China will play by Riot's rules governing international players
China had dominated the headlines during this League of Legends offseason. The populous nation has burned mountains of cash—conjured up thanks to a bidding war between streaming platforms—as it's bought up the best talent on the market. There’s no better example than the fate of Samsung Galaxy White, the current world champions; the entire roster was stripped from Samsung and spread among Chinese teams hoping to become the next champs.
It’s led to China being labelled the “wild west,” an uncontrollable, poorly regulated frontier where promises are as plentiful as fool’s gold.
LACE, the regulatory body formed from the top Chinese esports teams charged with shepherding China’s League of Legends scene, is looking to calm things down. Today it announced plans to implement two of the rules Riot Games uses to govern the League Championship Series, setting a global standard by which League teams in Europe, North America, China, and Korea must abide.
The organization announced today it will abide by Riot's Interregional Movement Policy, meaning that each team in the Chinese professional leagues, the LoL Pro League (LPL) and LoL Secondary Pro League (LSPL), may only start two players from outside China.
This was mostly just an affirmation. Riot’s rule was intended to be global, and already affected Chinese teams with plans to attend the Riot World Championships, considering any competing team must follow that stipulation. But with the large number of players moving to China from Korea this offseason, it’s easy to see why LACE thought it necessary to explicitly reveal their compliance.
In addition, LACE revealed a “single ownership” rule that mimics those recently implemented in Korea and the LCS. A single company, team, organization, or individual may now own just one team in the LPL and one team in the LSPL.
That mirrors the controversial one-team system implemented in Korea. Most teams in Korea hosted two professional teams, usually an A and B team. In some cases, both those squads were world-class, like Samsung Galaxy White and Samsung Galaxy Blue.
In China, the rules could potentially affect a number of teams in the fluid offseason. Some squads looked like they planned to assemble multiple LPL teams, considering they signed more high profile Koreans than one roster can fit.
The rules should help maintain a standardized league structure across all of the regions feeding into the Riot World Championships, creating a more level playing field.
China may be the wild west, but LACE and Riot Games seem willing to play sheriff.
H/T OnGamers | Image via Riot Games