LCS players agree to walkout in protest of NACL changes

Jeremy Gan
Cloud 9 and FluQuest faceoff at LCS playoffs

The LCS Players Association (NALCSPA) has announced that they will be walking out in protest of recent changes made to the NA Challengers league just as the LCS Summer 2023 split is set to start this weekend. 

The lead-up to 2023’s LCS Summer split has been a tumultuous one for North America. On May 12, Riot Games announced it was bending to the will of teams, allowing them to opt out of fielding NA Challengers League rosters, leaving many players’ futures up in the air. 

This has resulted in all but three of the ten LCS teams announcing that they would be dropping their academy rosters.

Just over a week before the Summer split, the LCS Players Association took a vote to walk out in light of the changes, and now, the player union has announced that the vote to walk out has “overwhelmingly passed”.

LCS players agree to stage a walkout of LCS amid NACL changes

The Players Association has representatives from all ten LCS teams, which most likely means much of each team’s roster will be involved in the now official walkout. However, some of the rosters have not been formally announced for the Summer Split as of writing. 

The LCSPA said in their announcement, “This is not a decision LCS players have come to lightly. Countless discussions and debates were had between all LCS players in the week leading to this historic vote.

One thing is clear from those conversations – our players want to play and compete above all else. Joining hands to put competition aside is a testament to the significance and urgency of the issues at hand.” 

The association further says that the walkout can still be averted if Riot is willing to have a discussion of solutions for the LCS and NACL. 

The Summer Split is due to start on June 1, though the walkout may have thrown its official start date up in the air as the tournament obviously cannot function without its players. We’ll have to wait and see if Riot responds in time.

The walkout comes in the wake of CLG shuttering its doors and giving its LCS spot to NRG Esports. And the storied LCS org, TSM, announcing its plans to leave the league for another Major region. 

Dexerto has put together an explainer article about the potential walkout and everything leading up to this point. You can read it by clicking here.

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