8 Changes LCS Teams Can Make to Improve the League in 2021

LCS Studios. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
LCS Studios. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games) /
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League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

After another failure on the international stage, LCS organizations need to make some changes if they hope to improve in 2021.

8. Restructure Contracts to Make them More Incentive-Laden

This final change is one that is a bit harder to do because it requires all the LCS teams to buy in, and may require some restructuring of existing contracts, but honestly this is something that should be in place already to make the region more competitive. The idea is quite simple: offer players contracts with lower base salaries (what they’re guaranteed to get paid during the season) but very high incentive clauses that pay out if they hit. The goal should be that players who perform well by hitting various milestones will out-earn their prior contracts, but players who “show up to collect a paycheck” will get..well a lower paycheck.

This very well may be the practice for LCS teams at the moment, but it’s a measure that must be done to make the region more competitive. Players need to feel the weight of their performance in their wallets and if they aren’t giving it their all their bank accounts will be lower.

Now, there are some downsides, like players “stat-whoring” to make sure their KDA stays above a certain number so their bonus pays out. That is certainly a risk, but the obvious answer is that you can give players a multitude of incentives that relate to both their individual performance (stats, awards) and team performance (wins, final placement).

This should apply to players in Academy as well, who should be getting paid more if they’re playing on the LCS team (and vice versa). If you want established pros to really fear being sent down to Academy, let them know that they’ll be making half their salary for every game they play with the B-squad.

Teams could also offer these incentives to their coaches and management, though these would largely be team performance-based. There really is no downside because it forces players to compete for their salary and it also allows more cash-strapped teams creative ways to offer a higher potential salary to their players.

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All in all, there are many deep changes that teams need to make in order to make the LCS competitive on the international stage. These changes proposed can come quickly, but if adopted properly they can also set the stage for a long-lasting and healthy league.