As reported by Travis Gafford, the founder, owner, and CEO of Team SoloMid, Andy “Reginald” Dinh, was fined $5,000 for his misconduct against the support player for Cloud9, Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme.
The ‘import rule’ in LoL Esports has been a part of LoL Esports since its infancy. It’s a rule that limited teams to field up to two players from different regions. For LCS teams, this meant that three out of five players on their respective rosters must be North American or Oceania residents. Through multiple interviews with LCS team owners (also conducted by Travis Gafford), it was revealed that multiple LCS team owners requested Riot Games for the removal of this rule, which sparked countless debates within various communities.
Via Twitter, Vulcan expressed how he was very against the removal of the import rule. However, Reginald decided to fight back by replying to Vulcan’s tweet. He called the tweet “ignorant”, and went on to say, “If every LCS team left the LCS- (Vulcan would) be out of a job… And probably be paid minimum.”
Multiple well-known personalities in LoL Esports criticized Reginald for his derogatory comments. A caster for the LCS, Clayton ‘CaptainFlowers’ Raynes, replied, “This tweet went 0-6”, referencing TSM’s horrendous group stages record in the 2020 LoL World Championship, while the owner of G2 Esports, Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez, simply called it, “One dumb f***** take”.
In an earlier interview with Inven Global, Vulcan shared why he was particularly more outspoken about this issue. He shared how the import rule played a significant role in his entrance to the LCS, and how problems such as high ping in NA solo queue and LCS production, takes priority over “having too many NA players on our LCS teams.”
Since the date of the incident, Reginald apologized for his actions and shared his thoughts about the LCS in a lengthy post. However, per reported by Travis Gafford on his show, ‘Hotline League’, this did not stop Riot Games from fining Reginald $5,000 for his comments against Vulcan.
When you're thinking about the import rule from the perspective of local talent development, the rule should never be removed. However, I feel that it won’t really matter as much when various long-time foreign talents in the LCS get their residency status. Other problems, such as reducing solo queue ping and improving the LCS academy system, take priority, and until Riot Games provide plausible solutions to such problems, LCS will continue to struggle. Riot Games has yet to provide an official comment on the matter, so until then, continuing the right debates is critical.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports