The European and North American League Championship Series is undergoing several changes, one of which is the introduction of a new LCS arbitration process.
Teams can challenge specific rulings from Riot Games that involve fines over $10,000 or player-suspensions. Doing so allows the involved team to defend itself by presenting evidence as well as reviewing the evidence against it.
The official announcement confirms that an independent third-party will be overlooking the LCS arbitration process. As such, the body can turn a verdict against Riot Games if it finds the team in the clear. JAMS, a well-established commercial arbitration firm, will be referred to in most cases unless both parties agree on a different arbitration body.
“Our goal is to provide an independent body to give both Riot and affected teams an opportunity to validate and present their findings after a serious judgment, without putting an overly burdensome cost on the team or player,” stated Riot Games.
It’s commendable to see Riot Games introducing a fair LCS arbitration process. Various controversial situations in the past have called out the company for filling all the roles of judge, jury, and executioner. A decision passed by an independent body means that there is no bias involved and hence, no reason to birth drama.
In addition to the arbitration system, Riot Games is also extending poaching protection to head coaches. They will now be treated the same way as professional League of Legends players.
The prize pool for the LCS has been increased to $200,000/€200,000 per split. Additionally, the developer is looking into other options aside from Summoner Icons to raise revenue for teams through in-game digital goodies.
Relegation is not being removed from NA LCS but the 8th placed team will no longer play the Promotion Tournament. Instead, it will be the bottom two teams against the top two Challenger teams who will be playing the Promotion Tournament at the end of the Spring Split. As for changes to the EU LCS, a best-of-three format has been enforced.
Riot Games confirmed that all teams have been updated on the new changes before the start of the season.