The landscape of LoL esports in North America is a bit uncertain. The LCS is currently experiencing a lot of controversy due to changes in the NACL to remove the requirement for organizations to form tier-two teams.
Due to the NACL decision, a strike by LCS players could be triggered. According to some reports, a vote will be held next Sunday to finalize their actions.
LCS players could go on strike
Many LCS players disagree with the changes that Riot wants to implement in the NACL, so it is expected that in a few days, the North American league community will take action to support their peers.
According to information revealed by journalist Mikhail Klimentov, the LCS players’ association plans to hold a vote. These votes aim to call a strike of 50 players in the league, a form of protest against the measures the NACL took.
BREAKING: The @NALCSPA has asked LCS players to vote Sunday on a walkout in protest of changes to the NACL.
“If we have 26 out of 50 of the LCS player willing to do something, I can tell you right now, the league's not running,” @Phillip_Aram said.
More in my story, below. pic.twitter.com/H5IC3QgTDF
— ℳikhail Klimentov (@LeaderGrev) May 23, 2023
If this strike takes place in the North American league, this act would mean the first act of mass mobilization in the esports industry.
On the other hand, the executive director of the LCSPA, Phillip Aram, commented that if more than half of the players voted in favor of the strike, the LCS Summer Split would be strongly affected.
If 26 of the 50 players agree to go on strike, the league would be forced to postpone the start of the Split, which is scheduled for June 1. In the event of a strike and the season begins, the league runs the risk of most teams playing without a majority of the starting lineup.
The election is anticipated to happen on Sunday, May 28
Riot’s decision to change the NACL has caused discontent among LCS players; many have voiced their opinion on social media since Riot Games declared that the NACL requirement would no longer be met. Some LCS players argue that North America’s tier-two environment allows players to reach the first level.
The players’ association has also expressed dissatisfaction and disapproval of the move. They claim the league would be left without a development channel, jobs, and a future.
One of the teams still in the NACL is Team Liquid, which voted to eliminate the mandate. However, the organization’s executive director Steve Arhancet has commented that the professional NA community is very important; at the same time, Arhancet suggested improving the training environment for new talent.
On the other hand, more than 35 players and other staff members were left stranded when their employment was terminated overnight; these people have not had time to establish a contingency plan as only three LCS teams confirmed their continued participation in the NACL.