Within the past few months a storm has been stirring between Riot Games and owners of LCS teams. Players aren’t happy with the low pay they’re receiving and bosses are becoming increasingly frustrated with Riot Games doing what they want and when they want to. A few weeks ago Riot Games dropped patch 6.15, an update which effectively removed the option to lane swap. This being one of the most common strategies within the higher elo/level competitions and games, bosses and players met this update with resistance.
Andy “Reginald” Dinh, owner and former player for Team Solo Mid voiced his opinion and annoyance with the updates in an interview with theScore esports. Post interview Riot co-founder and CEO Mark Merrill responded on Reddit and let loose a firestorm between players, bosses, and casters. Blog, vlogs, tweets and all other media outlets exploded with opinions with disagreement.
Back in 2015 while players and fans were preparing themselves for the League of Legends World Championships, Riot released patch 5.16. Named the Juggernaut patch, it was released just a few months before the Championships began. After LCS pros had been perfecting their strategies for almost the entire season; Riot released this bombshell on the whole community. The patch spouted the issue of “ban me or lose” champions, such as Darius and Mordekaiser.
While this it’s self isn’t a massive issue due to patches, buffs and items making certain champions better than others all the time. The fact that it was released just before the Championships forced all teams to adapt or perish. Riot finally came to sense and admitted their actions were questionable and agreed to be more considerate when releasing new game-changing patches in the pro scene.
However, Riot made the mistake again of releasing a game-changing patch so close to the Worlds playoffs. The release of patch 6.15 essentially removing lane swapping has forced teams that were once good with the tactic to adapt to playing completely without them.
Christopher “Montecristo” Mykkles shoutcaster, LoL analyst and owner of Team Renegades has shared his thoughts via a YouTube video. According to Montecristo, LCS teams don’t have the same amount of income in comparison with the other eSports giant; Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. He believes that the amount of money that Riot Games is making is not shown in the amount of money that is paid to the teams.
In 2013, when the LCS was on the rise, being a professional player was seen as the ‘perfect and dream job’ for many. Getting paid for doing something you love? Who wouldn’t want that job? However with the tensions rising between players and Riot Games, will this last for much longer. Either Riot will have to make the call and pay their players more to match those of other games, or, the LCS will come to a close as players will take a stand. Let us know your thoughts, and what might come to light at the end of all this commotion!