LoL caster LS criticises LCS salaries and academy scrim “horror stories”

League of Legends caster Nick ‘LS’ De Cesare has slammed North American players and teams for their high salaries and poor attitudes towards developing talent, which he believes is stifling the region’s competitive LoL scene.

Following Team Liquid’s second defeat of the LoL Worlds 2020 group stage at the hands of Suning, LS took to Twitter to criticise the LCS. The LCK caster says that “the amount of things plaguing NA from the foundation up is alarming,” and echoed sentiments made by ESPN Esports’ Tyler Erzberger about the massive salaries LCS pros are currently on.

“The salaries are too high relative to everything that comes from [the teams],” LS says, quoting Erzberger’s initial tweet. “Orgs need proper people to execute litmus tests and develop proper structure and practice, among other things. Import slots also need to be utilized properly.” He then goes on to say he knows of multiple “horror stories” within the LCS which see pro players trying desperately to keep their high-paying places on starting rosters.

This includes, according to LS, players refusing to scrim academy teams as that would help the young talent improve and get on the same level as the starting roster, thus causing a “risk to job security” for the first team players.

Although his organisation failed to qualify for Worlds, T1’s CEO Joe Marsh also weighed in on this issue.

“What’s happening with LCS teams is why LCK teams worked with the League to push for a stronger academy league in 2021 for our region,” he tweets. “You need to invest in the up and coming talent – not just throw around stacks of cash for starting five and have no prospects in the pipeline.”

NA teams performed poorly at the 2019 World Championships, which caused plenty of debate around the ability of LCS teams. The consensus that LCS teams are a way off their counterparts in Europe, China, and Korea has only been strengthened by their rocky start to this year’s tournament, in which FlyQuest has picked up the only win of the group stage so far for NA teams.