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HomeTechnologyLeague of Legends esports players 'overwhelmingly' vote for strike

League of Legends esports players 'overwhelmingly' vote for strike

North American League of Legends esports players have voted out in protest of Riot Games’ decision to no longer require franchises to send amateur teams. Since Riot’s announcement, many franchises have dropped their amateur teams over the summer, cutting off an important developmental avenue for players wanting to compete in the Major League Championship Series (LCS). According to a tweet earlier Monday, the vote by the LCSPA, which represents North American League of Legends esports players, passed “by a landslide.”

It’s unclear exactly when the strike will happen, but assuming some kind of agreement isn’t reached between the two sides, it seems likely that it will happen at the start of summer (also known as the “summer split”) in June 1 day. LCSPA Executive Director Phil Aram sent to The Verge after we first published this article.

According to Aram, Riot Games leadership and the LCSPA will meet Tuesday afternoon.

Tensions around this issue have been simmering for some time. On May 12, Riot Games announced that the franchise had asked it to waive its mandate requiring them to field teams in the amateur league, the North American Contenders League (NACL), and that it would waive that mandate. In a statement on the same day, the players pushed for some kind of structured amateur competition, noting that “more than 50% of LCS pros currently qualify through the NACL/Academy system,” and that Europe, China and South Korea remain with competitive development alliances.

League Players have expressed their disappointment with Riot’s decision to keep the franchise from fielding NACL teams. “If it wasn’t for the academy, I wouldn’t be in [the] LCS,” Palafox, a player on the NRG LCS team, wrote on Twitter. “The Academy/NACL system has given me the opportunity to pursue a professional career,” tweeted TSM player Chime.

Many teams have withdrawn from NACL

However, after Riot’s announcement In a matter of days, five of the ten teams in the LCS said they wouldn’t play in the NACL this summer (100 Thieves, Cloud9, Dignitas, Golden Guardians, and NRG), while the LCSPA tweeted that two more wouldn’t either There are NACL teams (TSM and Immortals). Many North American esports organizations have been struggling lately — TSM announced it was leaving the LCS for another region, NRG recently acquired Counter Logic Gaming, 100 Thieves laid off staff in January — and some franchises have made statements pointing to having an amateur team Teams are financially challenging.

On Tuesday, journalist Mikhail Klimentov reported that the players will vote on the strike. The LCSPA’s list of demands from Riot Games included a promotion and relegation system between the LCS and NACL, a revenue pool for NACL salaries, and a guaranteed one-year contract for LCS players who win the Summer Finals. On Monday, the LCSPA asked players not to cross the strike line if they were called up by the team to play as a substitute.

Riot Games did not respond to a request for comment.

Update May 30, 12:01 PM ET : Added Information for the Executive Director of the LCSPA.



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