Teams that run franchises in the LCS are pushing Riot to remove the player import cap.
The player import cap has been in place since summer 2014, limiting the number of foreign players a team can field until said players gain ‘residency’ status by playing in the region for four splits. The rule is designed to make teams search for and nurture North American talent, rather than simply import the best of the best.
However, that might soon be changing if some LCS team owners get their way. While most owners who are allegedly pushing for this were left unnamed, Travis Gafford did bring up Cloud9 and Team Liquid Owners as being likely proponents.
If teams get their way the LCS could field a very different pool of talent. (Picture: Riot Games)
Those organisations' management, namely owner/CEOs Jack Etienne and Steve Arhancet, were made vocal their concerns about the league structure in recent months, both dismayed at the competitive viability of the LCS after a disastrous Worlds showing in 2020. An issue they raised on an episode of Esports Salon that aired in November.
That said, responses from fans and analysts have been mixed at best.
Barento “Razleplasm” Mohammed, on the same episode of Hotline League that revealed the tidbit, was critical of the idea, with a number of other analysts including Evil Geniuses’ Head Coach, Peter Dun, also subsequently making their opinion known.
People who think there is no NA talent are not doing scouting/talent development properly.— Peter Dun (@pcdv8r) February 4, 2021
I don't have the knowledge to comment pre-2020, but there is NOTHING that would destroy huge future benefits to NA of 2021 changes to Amateur harder than removing import restrictions.
Riot has, thus far, declined to comment on the rumours.