On July 25, LCK announced three new systems to create a more sustainable esports ecosystem. The systems are: rookie development clause, LCK agent certification, and LCK pre-contract policy. LCK held a press conference to explain the three new systems.
LCK secretary-general Lee Jeong-hoon said, “Last year when the franchise system began, we said that we’re aiming to create a virtuous cycle in the esports ecosystem, and develop the LCK into a sport that multiple generations can enjoy,” and spoke about the systems they announced today. “The new systems announced today are a step closer towards the goal.”
Rookie Development Clause
The Rookie Development Clause is to guarantee more playtime to rookies, and to have teams at least a certain amount of time with the players they developed. This system's beneficiaries are players registered in the first team roster for less than one year. Players that signed through the rookie development clause can continue their contracts for two years with the team.
The teams must start the player that signed through the rookie development clause for at least 50% of the games in Challengers Korea (25% in the LCK). Also, the player is guaranteed at least a 20% salary increase per year. Depending on the player’s and team’s results, they can also gain additional incentives.
For teams to discover and develop new talent takes many resources, but if that player moves to a different team, it’ll be difficult to find the motivation to do so. As for the rookies, they can secure a way to play more consistently to get more playtime and develop.
The second system was officializing agents through certification. With KeSPA, the LCK will systemize agents so that they can speak for the players in the next stove league. As LoL esports advanced, the importance of agents has been on the rise. Therefore, LCK will be systemizing the process to ensure that the agents have the expertise to do so. If there are any violations, the LCK will have a procedure for a proper penalty.
The LCK agent certification will be a license system. Only those who passed the document examination, completed the education seminar, and passed the qualifying test can be certified. The certification will be valid for up to two years. When the validation is up, they must redo the process to continue as agents.
As this year is the first year of certification, and there isn’t as much time left until the stove league, there won’t be a test. The certifications will be valid for only one year, and they will have to take a test next year to regain the certification. The LCK will hold a briefing session on Aug. 3, and registering will be from Aug. 5 through 26.
The third system is the Pre-contract Policy. A team can designate one player before the stove league begins. If that player moves teams, the pre-contract policy takes effect to aid the team that lost their player. Unlike the first two systems, this will be available during stove league next year.
Before the stove league begins, one player can be designated as the pre-contract subject. One player can be designated up to two straight times. When this system is activated, the original team designates a player and makes an offer to the player. The team notifies the LCK, and this is announced to the public.
After the announcement, the player can negotiate freely for six days with other teams and pick three candidate teams they can move to. After they pick the three teams, the player re-negotiates with their original team to decide whether to stay or leave. If the player decides to leave, the new team has to pay the original team a transfer fee.