Despite grinding to Challenger, two former professional League of Legends players were denied admittance into Champions Queue, forcing them to abandon the game they have loved paying for so long.
During episode 7 of Yiliang Peter "Doublelift" Peng's YouTube podcast "Trash Talk", it was revealed that notable North American LoL streamers Michael "Imaqtpie" Santana and Danny "Shiphtur" Le, both applied for CQ but were turned down despite being within the right ELO range to qualify.
The episode's guests included Shiphtur, and other League of Legends personalities including Brandon "Saintvicious" DiMarco, Joedat "Voyboy" Esfahani, and William "Scarra" Li, with everyone being visibly shocked by Riot's decision.
Both the streamers are full-time content creators and former professional players who competed in the LCS. Tyler1 and Voyboy, among other League personalities, do not have accessibility to CQ. Shiphtur remarked:
"Mine and QT’s apps got declined, and then we just went to go play Valorant."
Scarras explained that they worked their way up to Challenger before being denied entry into Champions Queue. Imaqtpie and Shiphtur hadn't addressed not getting in line until this podcast.
Denial from League of Legends' Champions Queue led Shiphtur and Imaqtpie to take up Valorant, fans and pros react
Riot's decision to deny Shiphtur and Imaqtpie's applications drew criticism from former LCS players Doublelift and Scarra. They both agree that players with sufficient credentials, like the aforementioned League of Legends pros, should be allowed to join the queue above Grandmaster.
According to Doublelift:
"Shiphtur and Imaqtpie are not toxic players and would not detract from the overall queue experience if allowed access."
“I get it, they want to create a competitive atmosphere. However, you can't say QT is worse than all of these Champions Queue players. That's why QT and Shiphtur are currently playing Valorant."
Champions Queue is a new project by Riot Games that allows a select group of amateur and professional West Coast North American players to compete in an exclusive low-ping queue during specific times of the week. It is hosted on a private Discord server.
Fans and players heavily criticised CQ for flaws including underuse and a faulty MMR system, which were remedied in part by the start of the queue's Summer Split earlier this month.
Imaqtpie and Shiphtur are two of the most popular NA League of Legends streamers and often attract over tens of thousands of viewers on Twitch. According to fans, his expulsion from CQ and subsequent migration to Valorant harmed the North American LoL scene, and has further caused many to doubt Riot's decision-making.
Having talented, well-known streamers in CQ would boost its quality and popularity, as well as provide content that is beneficial to the game's development. League of Legends Twitter community was clearly disappointed with the event.
Riot's in-game accessibility policies were thoroughly criticised by League fans on Social Media
According to LCSPA's Executive Director Phil Aram, Riot's gameplay team decides who and how many people are allowed to play in CQ after assessing the impact on the NA solo queue.
Twitter, joined by the Redditor community, found this opportunity to heavily criticise Riot's team for their policies,
However, the actual reason for Imaqtpie and Shiphtur's rejection remains a mystery. According to many, Riot Games' name itself could be a metaphor for the company's penchant for shooting themselves in the foot.