The LCS walkout, which had been planned in protest of Riot’s changes to the NA Challengers League (NACL) circuit, has been called off following an agreement between Riot and the LCS Players Association (LCSPA). The walkout, voted on by the LCSPA union, was a response to teams dropping their academy rosters without player consultation, creating uncertainty for many players’ careers.
Riot initially responded to the planned walkout by announcing a two-week delay to the Summer Split, and even threatened to cancel it entirely, which would have resulted in no LCS representation at Worlds. However, after nine days, Riot and the LCSPA have now reached an agreement regarding the future of the NACL.
On June 8, the LCSPA announced that they had come to a series of agreements with Riot, primarily focused on increased revenue sharing, ensuring players receive severance pay, and enhancing player representation on important matters. Although the agreement does not fully restore the NACL to its previous state, it does offer increased stability and protection for players going forward.
According to the LCSPA’s statement, Riot has guaranteed support for the new NACL format and its players. The agreements include increased financial support for the NACL, accountability measures to safeguard players working for the new operators, and lasting protections for lower-earning members.
Here are the key agreements that have been reached:
- A sum of $300,000 will be split among the 10 NACL teams for the remainder of the 2023 Season, aiming to enhance player opportunities and pay.
- 50% of all future NACL sponsorship revenue will now be shared by the NACL teams.
- In 2024, the NACL will introduce a Team Participation Agreement (TPA), requiring teams to meet minimum standards to receive payments or revenue share from Riot.
- Players terminated without cause, earning up to 1.5 times the league minimum salary, will receive a minimum of 30 days severance pay. Additionally, players competing on visas will receive a 15-day notice.
- A collaborative committee will be established with equal representation from players and teams to determine any future changes to the practice schedule.
- Teams will ensure that all foreign players have access to mandated healthcare from the day they arrive in the US.
- Riot and the LCSPA will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes meeting and notice parameters to ensure alignment and effective communication before making any future decisions.
While the agreement does not include all of the LCSPA’s initial demands, such as a clearer career path and guaranteed LCS minimum contracts for the winners of the LCS Summer finals, it does provide better job security for NACL and LCS players.
With the announcement of the agreement, the LCS has confirmed that the Summer Split will resume on June 14. Matches for the Summer Split will be played on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
The resolution of the dispute between Riot and the LCSPA brings a renewed sense of stability and protection for players in the NACL. With the Summer Split set to resume, the focus can now shift back to the competition and the pursuit of excellence in the LCS.