Skip to main content

Prominent figures within the League of Legends community including the LCS Players Association have spoken out regarding a series of changes being made to the North American League, most notably the removal of a challenger league roster requirement.

The North American Challengers League is for promising players to prove themselves on the path to becoming a pro. It’s been used as a way to give players an opportunity to grow in the scene and League fans are wondering how this will still happen if LCS teams don’t have NACL teams.

The LCSPA reacted negatively to the update from Riot Games. It accused Riot of trying to appease LCS owners. The LCSPA stated that this new update could lead to “as many as 70 players, coaches, and managers” losing their jobs “overnight.”

After seeing the concerning updates from Riot Games, the LCSPA came up with some recommended changes compiled in a proposal titled “Riot’s Lack of Commitment to the NACL.”

In its proposal, the LCSPA said that teams should pay NACL players based on local wage laws instead of California labor laws. Teams should also be allowed to partner with affiliate organizations to operate their NACL rosters and share costs. The statement also mentioned that Riot should introduce “meaningful incentives” to inspire outside organizations to invest in NACL rosters.

Riot Games isn’t completely clueless when it comes to running an esports league, of course. The publisher has seen huge success in other regions — and regions like the LCK have impressive Challenger leagues. But North America has consistently struggled to keep up with the game’s other major regions.

Right now, the NACL largely has no support from the League of Legends community as well. The Spring Split had a peak viewership of 26.6K, which is nowhere near the peak viewership of the main LCS — 271.3K according to Steam Charts. People just aren’t tuning in to watch the NACL for whatever reason — and instead of attempting to bring in fans, Riot Games wants to make it even more useless.