Riot Games and pro League of Legends esports players reach compromise to end strike


At the end of May, we covered a disturbance in the Riot Games League of Legends esports community: Riot had slashed the North American pro league to less than half, affecting up to 70 players and staffers, with very little notice and plenty of shade suggesting that the NA league (compared to other international leagues) was economically nonviable, which sounded absurd coming from a massive gaming corp like the Tencent-owned Riot Games. Pro players banded together to strike with 90% of members onboard, demanding a stronger salary pool and minimum contracts; the strike threatened to cancel the LCS season and indeed delayed it two weeks already.

Well, the two sides have finally sorted it out with a compromise agreement, although your opinion on how well the players made out depends on where you’re standing (and your belief or lack thereof that Riot would close it down entirely). Riot and the pro players agreed to the the salary pool, improvements to governance, severance notice, and a working group between pro teams and Riot.

“While the agreements fall short of our initially stated, goals, Riot has agreed to a series of important changes and committed to meaningful collaboration with the LCSPA before making future decisions,” LCSPA writes. “The concessions below do not return the NACL fully, nor do they provide restoration for the players who lost jobs suddenly and incurred financial hardship, lost visas, or broken leases. […] What we have accomplished is a guarantee by Riot going forward to support the new NACL format and its players – increased financial support for the NACL, accountability measures designed to protect players working for the new operators in the NACL, and lasting protections for our lowest earning members to mitigate harm in the future.”

The LCS will return on June 14th.

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