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LCS Announces Further Reductions — Limited Road Shows Amidst Layoffs

The esports community has been hit with shock after shock as massive layoffs continue to be shared on Twitter and beyond. The latest cut has impacted LCS esports.

Riot Games announced earlier today that the LCS will have a reduced amount of road shows. Instead of looking at it as yet another shrinkage in the esports industry, however, Riot is calling it a chance for “potential innovation” and more fan experiences.

This year, the 2024 Spring Finals will take place on March 30-31 at the Riot Games Arena in Los Angeles. If you can’t make it to the arena, however, Riot is working on ways to “elevate the fan experience,” including teams and partners for a Fan Fest of sorts. More details will be released later on, the press release claimed.

By reducing the number of road shows, the LCS team is hoping to allocate money to other priorities, specifically fans and players. The viewing experience is one of the biggest focuses and the team hopes to “make the show more entertaining than ever.” There will be a road show for the Summer Finals (with no date or location just yet), but the overall season will “look different” in many ways. Even though the Spring Final will be missing some of the usual experiences, Riot is claiming it will be a “great event” for fans who are in person or viewing online.

NRG hoists LCS Championship trophy

“We believe that times of transition are also times with the most potential for innovation. In the span of a little over a month, our teams were able to bring the LCS back to weekends, launch Live Patch Play, create new workflows to reduce time between games, and refresh our live broadcast look,” the press release continued. “Innovation is core to our DNA here at the LCS, and we'll continue to iterate and improve to meet, and hopefully exceed, the needs of the ecosystem and the community.”

While this most definitely sounds positive and like money is being simply shifted from one focus to another, fans are skeptical. The future of esports is becoming more and more of a concern for fans and industry insiders alike. Golden Guardians and Evil Geniuses left the LCS and the industry side has also been alarming for onlookers.

Riot recently laid off 530 employees, including staff on the esports side of the operation. This was alarming to League of Legends esports fans as well as employees who felt Riot was quick to remove hard working esports experts without much explanation — yet another cursed moment for esports in just the first month of 2024.

Just a few days ago, Blizzard employees were also hit with massive layoffs focused on Overwatch and Call of Duty esports. With ESL FACEIT taking over Overwatch esports, this was unfortunately expected, although many complained about the way Blizzard caught passionate professionals off guard. One Call of Duty League employee even stated that he was fired shortly after returning from a tournament.

With so many drastic reductions in the esports industry, including large brands and popular esports titles, industry insiders are not feeling all too confident about esports careers right now. Journalist Jacob Wolf tweeted that esports is no longer an industry, meaning it may not be self-sufficient enough to support careers right now.

Wolf warned esports employees to “leave on your own accord” before more layoffs take place.