League of Legends: LCS Summer Split to resume after Riot and LCSPA agree on terms

Had the two parties not reached an agreement, the Summer Split would have been cancelled and the LCS would have been removed from Worlds.

The LCS Players Association and Riot Games have come up with an agreement. Some wins for players included a notice period for termination, severance pay, and better healthcare. (Photo: Riot Games)
The LCS Players Association and Riot Games have come up with an agreement. Some wins for players included a notice period for termination, severance pay, and better healthcare. (Photo: Riot Games)

After an entire month of uncertainty over a planned walkout by players of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), and the threat of cancelling the LCS Summer split, League of Legends developer Riot Games and the LCS Players Association have reached an agreement that will allow competition to push through.

On Friday (9 June), Riot Games announced that the LCS will return 14 June (15 June Singapore time).

This follows Riot's initial proposal to delay the split by two weeks if negotiations failed to result in an agreement between the two bodies, which would have resulted in the cancellation of the Split and the removal of the LCS from this year's World Championship.

“Delaying Summer Split was not a decision we took lightly, but ultimately the dialogue between the league, the LCSPA, and teams provided the space to realign on shared goals for the future of the LCS and NACL. Building for the long-term sustainability and success of the LCS ecosystem is the win-condition for us all,” said Naz Aletaha, Global Head of LoL Esports, in a statement regarding the return of the LCS.

According to the statement, while the LCS Summer split was delayed, the LCS, the LCSPA, and a team representative selected by the 10 LCS organisations reportedly met on a regular basis to discuss the situation.

What was agreed upon

The LCS Summer Split will return on 15 June (Thursday, Singapore Time) (Photo: Riot Games)
The LCS Summer Split will return on 15 June (Thursday, Singapore Time) (Photo: Riot Games)

A new revenue-sharing business model for the North American Challengers teams (NACL) and the previously committed US$300,000 to the program will be implemented to ensure long-term sustainability by sharing revenue between the tournament operator and participating teams.

Enhancements to the NACL governance model will be added, including the introduction of a Team Participating Agreement (TPA) and a vetting process for team organisations interested in participating.

On top of this, players earning up to 1.5 times the league minimum salary will have a minimum 30-day notice and severance requirement, while non-resident LCS players will receive a minimum two-week termination notice (additional terms can be negotiated by players and teams).

There will also be a working group between teams and the LCSPA to optimise scrim schedules for better performance.

Aside from severance pays and termination notice periods, there will also be enhanced healthcare insurance requirements for international LCS players upon their arrival in the United States.

Working procedures among the LCS, LCSPA, and teams will be streamlined to facilitate ongoing discussions aimed at improving the competitive landscape in North America.

The LCS Players Association also posted the agreement on Twitter, saying that talks will "continue on unresolved issues".

LoL Community Reacts to the LCSPA walkout resolution

Some from the LoL Community think that “nothing” was achieved by the threat of a LCS Player walkout.

LCS Veteran and streamer Christian “IWDominate” Rivera also tweeted, “Reasonable resolution, Riot essentially gets to come out looking charitable without conceding anything major.”

LoL European Championship (LEC) veteran and content creator Jakob "YamatoCannon" Mebdi said in his stream that Riot “made the LCSPA look like clowns”, adding that the only good thing achieved from the negotiations was the 30-day notice and the severance pay.

He also believes that Riot did this as a “pity PR move”.

Former LCS coach and popular LoL content creator Nick "LS" De Cesare went through the terms in detail in his stream where he said Riot “annihilated” the walkout.

According to him, some of the terms revealed by Riot and the LCSPA regarding player protection "already existed" in contracts, according to the popular content creator.

"A lot of players have already received severance pay, sometimes up to two months, sometimes more," he explained.

He went on to say, "This thing about non-US residents having health insurance, this is something that has happened where Korean players have arrived, and they don't get healthcare until six or eight weeks later."

LS emphasised the issue of delayed healthcare for Korean players upon arrival, stating, "At least last year, this did occur. That's interesting, but it doesn't appear to be a Riot thing."

He added, "This appears to be a team effort, which the LCSPA should pursue."

LS is also worried that the compressed schedule will deteriorate the LCS’ level of competitiveness globally, arguing that “the meta is going to be very stagnant” and that teams won’t have much time to innovate and prepare for the matches.

However, many pointed out that while there were few changes, the notice period, severance pay, and healthcare changes are big steps in the right direction, with many hoping for more change for the benefit of the players and the entire league.

Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.

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