Week 1 in the LPL has concluded and Tencent took the opportunity to announce some key changes in the LPL rulebook.
The LPL, unlike the other major regions, is operated by Tencent. The Chinese conglomerate is at least a partial owner of some of the most popular game developers in the world, including Riot Games, Epic Games, Supercell, and Ubisoft.
Legend of Legends is one of the most popular video games in China, and to host its massive player base, Tencent created multiple servers set inside the country. The company also created a “super server” that is exclusive for the players that reach Diamond I on the regular servers. Players do not get promoted immediately form one server to the other, as they must submit a request that gets approved or denied by Tencent.
While a super server with some of the best players in the country sounds like the ideal scenario for the pro players, most of them prefer to play in the Korean server. By playing in the Korean server, the active LPL players get exposed to new strategies and get to face opponents that otherwise would only encounter at international events.
Tencent wants the LPL players to focus on the Chinese super server and to do so, the company created a new requirement for players to play in the LPL. To be considered an LPL professional player, the players must keep their accounts in the super server at Diamond I or above.
The new rule will force the players to play in the Chinese servers. The goal behind the new requirements is to make the super server more competitive ahead of the 2020 World Championship being hosted in China. One of the reasons why the players avoid the server is because of the toxicity from the casual players. Tencent is hoping that by moving the players into the super server, the behavior of these players will improve.
Another major change in the LPL affects the retired players. Professional players can retire and end up coming out of retirement weeks later. It happened in the LCK when popular bottom laner Kim “PraY” Jong-in announced in April 2019 his retirement from professional play. Less than a month later, PraY announced that he was joining KT Rolster for the summer.
Players in the LPL won’t be allowed to pull the same move in the near future. According to the new regulations, players that announced their retirement will have to wait 12 months before they’re allowed to join another team. The ruling doesn’t prevent the players from moving to another region.
The 2020 LPL Spring Season resumes on February 5.