North American players League of Legends The esports league voted to walk out in protest of Riot Games’ decision to no longer require franchises to field an amateur team. Since Riot’s announcement, many franchises have already dropped their amateur teams for the summer season, cutting off an important development pipeline for players who want to compete in the main League. Championship Series (LCS). The vote, held by the LCSPA, representing North American League of Legends esports players, passed on “too many,” according to a tweet early Monday.
It is not clear when the walkout will happen, but if the two sides do not agree, it seems that it will happen at the beginning of the summer season (also called “summer split”) on June 1st.
Tensions have been simmering over the issue for some time. On May 12, Riot Games announced that franchises had asked it to drop the mandate that required them to field teams in the amateur league, the North American Challengers League (NACL), and that it would drop the mandate. on a statement on the same dayplayers are pushing for some sort of structured amateur competition, noting that “over 50 percent of the current LCS pros came through the NACL/Academy system” and that Europe, China, and Korea continue to compete development leagues.
league Players expressed their disappointment Riot’s decision to allow franchises not to field teams in the NACL. “I’m not going in [the] LCS if not for the Academy,” Palafox, a player on NRG’s LCS team, wrote on Twitter. “The Academy/NACL system gave me the opportunity to pursue a professional career,” Tweet Chime, a TSM player.
Several teams withdrew from the NACL
However, in the days following Riot’s announcement, five of the ten LCS teams said they would not be participating in the NACL this summer (100 thieves, cloud9, Dignity, Golden Guardiansand NRG), and the LCSPA tweeted that two more do not have NACL teams, either (TSM and Immortals). Many North American esports organizations have been struggling of late – TSM has announced this leaving the LCS for another regionNRG recently acquired Counter Logic Gaming, and 100 Thieves laid off staff in January – and some of the statements from the franchises noted the challenging economics of having an amateur team.
On Tuesday, journalist Mikhail Klimentov reported that the players would vote for a walkout. An LCSPA list of requested for Riot Games includes a promotion and relegation system between the LCS and NACL, a revenue pool for NACL salaries, and a guaranteed contract for one year for LCS players who win the summer finals. On Monday, the LCSPA asked the players do not cross the walkout line when recruited by a team to play as a substitute.
Riot Games and the LCSPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.