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Last year, a situation involving a few Echo Fox members prompted the North American LCS Player’s Association to create a new rule. This new rule gives players a “roster change deadline safe harbor, with the deadline to sign with a new team extended by three days for any player released from a team roster within 48 hours preceding the roster change deadline”.
2/2 roster change deadline safe harbor, with the deadline to sign with a new team extended by three days for any player released from a team roster within 48 hours preceding the roster change deadline. Kudos to @DarshanU for his heavy lifting in getting this new rule.
— LCS Players Association (@NALCSPA) January 15, 2019
The situation that caused this rule to be created would occur right in the middle of the 2018 Summer Split. Echo Fox was in first place at around the four to five-week mark. They would suddenly release three of their players right before the roster lock deadline. As a result, Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun, Johnny “Altec” Ru, and Adrian “Adrian” Ma would end up teamless. It was a messy situation that saw outrage from the League of Legends community.
Backlash and Rule Creation
It was a horrible moment for Fenix, who was two games away from becoming an NA resident. In an interview, Fenix would state, “I can become an NA player if I just had played this Summer Split, but I wasn’t able to fulfill the conditions by one or two games. I have to play another whole split to become an NA player. This is really a big thing in my career.” North American residents are a hot commodity, especially in the mid lane. There aren’t many good resident mid lane talent, so if Fenix could have completed the season, it would have increased his value.
Unfortunately, dropping him right before the roster lock deadline guaranteed that he wouldn’t find a new team in time. The whole League community would condemn Echo Fox and their actions. Fenix would state that Echo Fox said they were an “organization for the players”, which was funny to him after the whole situation. However, this new rule set by the LCSPA should prevent that from happening again. This roster change deadline safe harbor will provide players with three extra days, should they be released two days before the change deadline. That way, all players will have a chance to find a team.
The Player’s Association is meant to be a voice for the North American League players. Therefore, this rule is a great first step by the LCSPA in protecting their fellow players. Additionally, Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya was the member who pushed for the rule to fruition. Darshan is the LCSPA’s President, so it makes sense that he would be spearheading this endeavor. It looks like the players voted on the right man for the job.
All in all, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to player problems in the LCS. There will always be more issues to tackle and when the time comes, the LCSPA will have to step up once again. The only problem that they need to figure out is whether or not they should be more proactive with their rules. Creating rules is fine when a difficult situation happens, but should the LCSPA create rules as a preemptive measure as well?
What are your thoughts on this new rule made by the LCSPA? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more LCS coverage, check us out here!