League of Legends

Reminder That Riot Gutted NA Local & State High School LoL Leagues

LeagueofLegends13 - Reminder That Riot Gutted NA Local & State High School LoL Leagues

We, the community, constantly criticize the lack of new talent and player base of NA servers, but it's a problem that Riot created and perpetuates by repeatedly failing to appropriately market LoL to kids.

Scholastic sports and competitions pave the way for kids to learn and develop their passion and skills for these activities. Esports has yet to appropriately tap into this same sphere, and attempts like Riot's completely undermine the current ecosystem in place: https://watch.lolesports.com/article/na-lol-scholastic-guidelines-update/blt68819a9891f32527

Riot is trying to force high school's into pay-to-play PlayVS, the short & free national NASEF, or 14 day tournaments with no more than 16 schools. This makes it impossible for schools to form state leagues that properly mirror and use the existing conferences and divisions in their traditional sport or non-athletic competitions. The only real loophole that exists is to run consecutive "invitationals" and run it as a league in all but name while hoping Riot doesn't try to intervene. Riot is coming in after years of not doing anything to suddenly restrict the efforts of hundreds of schools to create quality esports leagues for their communities.

NA amateur leagues pale in comparison to those in other regions, collegiate has no real recruiting system due to a lack of programs and leagues, and kids in esports aren't learning the intangibles necessary for them to excel in a competitive team environment. Riot's recent ruling are only exacerbating these problems.


For reference, I run the debate and esports program at a public school of over 5000 students, and I've personally discussed these issues with Matt Birris over email and phone. Based on our conversation in the fall, there is clear cognitive dissonance in their approach. They say they want to integrate into existing systems, and then they completely force their own competitions on high schools. Check #esportedu on Twitter, or simply look at posts from the RSAA account to see examples of people wanting to fight against this for their students.

tl;dr: Riot recently changed scholastic rules to essentially forbid high schools from creating their own equitable leagues and long-term competitions.

Edit: One thing to note – a lot of people are saying that NA should expand amateur leagues. Sure, go for it! I'd love as many avenues of competition for my students and others as possible. No need to create a false dichotomy out of this situation. That doesn't mean we can't have state and locally operated high schools leagues directly managed by those schools for their students and communities. In debate terms, to your counterplan, I argue perm "do both".

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