League of Legends Changes LCS Team Roster Rules, Lemondogs No Longer Qualifies
Riot Games has updated the rules about teams qualifying for the League of Legends Championship Series. The update states teams which qualify cannot then change more than two members of the team before the LCS starts, team ownership can only change between splits, not during them, and a person who buys an LCS-qualified team is prohibited from playing on that team.
The changes were made in an attempt to preserve the legitimacy of teams earning their way into the LCS. The second change prevents a player who failed to qualify from buying a team which did in order to insert him/herself on to it. There are few players who own their teams, but as a preventative measure, it is hard to argue with. In order to buy a team without immediately disqualifying it from the LCS, a person needs to have not played in either the Challenger tier or in the LCS for at least one full split.
Restricting the ability to change team ownership during a split is more of a way to keep fans from becoming confused, with ownership and name changes leaving casual fans guessing and invalidating previous in-game vanity icons and the like.
One of these rule changes applies to Lemondogs.
The team did well enough in last season's LCS to qualify for a spot in it this year, but at the end of this past season, Lemondogs's entire starting roster switched to other teams. This left the question of what was going to happen. The team qualified, but none of the players on the team did.
Riot has announced Lemondogs will not automatically qualify for the Spring split of the Season 4 LCS, since it was unable to field a team matching these changed rules. A tough break for the players taking over that legacy, but probably the correct decision for the sake of competitive integrity.
Time will tell if we see the name Lemondogs again at the top of League of Legends. In the upcoming Spring split, we can only hope to see fireworks from the teams which benefited from their own split. Riot will be hosting a qualifier tournament for Ninjas in Pyjamas, Meet Your Makers, and Supa Hot Crew for the final spot in the EU LCS as long as they can all field a valid roster.