Riot Games removes rank requirement to participate in League of Legends LCS 2023 Summer Split: Reasons and potential effects explored

The controversy in the LCS escalates just days before the Summer Split (Image via LCS on Flickr)
The controversy in the LCS escalates just days before the Summer Split (Image via LCS on Flickr)

The controversy surrounding the League of Legends Championship Series continues to build up before the start of its Summer Split on June 1, 2023. The League of Legends Championship Series Player Association (LCSPA) recently announced they would conduct a walkout over Riot Games' poor treatment of the North American LoL academy scene.

This marked a historic moment in LoL esports, as this is an unprecedented response from a major region.

Riot Games' reaction to the walkout has disappointed plenty of LoL esports fans worldwide. Popular journalist Travis Gafford shared recent developments regarding the current situation on his show, Hotline League, that have further baffled the community.

This article will go over the reasons that have caused this response from Riot Games and its potential implication for the North American esports scene.


Removal of rank requirements ahead of League of Legends LCS Summer Split 2023 comes as a big surprise

Background of the controversy

The drama over the past week involving the LCS and Riot Games started with the latter's announcement, which stated that the LCS organizations would not be obliged to field academy rosters. This prompted seven of the ten existing LCS teams to withdraw their academy rosters, putting the existing players' careers in a dangerous and bleak future.

This was quickly acknowledged by the LCSPA, who submitted a list of changes they wish Riot Games would hopefully take up and issue. The ignorance of Riot in this matter prompted them to conduct a vote for a walkout which was 'overwhelmingly passed,' resulting in a monumental moment in the history of the LCS.

This meant players would not participate in the League of Legends LCS Summer Split, which starts June 1, 2023.


Reasons for the removal of ranked requirements

Travis Gafford shared Riot Games' response citing various reputable sources. In response to the player walkout, Riot has allowed the LCS teams to recruit substitute players well past the roster lock to conduct the Summer Split on the starting date without hassle.

They have also temporarily removed the rank requirement to compete in the league. The LCS rulebook states that the players participating must have hit a peak rank of Diamond 1 in League of Legends within the last year.

This has led to outrage from the community, with people labeling it as downright hilarious and a lack of commitment shown by Riot Games to the North American League of Legends scene.

The LCSPA have also responded to it with a reason for their walkout and wanting Riot Games and the LCS to agree with a common plan.


Possible outcomes and effects

This decision comes as an absolute shocker and a huge mistake from Riot Games. The decision to put more importance on the running of the LCS, instead of solving the current crisis and the pleas of existing players in the league, shows a side of ignorance, which is not to be expected from a tournament organizer.

This could have adverse effects and deter current players from participating in further LCS competitions. The academy scene also takes a big hit with this decision. With Riot's lack of responsibility or commitment to improving its ethos, the North American League of Legends academy system is in peril.

Overall, this is detrimental to the growth of the LCS. However, with low-ranked players being able to participate in the league, it could draw attention from lots of League of Legends fans worldwide to check out the current state of the LCS. Further developments in this controversy are inevitable, and more responses from the LCSPA and Riot Games are to be expected.