With World 2017 ending just over a month ago, the player rosters, and owner rosters for that matter, are keeping news fresh for the 2018 NA LCS season. Let’s start with the summary of recent LCS structure and team changes.
Team Updates: (https://esportsobserver.com/na-lcs-2018-reported-team-owners/)
This season, Riot Games, has begun their franchising. Now with profit sharing, specific rules regarding player paychecks, and a player’s association, eSports (at least in terms of League of Legends), is now a formidable force. Returning the 2018 Spring Split are fan favorites Team Solo Mid, Counter Logic Gaming, Cloud 9, and Team Liquid, while FlyQuest and Echo Fox also retain spots in the franchising model. New to this split is are the Golden Guardians (owned by Golden State Warriors), Clutch Gaming (owned by the Houston Rockets), 100 Thieves (owned by former eSports profession Matthew “NadeShot” Haag and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and finally, Optic Gaming. With four new teams, the pool of talent within the NA LCS is going to be different.
Team Roster Updates:
Many of the changes from this year team rosters likely stem from a poor LCS performance, or lack luster world’s performances (sorry NA, but we haven’t had a good world championship showing in some time).
Team Solo Mid:
Counter Logic Gaming:
Top: Licorice / Ray
Mid: Jensen / Selfie
With the long list of players out of the way, it seems that every team, including the new teams, have signed one or more players who have LCS experience. This is a solid move in every aspect. The only unknown player at this time is the 100 Thieves ADC, but given the Team Liquid announcement that CodySun and AdNa had been transferred to other teams, it’s likely that CodySun will be with ADC for 100 Thieves. Some teams with good performances last year made major changes, such as TSM’s move to replace the jungler, and bot lane duo. Many fans were hyper critical of Svenskeren’s performance over the last two splits, and who can forget all the memes of the DoubleLift flash. Regardless of how I think my favorite team will perform, I just hope we have a strong showing at Worlds 2018.
Major Changes to the Season Structure: (http://www.lolesports.com/en_US/articles/evolution-of-the-na-lcs)
Relegation is no longer a thing. Teams that were accepted into NA LCS Franchising are now permanent fixtures in the NA LCS. “To get there, we’re going to make some central changes. Starting in 2018, teams that participate in the NA LCS will be there as permanent partners of the league. Teams will be selected from an application process meaning they won’t face relegation or have to fight for the right to compete as a new org via a promotion tournament.” according to Riot Games, but… “We are also implementing a policy in which teams can lose their right to compete in the league if they finish in 9th or 10th place 5 times over an 8-split span.”. Another big change to the structure is the re-branding of the former Challenger Series into the Challenger Academy. This will allow for the development of pro players.
Profit Sharing and Revenues: Minimum starting salaries for each NA LCS player starts at $75,000, but if their share of the revenue is greater than $75,000, they get the difference as well. If it’s less? Well they still make $75,000. Their share is up to 35% of the total league revenue (across all players, not just one). 32.5% of the total revenue is goes directly to the teams. Half of the 32.5% is split evenly among all the teams, and the other half is split among the teams with the highest placing teams and teams with the highest viewer count.
If you’re interested in following along with all the changes still to come, as well as weekly break downs of this week in the LCS, be sure to check back! Until next time.