What does MarkZ being commissioner mean for LCS?
Dec 15, 2023
It has been announced that Mark “MarkZ” Zimmerman, previously a co-host on the LCS desk, will be the new commissioner of the LCS. But what does that mean for the league?
After the previous LCS commissioner, Jackie Felling, stepped down earlier in 2023 due to ongoing health issues, the LCS has been looking for new leadership. Rumors have been flying throughout the offseason about who might be considered for the position.
That speculation was brought to an end earlier this week when the LCS announced that MarkZ would be taking up the mantle that heads up the league.
MarkZ announced as new commissioner
MarkZ has been announced as the new LCS Commissioner, the head decision-maker, and the director of the LCS’ operations.
Fans of the LCS have been familiar with Mark for ages, with him serving as a coach in the early days of the LCS, creating content alongside Travis Gafford for Travis Gafford Industries, and acting as a co-host on the LCS analyst desk. Zimmerman has been ingrained in the League of Legends esports scene for years, and his grass-roots origins mean he’s aware of the experience from all sides of the LCS broadcast.
The appointment was announced in a video on the LCS’ social media, and included the fact that the LCS would be returning to a weekend broadcast come Spring Split 2024.
Zimmerman has been vocal in recent years, especially on the fan call-in show Hotline League, about the direction the LCS has been heading. With two teams (Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians) departing from the league entirely, Zimmerman’s promotion comes at a moment of great uncertainty for the fans.
The overall community sentiment has been very positive, with fans happy to see MarkZ, somebody they’ve seen involved in the scene since essentially its inception, given the highest office in the LCS.
What comes next for the LCS?
While MarkZ has been tight-lipped about any changes he’ll be bringing to the LCS outside of the schedule change, he did take one last chance to co-host Hotline League with Travis Gafford. Fans, casters, analysts, and community members of all kinds came together to congratulate, cajole, and ask questions of the new LCS commissioner.
During the show, Mark was limited in how much he was able to talk about his new role but patterns did emerge. Mark talks about the process he’s been undergoing to step into the shoes of the commissioner. Fans looking to hear about the future of the league from the horse’s mouth should check out the episode.
Topics that Mark has previously been outspoken on when it comes to the LCS are import policy, broadcast hours, The Worlds format, and communication with the fans. All three of these areas are very possibly seeing changes come the new year.
Looking forwards to LCS 2024
MarkZ’s past with the league hasn’t always been easy. A few years ago, the then-host had his broadcast hours cut by Riot Games. Zimmerman met this road bump by doubling down on his work and rapidly becoming a fan-favorite presence.
Mark alone won’t be the only force behind changes in the league. He credits coworkers who were already attempting to implement the switch to weekend broadcasts in his Hotline League appearance. The ex co-host has always been vocal about disagreements with the LCS’ positions.
Zimmerman has been hearing directly from community members throughout his tenure in the league through content creation in a variety of forms. From the well-beloved Blame Game series, dissecting hot topics and impactful matches, to Hotline League, to appearances on the Dive, and beyond. It’s hard to find a personality more deeply embedded in professional League of Legends than the new commissioner.
Initial community sentiment seems to be overwhelmingly positive, as a familiar face in leadership is exactly what many fans have been clamoring for. The LCS will return in 2024 for the Spring Split.