Riot Games has announced it'll delay the summer season of the League Championship Series for two weeks, and might cancel it altogether, following an ongoing conflict with the LCS Players Association.
As reported by PC Gamer, the LCSPA had voted in favour of a walkout earlier this week, to protest against changes made to the North American Challengers League which led to the elimination of seven teams ahead of the imminent start of the summer season. Riot's decision to change the league's rules could lead an estimated 70 people to lose their jobs.
In a statement shared on Twitter on Sunday, the LCSPA said the strike was a decision that players didn't take "lightly," adding: "We stand at this impasse because actions were taken by Riot without prior communication or discussion with the LCS players."
Riot Games addressed the walkout in a blog post penned by global head of LoL esports Naz Aletaha. And as reported by Kotaku, the firm is ready to cancel the entire season if a resolution isn't found within the next two weeks.
"We informed LCSPA leadership today that we will delay the LCS season for the next two weeks," Aletaha said, adding that the two-week window is to give time "for productive dialogue between the LCSPA, teams, and the league and then resume LCS competition this summer."
She continued: "The LCS will not be penalising the teams for not fielding their rosters during this two-week period to allow everyone space to focus on constructive dialogue. We are doing our best to ensure LCS employees, contractors, and others supporting the LCS are not negatively impacted by the delay.
"Delaying beyond the two-week window would make it nearly impossible to run a legitimate competition, and in that case, we would be prepared to cancel the entire LCS summer season. Carrying this forward, if the LCS summer season is cancelled, this will also eliminate LCS teams qualifying for 2023 Worlds. I want to be clear: That is not an outcome we’d want, but it’s unfortunately the reality of ensuring we run a fair, competitive global system."
The LCSPA replied to Riot's statement, saying: "Tonight, one thing is back in clear focus: players are the LCS. Without players, there is no league, and there is no esport. From day one, exclusion from the decision-making process drove the LCSPA players to vote to walk out. The future of the NACL and the LCS is too big to decide overnight and without player consideration.
"We met with Riot Games today to ask for daily meetings or more, if needed – to reach a resolution. Starting tomorrow, we plan to begin discussions that result in meaningful collaborative action to get our players back where they want to be: competing for fans on the LCS stage."