League of Legends developer Riot Games has released details on how they will implement major restructuring of the format of North American League Championship Series (NA LCS) in 2018.
In their three-point plan to restructure the existing NA LCS format, Riot will now implement a permanent partners scheme within the NA LCS, scrap the existing Challenger Series and build a NA LCS Player’s Association. The changes, according to the announcement by Riot, was intended to:
- change the league structure to encourage long-term investments,
- promote revenue sharing to provide “a better foundation for teams”, and
- pive pro players a “larger voice and better protection.”
All League teams can now undergo an application process whereupon completion will mean that they no longer have to face relegation from the NA LCS. However, teams that finish in 9th-10th place five times over an eight-split span will lose their right to compete in the NA LCS.
Naturally, Riot Games will also be implementing financial incentives for each placement in the league, while penalties will also be slated for teams who finish in last place.
The End of the Challenger Series
The Challenger Series will be scrapped in favour of an Academy League, in which each NA LCS organization participating will field “developmental players.”
This would act as a “youth system” that allows organizations to expand their rosters in order to groom younger players and provide enough spots in the league for all LCS teams through the permission of more game time for Academy players.
NA LCS Player Association
This year, Riot will be the main staple in the founding of a Player’s Association for all NA LCS players until they are ready to self-fund the association themselves, or opt to convert it to an independent Players’ Union.
Representatives in the Player’s Association will be voted in by the players themselves but are to act independently. While having a seat at the table in league decisions, the representatives are also tasked with providing vetted access to support services and resources such as agents, lawyers, financial advisers.