Riot has announced a 2-week delay to the 2023 Summer LCS after a player walkout threatened to affect the quality of the competition.
Trouble started when LCS teams are no longer required to field an Academy roster as of 2023 Summer LCS. As a result, 7 out of 10 teams in the North American regional league dropped their Challenger rosters, with 3 of the remaining teams also heavily criticizing Riot’s decision.
This prompted drastic response from the LCS Players’ Association – NA League of Legends’ players’ union. They orchestrated a mass walkout endorsed by most prominent NA pros. Riot Games, LCS orgs and LCSPA were forced to sit at the table and renegotiate.
That brought us to an announcement from Riot on May 31st in which they address the demands made by the Players Association:
- Institute VALORANT style promotion: In response to this request by the LCSPA, Riot has stated that “It would dilute LCS teams’ equity and put considerable downward pressure on the amount of revenue (our “League Revenue Pool”) that we share with the teams.” – They will not change anything to the circuit at this time in order to protect the revenue sharing program with current franchised LCS teams, which have paid ~$10 million to be in the league.
- Guaranteed LCS minimum contracts: Riot states that these contracts are not a necessary component of a healthy developmental league, as LCS teams are the ones that should make the call on who should get a slot at the highest level. Riot will discuss initiatives to connect the LCS and NACL.
- Institute a 3/5 continuity rule: The continuity rule suggestion has been rejected, as Riot believes organizations provide greater continuity and structure to the league than player owned slots will.
- Revenue pool for player salaries of $300,000 per NACL team: This is considered unsustainable by Riot Games, but they will put forward a one-time $300,000 payment to the NACL organisers, Rally Cry. The intention is to help transition from the old academy system to the new NACL system.
- LCS and affiliate partnerships: Riot Games has responsed to this stating that this is already allowed under the current NACL rules, as AOE Gold is a partnership between AOE Esports and Golden Guardians.
To summarize, they rejected all of them, to nobody’s surprise! Riot did however promise a one-time $300,000 investment into Challenger teams. So far, the LCSPA has not released an official response, but did thank the players and community for their solidarity in fighting for the good of all NA league players.
There will be continued discussion and renegotiation for the weeks to come for the future of 2023 Summer LCS.
In the mean time check out LoL Patch 13.11