Last week the body representing professional League of Legends players in North America, the LCS Players Association, announced intentions to strike over Riot’s plans to gut the North American Challenger’s League. It’s a commendable stance over moves that will cost dozens of people their jobs, but not every League player seems onboard.
Via Jake Lucky, here’s video of megastar Doublelift—”considered one of the most iconic League of Legends players of all time”—chatting about the subject over the weekend, and saying that if push comes to shove over the planned walkout, he will be not be doing the shoving:
“I wanna say that I care, but if it’s the option of standing by Academy and having LCS Summer Split be cancelled, like Riot threatened, and just letting go of the situation, I’m letting go”, he said on stream. “I’m not so gung-ho about it that I’m willing to not play Summer Split. So like, when Riot threatened to go nuclear, that’s a pretty big threat, I think every player was a little bit affected by that, like whoah Riot’s willing to cancel Summer Splits because of this walkout? I hope the negotiations go well”.
Blowback to his statements were swift, as you’d expect, like this sarcastic Tweet from Christian Rivera pointing out that comments from such a prominent player undermine the LCSPA’s ability to negotiate:
Not joining a walkout or strike because the company you’re at loggerheads with are making threats is...not how strikes work, my guy. Disruption to regular events is the point. That’s the basis of what a strike is, and if you were in any doubt Doublelift didn’t know that, his attempts to clear the air afterwards confirm it.
“It’s like a nuclear button. Why even have that as part of the equation? Everyone will just suffer” he said, as reported by Dexerto. “If LCS Summer is cancelled, all players will lose their job for half the year. We’re not getting paid for sitting on our asses, playing solo queue and turning the stream on.”
“People saying I sabotaged the negotiations are a little bit delusional about that. I just don’t want that to happen. No one wants the LCS being canceled.”
Buddy people absolutely do want LCS being cancelled if Riot don’t come to the table, that is exactly what the plan is. That’s what strikes are. And for one of the game’s biggest names to be pulling this on the brink of one of the scene’s most pivotal labour moments only harms two things: the solidarity of North American League players and Doublelift’s own reputation.