#LCSForever baby. The League of Legends community may well be bearing witness to one of the biggest developments in eSports since the formation of Riot Games’ LCS league competition at the beginning of Season 3. Any astute businessman will gladly recount the idiom: ‘never air your dirty laundry in public’ – but in the case of Andy ‘Reginald’ Dinh and LCS team owners vs Riot Games – this very tactic may well lead to a historic ultimatum.
Riot’s PR team have had some sticky moments in recent months, keeping their CEO in line is an ever-lasting struggle – if only Marc “Tryndamere” Merrill would let his PR team do their job. After royally pissing off every team owner, analyst and eSports fan earlier in the week, Merrill was far more refined in round two. Learning from the mistakes of his previous irrational outburst, Riot’s co-owner’s follow-up statement was far more aligned to how a CEO should act in the face of a crisis: a big fluffy ball of vague promises and hollow apologies.
“It was a too-quick emotional response because of my passion and pride in the growth and state of eSports today”
“Our 2017 plans include new in-game team-specific items with revenue-sharing for teams and pros, we’re exploring a lot more major steps, like league sponsorships, franchising, media rights, etc.”
Marc Merrill, Riot Games Co-founder
‘Phew, that’ll keep them satisfied for a while.’ Nope…Riot are playing chequers, Regi is playing chess.
No sooner had the softening blow landed, Reginald was ready to respond with a haymaker, a haymaker with the full weight of every influential LCS team owner behind it.
Well played Regi, well played. Merrill makes a faint gesture but doesn’t actually promise anything specific, Dinh was one step ahead of him and slams an ultimatum down on the table to get something concrete in the works straight away.
Regi clearly had his proposal written and discussed with owners well before all this drama, it’s almost impossible that all the LCS teams would be able to publicly pull together with a united stance so quickly after Merrill’s statement.
Immortals, CLG, TL, C9, Apex, Phoenix1, NRG and Envy have all confirmed their support for the cause:
— HotshotGG (@CLG_HotshotGG) 24 August 2016
— Steve Arhancet (@LiQuiD112) 24 August 2016
— Mike Rufail (@hastr0) 24 August 2016
— Immortals (@Immortals_gg) 24 August 2016
— Apex (@apxgg) 24 August 2016
— Jack Etienne (@C9Jack) 24 August 2016
— Michael Moore (@P1MichaelMoore) 24 August 2016
— NRG (@NRGgg) 24 August 2016
Whatever you think of Andy “Reginald” Dinh, the man has proven time and time again that he is one hell of a business man. He fully commits himself to his strategies and leverages any opportunity that presents itself to him, on this occasion it was kind of Merrill to present him with such a gift.
Forcing Riot’s hand at this stage in the developing negotiations is stroke of genius, all eyes are now on Riot for their next move… this isn’t an issue that can be simply covered up with a fancy new skin or even the re-release of solo queue.