Reports have come out claiming that Riot Games’ LCS officials are coordinating with the owners of esports teams to attempt and bring the LCS back as soon as possible. According to the primary source, the LCS could theoretically return as soon as next weekend.
“Riot Games LCS officials and esports team owners are working together towards a plan that brings back LCS by as early as next weekend with games played online from LCS team facilities, sources tell me,” stated reputable source Rod “Slasher” Breslau, a well-known commentator/reporter in the esports world. “One concern amongst Riot officials and LCS owners is the current viability of safely sending referees in-person to LCS team houses for games, which LPL has been running similarly these last few weeks, and how this impacts competitive integrity.”
We’ve placed the Twitter thread in which Breslau claimed this below. It’s important to note that this is technically a rumor – regardless of how reputable Breslau is, there is no confirmation from Riot, and Breslau doesn’t give out his sources, so we really can’t validate any of the claims.
Riot Games LCS officials and esports team owners are working together towards a plan that brings back LCS by as early as next weekend with games played online from LCS team facilities, sources tell me
— Rod ‘I don’t sign NDAs or embargoes’ Breslau (@Slasher) March 16, 2020
Still, given that Riot has already announced that they intend to hold their LCS Spring Finals online, it isn’t an unfounded idea that the LCS organizers would opt to do such a thing. However, it’s worth noting that the LCS Spring Finals will be broadcasted live from a studio and not from the LCS team houses, as Breslau claims the plan seems to be for the tournament as a whole.
After his statement, Breslau goes on to say that the information he received was from “before Trump’s message today advising group gatherings to only have 10 or less people,” also mentioning San Francisco’s shelter ordinance which could possibly be adopted by other cities. It’s currently unclear what the impact of either of these policies will have on the plans of several esport leagues that are swiftly trying to adapt to the constantly-evolving situation, the LCS very much included.
More than anything, the need for referees makes it a logistical headache, as it means that a referee would need to travel to the gaming houses of whichever teams are competing. Not only is this a difficult thing to organize in many ways, it also goes against the advice of many government health officials that are heavily cautioning against travel and gathering in groups amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hopefully, the parties involved will be able to organize something soon to bring the LCS back. Overall, safety must come first, and it’s better to go longer without the LCS than to endanger those involved just for entertainment.