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Everything to know about the LCS Import drama

Image via Riot Games - League of Legends
Image via Riot Games - League of Legends
ANALYST
Modified 22 Feb 2021
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The import rule of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) has long been a concerning topic of discussion among fans.

According to the LCS import rule, each team can play no more than two non-NA players in their squad. This rule was imposed to ensure that North American talents receive proper attention and development.

Screengrab via LCS Rule Sheet - Riot Games
Screengrab via LCS Rule Sheet - Riot Games

A series of interviews with League of Legends interviewer Travis "SotLTravis" Gafford has now revealed that a major section of the LCS team owners are against the controversial import rule.

Most of them were in favor of changing or scrapping the rule. This was not an end to the story but the start of one of the biggest controversies in the history of LCS.


Reginald's aggressive reply to Vulcan's tweet broke out controversy in the League of Legends community

Image via Riot Games - League of Legends
Image via Riot Games - League of Legends
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After SotLTravis' interview broke out on social media, there was a lot of backlash from the League of Legends community. Cloud9's support, Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme, hit back on the criticism in a tweet.

It did not take time for the point of criticism to turn into a topic of controversy as TSM owner Andy "Reginald" Dinh replied harshly to Vulcan's tweet. He said that the Cloud9 player would be out of a job if foreign LCS owners moved their teams to other regions.

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Vulcan was not happy with the reply and responded strongly. Various other important personalities in League of Legends competitive got involved as well. They thought the reply from Reginald to be inappropriate.

LEC shoutcaster Clayton "CaptainFlowers"’ Raynes taunted Reginald about TSM's disastrous Worlds 2020 performance. He referred to the 0-6 defeat in the group stage.

League of Legends caster Christy "Ender" Frierson referenced Reginald's famous Twisted Fate performance against Dignitas at the NA LEC 2013 in a tweet as well.

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Christian "IWillDominate" Rivera, former LCS jungler, backed Vulcan by designating him as a World-class player. G2 owner, Carlos "Ocelote" Rodriguez, was aggressive with his words on Reginald.

LCS owners speak for the Import rule's abolition while players disagree

Most of the LCS owners in the interview by SotLTravis spoke for the removal of the Import Rule. While Cloud9's support player Vulcan had no objection to the rule, its owner Jack Etienne did not seem to be a fan of the same.

According to Etienne, the abolition of the rule would open up lots of opportunities for talents from other regions to prove themselves in the LCS. This would develop the entire League of Legends community as a whole. This was his statement:

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“I want to support young players who are passionate, skilled, and want to work hard no matter where they are born, so I want [the rule] to go away.”

Team Liquid owner Steve "Liquid112" Arhancet also spoke on the same lines. According to him, ensuring investment in young North American talents should remain a priority for the teams.

“If we were to go down that path, I would want it mandated that every team needs to increase their investment in the Academy and amateur scene," he said.

Like Vulcan, many other players, casters, and fans are highly against the idea of Import Rule's abolition from regional tournaments. Dignitas' top laner Joedat "Voyboy" Esfahani showed his concern with this statement:

"If this goes through, what happens to the pipeline of NA dreams and talent?"

According to Voyboy, the removal of this rule will undermine the purpose of the LCS as a regional league. He even mentioned that teams like LMQ qualified for the 2014 worlds having an all-Chinese squad through the NA LCS.

Many fans supported the thoughts of Vulcan and Voyboy. They think that the direction and value for regional leagues won't exist if the Import Rule is removed. Complete abolishment of the rule might not be a solution. Good discussions and restructuring of the system might be the best option.

Time will tell what the future of the Import Rule is in the League of Legends LCS. For the time being, Riot has to solve this clash between team owners and players to balance the community's harmony.

Published 22 Feb 2021, 01:17 IST
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