The LCS Summer Split has become a hot topic of conversation as the league’s players voted overwhelmingly on May 28 to stage an unprecedented walkout. This incident took place in light of disagreements between Riot Games and the LCSPA regarding crucial matters concerning the future of the North American League of Legends.
The longstanding tension between Riot Games and the LCSPA has evolved into something that no esports has witnessed before. In March 2020, the players’ association voted to cancel the remaining matches of the Spring Split due to the global health crisis however Riot ultimately decided to proceed with both the LCS and the academy league in an online format to everyone’s disappointment.
LCSPA vs Riot controversy
The majority of the ten LCS teams announced their withdrawal from the NACL ahead of the Summer Split, leaving only FlyQuest, Team Liquid, and Evil Geniuses as the remaining participants. Riot’s announcement prompted a swift reaction from the LCS Players Association (LCSPA), who criticized the developer for prioritizing the teams’ interests and jeopardizing the future of the NACL.
In a statement, the association expressed their disappointment, stating that Riot had failed to present any strategy to ensure the NACL’s sustainability as a valuable talent pool for North America.
“The LCSPA sincerely hopes Riot will avert this walkout by joining us in the coming days to have open and transparent discussions so that we can forge collaborative solutions to ensure the best futures for the LCS and the NACL,” reads the LCSPA statement.
The LCSPA has put forward the following demands:
- Implement a promotion and relegation system similar to that of Valorant between the LCS and NACL.
- Allow LCS organizations to form partnerships with affiliates to share costs.
- Riot should commit to a revenue pool dedicated to player salaries, providing $300,000 per year for each NACL team.
- Introduce a 3/5 roster continuity rule, granting priority to players from released NACL rosters to maintain their slots in the upcoming NACL season if a majority of the team continues to compete together.
- Riot must guarantee minimum contracts for the following year’s LCS to the five players who emerge as champions in the LCS summer finals each year.
Recent reports indicate that Riot Games is showing strong determination to proceed with the planned LCS schedule. In order to ensure that every organization has a prepared roster, the developer has made some concessions. They are permitting LCS teams to sign additional players even after the deadline and have temporarily eliminated the solo queue ranking requirements, at least for the opening weekend. These measures are being taken to guarantee that all teams are equipped and ready to participate in the LCS.