Last week, most League of Legends fans didn’t know the fate of the 2020 LCS Spring Split after it was suspended due to rising coronavirus concerns. Despite the LCS making its return in an online format this past weekend, a large majority of the LCS Players Association voted for the rest of the season to be canceled, according to League reporter Travis Gafford.
Riot reportedly reached out to the Players Association to get the players’ thoughts about what should be done with the rest of the competitive season, according to Gafford. At the time, Riot was considering both options of either canceling the entire split or moving to a remote solution. In response, the LCSPA put together a poll for its members to vote on and share their opinion.
“I now know that over 90 pros replied to the question, ‘Would you prefer if the Spring Split be canceled or go fully remote?’ And again, just under two-thirds said that they would prefer it to be canceled,” Gafford said in a recent video. “After that, the Player’s Association emailed all the players and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to be providing the results of this poll to Riot to take into consideration.'”
When it came down to why the players wanted to cancel the split, it becomes a bit more difficult to explain. Multiple players reportedly felt like the Spring Split didn’t matter as much. Another group of players was concerned about their safety. There was also a group of international players who just wanted to go back to their home country.
Like Gafford said, there should be a discussion about the global situation with the coronavirus pandemic and how that will affect the mentality of the players. Many countries have started to close their borders and other governments have been calling back their own citizens. It would make perfect sense for some players—especially for those without much on the line—to want to return home and be with their families.
It’s easy for fans to criticize the players for things like a lack of competitive drive, but a good amount of players may have different legitimate reasons that might not be visible on the surface. That doesn’t make the reasons for wanting the Spring Split to continue any less valid, but there has to be a greater level of understanding at hand.
The coronavirus has shifted many things in the esports scene, from events and player mentality to their ability to perform and how comfortable they are playing in lockdown while this pandemic is running rampant across the world. But some hard decisions need to be made to make sure the League esports scene stays strong in the face of this adversity.
The LCS will continue with online play on Saturday, March 28.