Riot and the LCS clubs are rushing ahead of the season kickoff, with the vote strongly in favor of a walkout and players banding together to try to salvage the path to pro in North America, such as Disguised Toast's attempt to boost the views of North American League streams by entering a team in the NACL Challengers League after his Valorant professional squad was a huge success.
What is the LCS Walkout?
The LCS Player Association is the driving force behind the LCS Walkout. The Walkout first began after Riot announced that LCS teams would no longer be required to field Academy squads. When the rules were amended, seven of the ten LCS organizations chose to discontinue their Academy rosters.
The walkout was voted on by all LCS players, and with more than 50% of votes in favor, the proposal was approved, as the LCSPA confirmed on May 28, 2023.
Along with the walkout, the LCS Player Association published their demands to Riot, including:
"VALORANT Style" promotion and relegation between the LCS and NACL, as well as a revenue pool for player salaries of $300k per NACL team each year.
Here you can check out their public demands:
This is the first walkout of its sort in the esports landscape, with players from all around the world coming together to battle for the long-term survival of North American League of Legends competitive tournaments and their players.
Riot changed the LCS rules before the Summer Split
Riot has decided to tweak parts of the LCS eligibility requirements rather than accommodate the requests of the LCS Player Association. Travis Gafford, a well-known esports figure, announced on the Hotline League podcast that Riot has suspended the qualifications to play in the LCS, which means that anyone, regardless of rank, will be eligible to play for an LCS club.
In addition to this, Gafford also stated that players will not be required to compete at the LCS arena.
Redditors and Twitter commenters alike all agreed on how ironic it is that seven out of ten LCS clubs have abandoned their academy teams at a time when they might have used their squad from the academy to compete, even if they only used a couple of players to boost the main squad.
After hearing about the changes to LCS eligibility, the LCSPA issued a statement discouraging anyone from joining an organization as a "scab" for the 2023 LCS Summer Split. Several well-known figures in the esports industry agreed with this sentiment.
Is the LCS Summer Split 2023 cancelled?
Currently, Riot is doing all in their power to guarantee that the LCS will begin on June 1, 2023. The squads for Cloud9 and Golden Guardians are scheduled to meet in the season's opening match, but we have yet to find out which players will be making an appearance, if any at all (or whether the season's start will still be delayed).
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