LoL: Upcoming NA LCS Promo changes
Check out Riot’s announcement!
TL;DR: We’ll be making some changes to the work eligibility requirements for NA CS teams entering into Promotion Tournament. CS teams participating in the Promotion Tournament will now be required to field legally work eligible players. To give teams adequate time to comply, the NA Spring Promotion Tournament will start on Wednesday, April 6.
From a structural standpoint, the Promotion tournament lies somewhere between the two tiers of play, where smaller organizations compete against well established LCS teams held to a more defined and complex ruleset. Historically, the requirements asked of CS teams was that, where LCS-specific requirements would be unnecessarily burdensome on a team, they instead be in position to comply with all LCS rules if promoted.
This was especially true when it came to player work eligibility, because of the different practical and legal natures of the Leagues. For the majority of the season, CS teams participate in an online tournament, and a relatively short one. We felt that it was a burden to ask CS teams to go through the legally unnecessary and expensive visa process on the chance that they might make CS playoffs, then might advance to Promotion, then might win a spot in the LCS. This burden would only increase the barrier to entry to organizations looking to get into the LCS, and historically there wasn’t the resources or organizational strength to accept that burden.
As we move towards the upcoming promotion tournament, NA LCS team owners have identified this historical precedent as potentially damaging to the competitive fairness of the tournament. We agree that a team playing with work ineligible players could be seen as having an unfair advantage against LCS teams who have gone through (often lengthy) work eligibility processes.
As such, we will now be requiring NA CS teams entering the promotion tournament to adhere to the same ruleset as their competitors when it comes to work eligibility. This change comes after conversations with NA CS teams created eligibility timelines in good faith with Riot. To ensure fairness to both sides, LCS teams who have already met the requirements and CS teams now adjusting Riot-approved visa timelines, we will be moving the NA Promotion Tournament back two weeks. We are working with the CS teams, who are confident they can meet this additional burden in the extra time allotted.
Our goals here are to (1) level the playing field for this tournament, (2) make strides towards clearing up ambiguity around future promotion tournament rules and (3) ensuring CS teams – who have been acting in good faith with Riot-approval – aren’t unfairly set back. For the future, we will be creating a distinct ruleset for the Promotion that’s appropriate to the unique nature of the tournament and clear to all teams who might participate – hopefully eliminating these grey areas.
Within the EU LCS, we’ll be applying the same overall approach when it comes to work eligibility and a fair playing field between CS and LCS players in the Promotion tournament. Therefore, all players competing in the promotion tournament will, similar to NA, need to satisfy work eligibility requirements. Due to the complex nature of visa regulations specific to the EU region, the categorization of legally work eligible will include multiple visa types, the validity of each visa to be determined on a case by case basis.
All existing EU CS players have met German work eligibility requirements for the purpose of competing in the promotion tournament, therefore the tournament will commence as planned with the first match starting on March 24 at 17:00 CET