Riot reveals plans for return of players and crew to LCS studio, confirms import rule won’t be removed

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Photo via Riot Games

After more than a year of remote LCS play due to COVID-19, Riot Games has confirmed that the league will be slowly returning back to normal operations for the 2021 Summer Split.

In an interview with Upcomer, Riot’s head of esports for North American and Oceania Chris Greeley talked about the plans to move the analyst desk and broadcast team back to the studio for the start of this coming season. There aren’t any plans to have a live audience for the LCS this summer, but there are plenty of plans set in motion for teams and coaches to return to the studio.

“We are finalizing plans to get our teams back into the arena for week one,” Greeley said. “There are still a couple of hurdles to get over. As we’re finalizing the plans, we still need to discuss those with the Players Association and with the teams. We are pretty confident that the plan is good, and that everyone is going to understand even the things that aren’t awesome in terms of limitations on mobility around the building—that has never been there before for teams. But, we have to limit where people go and when they go there in order to keep people safe and keep distance under these protocols.”

In addition to the production and staff returning to the studio, fans will be seeing the long-awaited return of ProView for the 2021 Summer Split. The team, according to Greeley, has created a “much more upgraded experience for fans” that’s been worked on since the offseason. The feature was disabled since the league went remote in 2020.

The LCS is also debuting three new segments to the show this season. On Fridays, Barento “Raz” Mohammed will host LanexLane, which is a 30-minute debate between LCS analysts on a specific topic. The following day, Julian “Pastrytime” Carr will host Replay Files, where fans get to relive some of the biggest LCS matches of the past while also talking to some of the players who took part. Lastly, on Sundays, former pro Meteos will host a roundtable with multiple LCS pros, analysts, and community members to discuss various topics around the league and the League of Legends scene as a whole.

Finally, Greeley also confirmed that the league won’t be removing its import rule, which has been a hot topic in the League scene over the past few months. He said he “[doesn’t] think anyone is advocating for the repeal of the import rule” after speaking to multiple LCS teams on the matter.

You can watch the 2021 LCS Summer Split when the league kicks off on June 4.

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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.