Riot Games and League of Legends esports pros lock horns over fate of North American league

Well well well, how the turntable.

Following Riot Games’ announcement of its plan to reduce the North American Challenger’s League for League of Legends esports down to only seven teams from last year’s 16, LoL pro players have been putting effective strike tactics to the test.

The LCS Players Association initially called out Riot for its move in mid-May, saying that the company had cut the league “without prior communication or discussion” with the actual players and participants. According to LCS, the decision affects “as many as 70 players, coaches, and managers” in North America and stands as a contradiction to Riot’s past commitments to the league. Over the weekend, league members voted “overwhelmingly” to walk out and strike right before the start of the LCS season to pressure Riot to “have open and transparent discussions” about the future of the esports organizations, which the group then followed up by denouncing scab participation.

Riot apparently did meet with pro player representatives after the strike began, but it also penned a lengthy blog post delaying the LCS season as many as two weeks and suggesting the cuts were needed to maintain a “sustainable, economically viable” league, which has drawn raised eyebrows as Riot Games is a billion-dollar company owned by the biggest games company in the world. In any case, the LCS says negotiations continue.

Source: Riot, LCSPA, Kotaku
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