LCS downsize to 8 teams as EG and Golden Guardian departs

The North American League of Legends league (LCS) is going from ten to eight teams in 2024 as Golden... Shubh | 21. November 2023

The North American League of Legends league (LCS) is going from ten to eight teams in 2024 as Golden Guardian and Evil Geniuses depart. 

Riot Games has announced that Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians will be leaving the league, making the LCS an eight-team competition going forward.  Because there is not much time left before the 2024 season begins, the league is proceeding with eight clubs rather than searching for organizations to replace those two seats.

In terms of global viewership and performance, LCS has been on a downward trajectory for the last several years. Over the years, Riot has experimented with various setups to increase the league’s popularity, including changing its format, broadcast days, and many other details. But it appears that nothing has worked, with recent reports indicating that drastic changes are on the way.

Apparently, Riot and the partnered team met to discuss cutting the number of teams participating in the League of Legends competition in North America. The LCS said today that there would be just eight teams competing in the 2024 season. The players and staff of the two LCS teams who departed, Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians, will all have their contracts terminated. Riot Games’ President of Esports, John Needham, stated in a social media statement that the decision was reached through discussion with both the league and the teams.

Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians leave the LCS

According to Needham, the decision for both organizations to withdraw from the franchised league was in response to events occurring within the organization. Needham said, Evil Geniuses had their own, well-documented struggles that made them want to move on from the league, while Golden Guardian’s owners, the Golden State Warriors, wanted to focus their business more on basketball.

As explained in the announcement, the decision was made before free agency so that affected players had time to find a new team. It was only this morning, however, that Golder Guardian player Eric “Licorice” Ritchie found out that the team was leaving the LCS.

In addition, Licorice said that he had plans to play for the Golden Guardians in 2024 and that he wouldn’t be able to sign with an LCS club since the rosters of the eight teams have already been set. The top laner for Evil Geniuses, Mo “Revenge” Kaddoura, mimicked the same emotion and revealed that he won’t be able to find a team for the 2024 Spring Split.

The eight LCS teams to compete in 2024 are

  1. 100 Thieves
  2. Cloud9
  3. Dignitas
  4. FlyQuest
  5. Immortals
  6. NRG
  7. Shopify Rebellion
  8. Team Liquid

Header: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games