The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) finds itself embroiled in a period of uncertainty as recent rule changes implemented by Riot Games have sparked a significant response from the LCS Player Association. With the future of professional play in North America hanging in the balance, the association has considered a walkout before the start of the Summer Split.

Disbanding of Academy Teams Triggers the Walkout

The driving force behind the LCS Player Association’s walkout is Riot Games’ decision to remove the requirement for LCS teams to maintain Academy rosters. In response, seven out of the ten LCS organizations swiftly disbanded their Academy teams, causing ripple effects throughout the LCS ecosystem. Fueled by concerns and frustrations, the player association has taken a united stand.

The Walkout and Demands Presented

On May 28, 2023, the LCS Player Association conducted a vote on the proposed walkout, with an overwhelming majority in favor of the action. Alongside the decision to walk out, the association presented a series of demands to Riot Games. These demands include the implementation of a “VALORANT Style” promotion and relegation system between the LCS and NACL, as well as a revenue pool to guarantee a $300k yearly salary for players in each NACL team.

Unprecedented Movement for the Future of North American League of Legends

The LCS Walkout stands as a historic movement within the esports landscape. Players from diverse backgrounds have joined forces to secure the future of North American League of Legends and the aspiring athletes within it. The outcome of this walkout carries the potential to shape the trajectory of professional play in North America for years to come, underscoring the magnitude of the challenges faced by the LCS.

Riot Games’ Response and Eligibility Rule Revisions

In response to the demands put forward by the LCS Player Association, Riot Games has chosen to revise the eligibility rules for the LCS. Temporary changes have been made, allowing anyone to join an LCS team regardless of rank or previous experience. Additionally, physical attendance at the LCS arena is no longer a requirement for competition. These adjustments aim to address the concerns raised by the players and their association.

Irony of Abandoned Academy Teams and Dissuasion

The decision of several LCS teams to dissolve their Academy rosters has created irony within the league. As these teams struggle to find replacements, their previous academy players could have filled the void. However, the LCS Player Association has advised against players filling these vacant spots, discouraging them from becoming pawns or “scabs” for organizations looking to exploit the situation. The association’s stance aims to protect the interests of all players involved.

Uncertainty Surrounds the LCS 2023 Summer Split

As the scheduled start date of the Summer Split approaches, Riot Games is working diligently to address the challenges presented by the LCS walkout. While the first match between Cloud9 and Golden Guardians is planned, uncertainty looms over whether the LCS will commence as scheduled or face a potential delay. The resolution of ongoing issues will determine the fate of the 2023 LCS Summer Split.

The LCS Player Walkout represents a crucial turning point in the history of the League of Legends Championship Series. The unified stand of the players highlights the importance of maintaining a clear path to professional play in North America. Riot Games’ response and the subsequent changes to eligibility rules have set the stage for a pivotal moment in the future of the LCS. As the esports community eagerly awaits the outcome, the consequences of the walkout will undoubtedly shape the course of the LCS and the aspiring athletes within it.