The North American LCS has always been a rather conflictive region where, despite the efforts of Riot Games, it seems that the pieces never quite fit together.
In 2021, the major League of Legends competition of the region has launched a new league format, with a ‘Lock In‘ Tournament that precedes the Main Event of the Spring Split, which Team Liquid managed to win last weekend.
But despite that change (and all the changes previously settled), the participant teams are still not satisfied, and now a new problem has arisen.
According to the renowned esports journalist Travis Gafford, most of the participant teams of the LCS have expressly asked Riot Games to remove the maximum non-resident player rule.
— Travis Gafford (@TravisGafford) February 3, 2021
While Riot Games announced the rebranding of the North American competition, with a new format and philosophy that would transform the region into a place where the rookie talent can develop and shine internationally, it looks like some teams are not happy with it, and seek to lift the import rule to get stronger through other ways.
The “import rule” came after some esports teams around the world made their rosters with players coming from foreign countries, which would make them stronger compared with those who probably were not able to acquire imports.
In 2014, to avoid that situation, Riot Games introduced a new system, where pro players would acquire the condition of “resident” after having played for a while in a concrete region. Thus, those players who come from other regions are considered “imports” until they have played there for a couple of years,
With the “import rule”, teams cannot have more than two “imported players” within the rosters, which also helps to develop local talent.
According to Travis Gafford, this rule could disappear, breaking with seven years of tradition, but for now, Riot Games has not commented on the news, but it looks like the conflict will be there for a long time.
Riot Games vs the LSC teams… stay tuned to know all the details about this new polemic!