LCSPA slams Riot for surprise decision to reduce league to eight teams
The League of Legends Championship Series Players Association slammed Riot Games and its league team owners for its surprise decision to reduce the league to eight teams.
Riot Games and the LCS announced on November 20, 2023, that it was reducing the size of the league to eight teams, with Golden Guardians and Evil Geniuses exiting the league by mutual decision.
The two teams will not be playing in the 2024 League of Legends esports season and thus players signed on to their roster, and the support staff still employed at the time of the announcement, have been released.
This has caused multiple players and behind-the-scenes workers to suddenly be without a job just before the start of 2024. The LCSPA, who are coming off a walkout from just a few months ago, put out a statement about the surprise move and elimination of 10 player opportunities slamming Riot and the LCS for not involving the association in the decision-making process.
LCSPA called out Riot for “11th-hour decision-making”
The LCSPA said it only heard of the league’s and Riot’s decision to move to an eight-team league this past week. Rumors of the move just started to swirl this past weekend.
“The sudden loss of jobs harms our members. For a second time this year, Riot and teams have left players out of the decision-making process and left players out to dry because of organizational mismanagement and 11th-hour decision-making.
“The released players and players who are having verbal agreements not honored will not have the fair opportunity to seek work elsewhere as most rosters are completed or committed to by the time of today’s announcement.” the statement said.
While the League esports off-season officially starts on November 21, many teams and players have reportedly already made verbal commitments to play for teams in the LCS and across the world. Golden Guardians were noticeably absent for reported player transactions, while Evil Geniuses were in the midst of crafting a roster for the 2024 season.
The LCSPA said the removal of “struggling organizations” instead of replacing them is a step towards a better league, potentially with a more open system. However, it is “only when players have their voices heard, can we build a better future” for the league and players alike.
The association has also called on the developer to “balance” the loss of roster spots with improvements to the league and the North American Challengers League conditions next season.