the end of the day, the players do want to be back on stage, competing for the fans. They met with Riot Games and are planning to begin discussions about meaningful collaboration, to get the LCS running again. Do you think the LCS will resume in two weeks time, or will the NA teams forced to miss worlds? Let us know your opinion in the comments!