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Riot Games changes rules around "buying LCS spots" - announces deadline for Lemondogs to provide roster

Riot Games has provided information regarding Lemondogs and changed their rulebook to avoid "buying out" LCS positions.

In a post on the Lolesports site, Riot Esports Manager Nick Allen has announced an update to the LCS rulebook regarding "buying LCS spots."

Here are the following changes:

Here are the rules that we are adding to the LCS rulebook, and why we think they are necessary:

    • In section 3.1: No Team Member on a team who played in either LCS region and/or any aspect of the Challenger Series (including play-in) may purchase or otherwise attempt to own/control an LCS team without a complete Split having taken place since their last point of participation in the LCS or Challenger Series.

Rationale: Per the philosophy above, we do not want to marginalize a team’s efforts and successes in the Promotion matches simply because another owner has deep pockets and wants to buy back into the LCS.

    • In section 3.1: Changes in Ownership may only occur between Splits, meaning after the most recent Playoffs and Promotion Matches but before the start of the following Split.

Rationale: We think that mid-Split ownership changes are confusing to fans and not beneficial to the Players, so we want to limit those changes to the All Star break or the offseason.

    • In section 3.2: No team may have on their roster more than two players at a time from any single starting lineup of a different team that played in either region of the LCS and/or any aspect of the Challenger Series (including play-in) in the last two completed Splits.

Rationale: While we want to preserve the ability of teams to pick up new players and change their roster, we do not want them to pick up entire existent lineups and essentially drop in a new team (and we consider a team to be 3/5 or more of the starters). This will prevent teams who lose in the Promotion matches from being picked up in their majority or entirety. Taken in conjunction with the restriction on owners’ ability to purchase a team, this rule should prevent immediate buybacks in their entirety.

    • In section 4.2.1: Per Section 3.2, no team may trade for more than 2 players of another LCS team.

Rationale: Just a clarification based on the updated rule in Section 3.2.

Allen additionally clarifies that Lemondogs management has failed to provide final roster adjustments on time and have been given a deadline of 11:59 PM CEST at the risk of losing their LCS position. If they fail to provide a roster by that time, a qualifier will be held between the three teams that didn't make it in through promotion last month.

Additional context and reasoning for the rulebook changes as well as the Lemondogs situation can be found on Lolesports.

Update: In a tweet, Allen has confirmed that this will not affect Evil Geniuses, as their changes occurred before the rulebook change.