NA, EU and China introduces franchising model

Riot games has announced they will be introducing the franchising model for Spring split 2018

While this remaining Summer split for 2017 will not be changed and teams previously qualified for the NA LCS have already been determined, Riot will roll out the new system early next year. This move will see an end to relegation out of the NA LCS, while still allowing for new teams to enter. Riot will allow more teams to join the NA LCS in time, as they had previously confirmed spaces in the LCS will expand every year, likely by 2 a year or 1 team per split. It is also extremely likely that new teams will remain to qualify through the NA CS, where the top team from each split will earn their opportunity to join the NA LCS, the highest level of play in North America.

Riot has also stated that current NA LCS teams are not 100% guaranteed a spot in the new 2018 system, as all team including all your favourites have to apply for a position. However, it is extremely likely the biggest teams in the NA LCS at the moment will continue to be playing in the NA LCS in the years to come, as many major names such as TSM, C9, CLG etc control the majority of the league of legends competitive fan base. This means it is extremely unlikely to exclude the team, as it would cause major back lash.

That said, this new system isn’t good for the scene at all. The current relegation system is great, as it only keep the best teams in the region to remain at the highest level of play. The move to the new system surely takes pressure away, but also makes teams care much less as they do not risk relegation. Having a franchising system also puts way too much power in the hand of Riot games, as they have the power to directly control who enters the NA LCS, and may even block players or teams for speaking out against the company.