After a whirlwind of a week, the professional North American League of Legends player base has finally landed on a historical outcome with its recent decision to walkout on the upcoming 2023 LCS Summer Split.
As a result of this momentous decision, Riot Games has delayed the season by two weeks while they negotiate with the LCS Players’ Association, but has also warned an extended delay would have major repercussions for the rest of the season, including the region’s participation at the year’s biggest League event.
In a statement by Naz Aletaha, the global head of League Esports, the League community was informed that if the delay lasts longer than the two-week time frame, it would be “nearly impossible to run a legitimate competition.”
Should the delay extend past two weeks, Riot says it would not only have to cancel the 2023 LCS Summer Split, but also eliminate LCS teams from qualifying for this year’s World Championship. Aletaha said this is “the reality of ensuring we run a fair, competitive global system,” while still giving all the players, coaches, and other involved members a place for constructive dialogue.
This massive news comes in the wake of the collective players’ decision to walkout from the league, after Riot announced it would be removing a crucial mandate that ensured the participation of LCS orgs in the region’s tier-two Challengers League.
Seven of the 10 teams in the LCS pulled out of the tier-two league shortly after, leaving dozens of players and staff jobless.
Additionally, players and other significant members of the competitive League community voiced their displeasure with Riot’s actions, stating that by taking away such important support from NACL, the path to pro for aspiring NA players has now gone from shaky to sunken in a matter of days.
Although many want the LCS players to stand up for themselves and their peers, there is now a looming risk of missing Worlds and the outright cancellation of an entire season that will undoubtedly add pressure to the LCSPA and the players as they attempt to find a middle ground with Riot and league officials.
If the two parties are able to find a solution at the negotiating table this week, the new start date for the 2023 LCS Summer Split should be on Thursday, June 15.