Earlier this week, it was revealed that owners of the franchised organizations competing in the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series had proposed the removal of the LCS Import Rule to Riot Games. The removal of the import rule would allow LCS teams to field a full team of players without the current roster restrictions, and would bypass the requirement of investing in North American talent in favor of a fully imported roster of international players.
The conversation surrounding North American talent recruitment and development has been going on for years, but disappointing performances at Worlds 2019 and 2020 from the LCS has led to a larger part of the community vocalizing the need to invest in domestic NA talent.
Many members of the community have criticized the owners for suggesting the removal of the import rule. Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne responded to a reddit thread comment that stated, "We want to see our players in the LCS, not a bunch of Koreans." Etienne disagreed and said that the original comment was xenophobic and borderlining on racist. The response by C9's CEO has since become a copypasta utilized in the community, including former TSM AD carry. Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng.
The other opinion heard from the C9 camp was in the form of a tweet by support Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme. Vulcan is one of the strongest homegrown players in the region, and given his outspoken nature, it didn't come as a surprise that he had an opinion about owners who wanted rosters full of only imports. What did come as a surprise was the response by TSM CEO Andy "Reginald" Dinh.
Reginald was immediately under fire from many members of the community, and not just fans, either. LCS caster Clayton "CaptainFlowers" Raines mocked TSM's poor performance at Worlds 2020 in his response, stating that Reginald's tweet 'went 0-6' as TSM did in the Group Stage of last year's World Championship.
Cloud9 streamer Christian "IWDominate" Rivera called his bluff, pointed out that Vulcan was one of the few NA talents who would be talented enough to find a job in another region if all of the teams somehow left LCS.
Perhaps the most brutal take on the situation was from former Evil Geniuses Academy mid laner Aidan Joseph "5fire" Reckamp, who is currently competing in the amateur scene as the starting mid laner of No Org. 5fire is intimately familiar with the amateur scene, and implied that Reginald's tweets were alienating to aspiring pros who have participated in TSM's initiatives to develop domestic like TSM Scouting Grounds and TSM Scouting Combine.
No other LCS CEOs have made any type of public statements regarding the proposal to remove the LCS Import Rule at this time, and after the community reactions to Jack Etienne's and Reginald's statements, it is unlikely we will see anything but of a professional formal statement, if anything at all, from other organizations regarding the proposal.