After a report by esports journalist Travis Gafford that LCS owners voted to remove the league requirement to field North American League of Legends Academy rosters in 2022, league commissioner Chris Greeley made a statement denying the reports, saying that LCS teams cannot vote away Academy requirements.
He also said that Riot has been helping to build out a successful development system in NA. Although there are still some issues that need to be ironed out, Riot, the LCS teams, and the Players’ Association are all working together to build something that works well.
“Multiple owners have confirmed for me that no vote actually took place,” Greeley said. “We are still very early in discussions with teams and the PA on what Academy [and] amateur looks like in the 2022 and beyond.”
Gafford also reported that LCS organizations are reportedly looking to change things so that Academy teams no longer have to be located in Los Angeles, where the LCS Studios are located. Currently, LCS Academy teams are able to play on-stage, but instead, they would rather have the teams play remotely.
The LCS Players’ Association also gave Gafford a statement, saying that it is actively talking with Riot, team owners, and the players about the possible changes that could occur for next year. Some of the organization’s own conversations with teams have “indicated that at least some teams will pursue measures that reduce or remove costs associated with the Academy system,” while others have others have proposed making Academy teams optional.
The LCSPA said that it would “[excuse] teams from their financial responsibility to protect the future of the LCS.” For quite some time now, the amateur and Academy-level scenes in NA have lacked the support to thrive and cultivate new talent. This past year, however, organizations like Cloud9, TSM, 100 Thieves, and Evil Geniuses have all opened up amateur-level teams in order to help the growth of young, upcoming talent in the region.