The LCS Player Association, LCSPA, is hosting a vote on a proposal to stage a walkout, which would mean the LCS would go on strike. It comes as a response to Riot Games’ decision-making regarding the amateur scene.
According to a report by Mikhail Klimentov, the vote will be taking place on Sunday, May 28, at 8:30 pm PT.
On May 12, Riot Games made public its decision to no longer require Academy teams from the organizations participating in the LCS. As a result, seven out of ten organizations dropped their Academy rosters citing financial constraints.
The decision to no longer support the amateur scene puts the future of the LCS as a whole in jeopardy. Without a structure for talent development, it is difficult to predict what will happen to the LCS in the next five years.
It is not a secret that, as a region, North American teams rely mostly on import talent to reinforce their rosters. Some teams have gone as far as not to have a single North American player in their ranks. One example is the 2022 100 Thieves roster, which had two Korean players, two Europeans, and one from Oceania.
What are the LCSPA demands?
The LCSPA made public their asks of Riot, including the reinstitution of promotions and relegations. Contract guarantee for all five players who win the LCS Summer Split every year, and revenue pool for NACL players’ salaries every year.
Is the LCS going on strike?
On Sunday, the 50 members of the LCSPA will vote on the proposal to stage a walkout. The LCSPA needs at least 26 votes to approve the walkout, but that doesn’t mean the LCS is going on strike immediately.
A positive vote shows the player’s willingness to take action. The executive council, which includes five players, would then decide whether they go on strike or not.
“If we have 26 out of 50 of the LCS player willing to do something, I can tell you right now, the league’s not running,” Phil Aram, LCSPA’s executive director, said to Klimentov.
The LCS is set to resume activities on June 1, but if the LCSPA gets the votes it needs, this might not happen. Considering that most LCS teams dropped their Academy rosters, they might not have enough players to sub-in in case of a walkout. Even if one player per team refused to play, the organizations would have no way to replace them.