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Riot moves as LoL LCS walkout vote sparks region-wide roster scramble

As the League of Legends LCS walkout looms, developer Riot Games is reportedly dropping the minimum rank requirement to compete as it looks to break the picket.

League of Legends LCS walkout strikebreaker: Fudge

Following the impending League of Legends LCS walkout, MOBA game developer Riot Games is reportedly allowing teams to not only make emergency signings ahead of the league’s imminent return, but it’s also lifting the minimum rank requirement to play in North America’s top division.

That’s right, according to community insider Travis Gafford, you can now be considered for the LCS even if you’re in the bowels of Iron. This contravenes section 2.3 of the current LCS ruleset, which stipulates that players “must have held a peak solo queue ranking within the last year of Diamond 1 or above”.

The LCS Player Association – which held a successful walkout vote on May 28 – says this is a decision which it “has been aware [of] for over a week”, and coincides with Riot’s need to get players on teams ahead of the LCS Summer Split’s kick-off on June 1.

However, becoming a strikebreaker and signing onto a team at this point is undoubtedly a poisoned chalice, with the LCSPA urging any aspiring pro to avoid crossing the picket line. For the uninitiated, a strikebreaker or ‘scab’ is someone who is hired during a strike – or in this case a walkout – effectively undermining the action.

LCS organisations also find themselves in a tough spot. As per insider ‘LCS Eevee’, orgs are contractually obliged to field a team, leaving many, including ourselves, wondering if the league will end up devolving into a glorified Clash tournament for the foreseeable future should the show go on.

This is further complicated by the fact that sections 2.4 and 2.5 of the LCS ruleset state that owners, general managers, coaches, and Riot employees can’t be called up. Though, with the minimum rank rule suspended, there’s a good chance that other restrictions have also been lifted.

While the prospect of a team of Gold players representing NA on the LoL Worlds stage is funny to think about, it will undoubtedly further damage the reputation of a league which has historically struggled to compete internationally. It’s going to be a long week for those at the top of NA’s LoL ranks, and it looks like a resolution won’t materialise for some time. That is, if a resolution is to be found at all.