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Riot Games has revealed that Fantasy LCS won’t be returning for the upcoming Summer Split. In a post on the League of Legends Nexus, LCS commissioner Chris Greeley announced that Riot failed to find the correct partner to develop a better fantasy product.
This is sure to disappoint the many fans of League esports who loved the fantasy element. And while daily fantasy and other game sites have moved into the void left by the cancellation of Riot’s fantasy product before the start of the Spring Split, Greeley acknowledged that he got a lot of community feedback asking for Fantasy LCS to return and has heard the frustrated about the lack of communication from Riot.
“It’s obvious to us that the Fantasy Product we had in Summer 2018 needed an overhaul,” Greeley said. “Simply finding a replacement wasn’t going to cut it. There were lots of comments on Reddit and Twitter about all the small services that could run a basic fantasy game, but that’s not what we are looking for.”
The key issue is that, in order to evolve the fantasy product, Riot decided it needed outside expertise. Its goal wasn’t just to find a new platform for its existing fantasy game, but to create a new, lasting way to play fantasy instead. The problem was, that’s difficult for a company that’s still primarily a game developer. “Fantasy isn’t our business,” Greeley said.
Greeley mentioned that Riot had engaged with several potential partners in the fantasy sports and esports ecosystem to develop a better product. But none of the partners were a perfect fit—they either needed too much money to develop the product, didn’t think they could do it, or had a long-term vision for fantasy that didn’t align with Riot’s.
“We’re going to continue to take some big swings because we really believe that we have an opportunity to deliver something that makes the LCS/LEC viewing experience so much better,” Greeley said.
The next update from Riot has been promised by July 15, with the full product expected to be released in time for the 2020 Spring Split. Even if the fully-evolved product isn’t ready, Greeley said Riot is committed to delivering something by then.