LCS players may stage walkout to protest recent NACL decision

A vote will reportedly take place on Sunday, May 28.

LCS games are played at Riot Games Arena in Los Angeles
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff via Riot Games

Over the last month, the North American League of Legends scene has been swirling in controversy after the league decided to remove requirements for LCS organizations to field tier-two teams for the 2023 Summer Split and beyond. But this coming weekend, the players may finally be making a major decision to stand up for themselves and their peers.

The LCS Players Association is reportedly holding a massive vote involving all 50 of the league’s players on a walkout to protest against the changes to the region’s path-to-pro and the NACL, according to investigative journalist Mikhail Klimentov.

If this walkout goes through, it will represent one of the first major acts of collective action in esports. The LCSPA’s executive director Phillip Aram told Klimentov that if over half of the league’s players vote on a walkout, the upcoming 2023 Summer Split—which is scheduled to begin on Thursday, June 1—will be heavily affected.

The vote will reportedly take place this Sunday, May 28, at 10:30pm CT, and if 26 of the 50 players participating vote for action, the league will be forced to either delay the start of the season or risk fielding teams without a majority of their starting lineup.

Related: ‘No viewership, no support, no future’: LCS Players Association responds to Riot’s NACL plan

When Riot announced the removal of the NACL mandate for LCS teams on May 12, many players voiced their complaints on social media, saying the tier-two scene in NA was what gave them a shot in the LCS. The Players Association was also vocal about the decision, saying this move would leave the region’s developmental pipeline with “no viewership, no institutional support, no paying jobs, and no future.”

One of the LCS teams remaining in the NACL is Team Liquid, and although the organization did vote for the removal of the mandate, CEO Steve Arhancet stressed the importance of NA’s path-to-pro, along with suggesting some changes to help create a much more effective environment for scouting younger talent.

With only three LCS teams confirming their continued involvement in the NACL, over 35 players and countless staff were left scrambling as their jobs were essentially taken away overnight, without being given any time to find backup plans or support.

Dot Esports has reached out to Riot for comment.

About the author
Tyler Esguerra

Lead League of Legends writer for Dot Esports. Forever an LCS supporter, AD carry main, with more than five years in the industry. Sometimes I like clicking heads in Call of Duty or VALORANT. Creator of the Critical Strike Podcast.