Update on Lemondogs & LCS Rule Changes

Update on Lemondogs & LCS Rule Changes

Summoners,

We wanted to update you on two situations that have created confusion and speculation in the community: the Lemondogs roster for the 2014 EU LCS Spring Split and our rules regarding acquiring LCS team spots and bringing on new players.

With respect to Lemondogs’ participation in the 2014 Spring Split, we have attempted to work with Lemondogs management over the last few weeks to get the documents and information – such as a verified roster - required by every team that participates in the LCS. Unlike the other teams, Lemondogs failed to identify a valid roster to us, and as a result, have been given a final deadline of 11:59pm CEST on January 8th, or they will face removal from the LCS. If they fail to meet this deadline, we will hold a qualifier for the open 8th LCS spot with the three teams that lost in the Promotion matches (Ninjas in Pyjamas, Meet Your Makers, and Supa Hot Crew), pending those teams’ ability to submit a valid roster that contains 3/5s of the lineup that played during Promotions.

Additionally, many of you have been discussing the rumors surrounding Lemondogs’ potential roster and rumored sale, so we’d like to clarify our philosophy on how teams enter the league. We created the Promotion mechanism to ensure that the best teams are represented in the LCS. While we want to preserve a lot of the rights of those teams (such as the freedom to change their roster in order to field the best team possible, or selling to a new, passionate owner), we don’t want to let those rights marginalize the competitive integrity inherent in the Promotion mechanism.

As we’ve examined our rules, we realized that they do not completely match our intent. Below are a set of rules that we’re adding to the LCS rulebook in order to prevent teams who failed to qualify for the LCS from buying their way in; a situation we saw as quite likely and one that we believe is contrary to your interests as fans of the LCS.

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.