With the sudden information that long time LCS host, James ‘Dash’ Patterson won't be returning to the LCS in 2023, many fans are worried for the future of the league, as well as how Riot is handling their information flow.
The news came right out of left field, blindsiding many when it was announced that Riot is looking for a 'new direction' in 2023 and won't be 'needing' a host for the 2023 LCS desk. So now, with the recent influx of negative news, fans worry about the LCS and NA as a region.
LoL Caster Treatment Brought to Light
Many fans are getting their first taste of how on-air talent is treated. Dash has been a part of the broadcast for many years and with his sudden exit, it has many fans worried for the future of the broadcast, but also for the on-air talent themselves and how they get treated by Riot.
With the lack of a host, some fans have thought of what type of broadcast the LCS is going for in 2023. Some even thought that it was to cut cost and have the casters cast from their homes, similar to the LPL English situation, where the casters are not in Shanghai at the arena.
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Others have also spoken out about how bad Riot has been at communicating in recent times, especially with the announcement of the LCS moving to Thursday/Friday days and their new timeslots for the league. While the data is there, according to Riot, they did not present it in a way that is believable for dedicated fans and just made them feel like Riot is looking to slowly kill the LCS.
One fan on Reddit stated that while they've been a fan of League for over 12 years in recent times it's all felt like Riot simply says they want to "preserve the fans they have now" but instead it feels like "[Riot] consistently disrespects said fans" instead.
Some fans aren't even surprised by the treatment of Dash, who has on stream explained that he wasn't involved in the talks of leaving the LCS and simply told that they don't see a future with him in it. Former LCK casters MonteCristo and DOA had been vocal about treatment of on-air talent, which Riot, as well as the community at the time, mostly ignored.
The two casters left the scene to cast Overwatch, which also didn't work out because well... Blizzard and esports, but they did bring up increasing points of how on-air talent wasn't valued by Riot.
This situation brings the same issues to light once more and it begs the question, whether on-air talent will even think it is worth working with Riot when their jobs could be in jeopardy.
Fans have also lost faith in Riot of making a decent product out of the LCS, especially with Dash leaving and Phreak moving onto the balance team. Two of the most well-known LCS talents gone from the roster for the 2023 season.