In preparation for the upcoming 2015 LCS Summer Split, Riot Games implemented certain rules changes to enable them to settle emergent issues that are not covered by the current rule set. The main purpose is to set a standard which will enable LCS officials to make quick decisions in matters that concern the preservation of pro, team or competitive integrity as well as the LCS, and to have a firm basis for any decisions that will be made. Here some of the most important changes for the upcoming LCS Summer Split.
Substitution Policies (Sections 3.2 and 3.5)
Mid-Series and Mid-Week Substitutions
With the development of the globally competitive League of Legends, substitutes, who are used as fallback in case of emergency, have become a crucial part of the team, enhancing the value of substitute players. This is primarily why Riot has considered allowing the entry of Mid-Series and Mid-Week Substitutions into the LCS, to enable participating teams to change their roster of players between games within a series during Playoffs and between Day 1 and Day 2 of an LCS week. This move would enable a team to mobilize reinforcements during mid-series playoffs and mid-week games. This change provides security and increases the value of substitute players in an LCS team, also elevating the act of substitution a notch ahead as part of team strategy. For Playoffs, the roster of players would still remain locked at six eligible players, with potential for future adjustments if the need arises.
Increasing Mandatory Substitutes
To enable a participating team to cope with the reality of fortuitous events that would give rise to team emergencies, Riot is increasing the mandatory minimum substitute players required from two to three to ensure that each participating team will be able to field a roster even in the face of an emergency and to extend flexibility in making strategic decisions using their lineup, avoiding the situation of having a team forfeit for failure to field a replacement.
Increasing the Minimum Ranking of Substitute Players
For Summer Split, the minimum ranking of substitutes from Diamond III to Diamond V encourages participating teams to field serious, skilled and legitimate players and discourages the registration of substitute players who may not be up to par with the game talents of participating teams. Moreover, monitoring of substitutes will be performed to ensure that they are on a competitive skill level with other LCS team participants.
Clarifying Residency Status for Interregional Movement Policy (Section 1.2.9)
The Interregional Movement Policy (IMP) attempts to fix and clarify IMP classifications in order to avoid confusion. Players were previously classified as “Resident” (R), “Non-Resident,” (NR) or “Exempt Non-Resident” (ENR). The ruling states that “any player on the active roster of an LCS team or Challenger Series (CS) team who participated in the 2014 NA/EU Challenger Series Summer Playoff at the time of this policy change who would not satisfy the Resident definition in 1.2.1will be considered an exempt non-resident.” Now, the Exempt Non-Resident (ENR) status is being removed and players are asked to choose their residency, whether in their home region or in the place where they acquired ENR status; the region they choose will be declared as their sole region of residency for the entire duration of this split. However, these same persons shall be allowed to re-declare their residency prior to the opening of the 2016 season, after which no more ENR’s shall be allowed.
Playoffs Side Selection (Section 8.7.3)
Under the present ruling, teams’ sides are pre-selected by the LCS during the regular season following a pre-determined set of guidelines, and both teams are required to submit their final decision by the required deadline for submission of starting rosters. In case the match is to be played on back-to-back days, the deadline is set at 10PM on the night before the start of the broadcast in the time zone where the game will be played.
To allow the teams ample preparation time for Playoffs and to prevent any team from acquiring strategic advantage from last minute side selection, all teams are now required to lock their starting roster along with their side selection choices 72 hours prior to the start of their series.
The outlined policies and changes may be seen in the official 2015 LCS Ruleset and changelog, which reflect a side-by-side comparison between old and new policies from Spring split.
About the Author: Amna El Tawil is a news reporter and a technology blogger. For the past five years, she has worked for major publications and TV networks in the Middle East, covering one of region’s hotspots. When Amna is not chasing after the truth amidst gas canisters, she can be found cheering her favorite football team on, or unwinding with some online gaming.