The LCS Players Association protests in hopes that Riot Games reverses the critical changes to the NACL.
League Championship Series (LCS) players have voted to protest following the controversial changes made to the North America Challengers League (NACL). A few weeks ago, Riot Games announced that LCS orgs will no longer have to field an NACL roster. This resulted in the departure of many NACL orgs, affecting a colossal number of players and staff members. The LCS Players Association decided to walk out of the upcoming LCS Summer Split in support of the affected members.
LCS players protests against Riot Games in support of the NACL
The LCS Players Association - comprising representatives from all LCS teams - settled on a historic vote which resulted in the players walking out of the upcoming LCS Summer Split, just a few days before the event begins.
The announcement highlighted the players' utmost desire to play and compete, emphasizing the significance of this LCS protest. This stand is made against Riot's critical decision which was imposed without communicating with the LCS players beforehand. This walkout will end once Riot averts the changes made to the NACL.
We stand at this impasse because actions were taken by Riot without prior communication or discussion with the LCS players. The LCSPA sincerely hopes Riot will avert this walk out 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.
UPDATE: The LCSPA clarified their message for players outside of LCS.
- Do not agree to play for any LCS org as a replacement player
- This walk out is for benefit of all League players in North America
- Crossing the line puts all players' futures at risk: LCS, NACL, and amateur
- Crossing the line undermines player negotiating power
- If you have already agreed to a replacement contract, please contact the LCSPA for further council on how to navigate the situation
What are the changes to NACL that caused the protest?
On May 13, Riot Games announced shocking changes to the NACL. LCS organizations no longer have to field an NA Challengers roster as this will "unlock more operational and financial flexibility". This decision was made after LCS organizations voted to have this mandate removed.
Following the announcement, organizations gradually pulled out from the developmental competition. Prominent orgs including Cloud9, Immortals, 100Thieves, and TSM departed the league. Meanwhile, only three organizations - Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, and FlyQuest - decided to stay in the NACL.
This huge departure from the majority of the NA Challengers' teams caused a lot of players and staff members to abruptly lose their jobs.
The LCS Summer Split starts on June 1st, 2023. However, if the protest remains up in the air, the competition is likely to be on hold.