'NA LCS Player's Association' - How would they help the players?


Special Feature on NA LCS League Evolution
1) Riot Games announces a new roadmap: 'NA LCS League Evolution'
2) Permanent Partnerships in NA LCS - What does it mean for Riot and the orgs?
3) Shared revenue - A virtuous cycle between organizations and Riot Games
4) 'NA LCS Player's Association' - How would they help the players?

The last part of the announcement was on the formation of the Players' Association (PA) for NA LCS players. Although there were vague talks on the issue, this is the first time that Riot Games have announced a concrete plan on forming the association for players.

Like all associations, the purpose of PA is to protect the players and their rights, and to represent their voices. PA will able to act as a unified voice for players in a meeting between the owners and Riot. PA should also be able to provide players with vetted resources, such as agents, legal support and financial advice.

The representatives of PA will be elected by players, and they will act independent from Riot Games to voice the players' needs in the league operation. Although Riot Games will provide initial financial support, PA is expected to be fully independent and be financially stable in future.

Riot Games provided three steps on the formation of PA. First, players will elect representatives from the Riot-curated list of candidates; second, elected representatives will have from July through September to acquiesce with players and set up the operation; and third, PA will be operational, and they will be able to carry out their duty as noted above.

The need for an association has been brought up in the past. In 2015 Game Developers Conference, David Philip Graham, attorney specializing in esports, argued that the contracts currently founded in esports often have glaring flaws. "There are contracts that won't be favored in states, some agreements basically force employment status to players and some are simply awful. There's also issues where players are not old enough to form a contract on their own."

So, David brought up the National Labor Relations Act, and went over the idea of forming a union for the players and how it would help the players to be in better working condition. "Employers would need to negotiate with any union support by majority of employees, and they must consult with union regarding mandatory subjects of bargaining such as wages, hours and terms of employment."

David did point out the difficulty of actually unionizing esports players, due to the current law system that doesn't oblige other entities to negotiate with the player's association. However, as Riot Games showed full support of forming an association that could even be a union in future, the prospect of an independent association looks plausible for the NA LCS players.

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