League of Legends esports players voted “overwhelmingly” for a strike


Players in the North America League of Legends esports league has voted to walk out in protest of Riot Games’ decision to no longer require franchises to field an amateur team. Since Riot’s announcement, many franchises have already cut their amateur teams for the summer season, closing an important development pipeline for players looking to compete in the main League Championship Series (LCS). The vote, held by the LCSPA, representing North America League of Legends esports players, passed “overwhelming”, according to an early Monday tweet.

It’s unclear exactly when the strike will take place, but assuming the two sides don’t come to some kind of agreement, it seems likely it will happen at the start of the summer season (dubbed the “summer split”). on June 1.

Tensions over the issue have been going on for some time. On May 12, Riot Games announced that there were franchises it asked to remove the mandate requiring them to field teams in the amateur league, the North American Challengers League (NACL), and that it would drop that mandate. In a statement that same daypushed players for some kind of structured amateur league, noting that “more than 50 percent of current LCS pros have come up through the NACL/Academy system” and that Europe, China and Korea have competitive development leagues.

Competition players have expressed disappointment with Riot’s decision not to allow franchises to field NACL teams. ‘I wouldn’t be in [the] LCS hadn’t been there for Academy, “Palafox, a player for NRG’s LCS team, wrote on Twitter. “The Academy/NACL system gave me the opportunity to pursue a professional career,” tweeted Chime, a player for TSM.

Many teams have already withdrawn from the NACL

However, in the days following Riot’s announcement, five of the ten teams in the LCS said they would not compete in the NACL this summer (100 thieves, Cloud 9, Dignitas, Gold GuardiansAnd NRG), and the LCSPA tweeted that two more would also have no NACL teams (TSM And immortals). Many North American esports organizations have been struggling lately – TSM announced that this would happen leaving the LCS for another regionNRG recently Counter Logic Gaming acquiredand 100 Thieves laid off staff in January — and some statements from the franchises pointed to the challenging economics of having an amateur team.

On Tuesday, journalist Mikhail Klimentov reported that players would vote on the spout. An LCSPA list of requirements for Riot Games includes a system of promotion and relegation between the LCS and the NACL, revenue pools for NACL salaries, and guaranteed one-year contracts for the LCS players who win the Summer Finals. On Monday, the LCSPA asked players to do just that do not cross the strike line if recruited by a team to play as a substitute.

Riot Games and the LCSPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.