Riot increases their rules to become a permanent resident of a region from two years to four years. A team may have up to two non-residents on their roster at a time. To put that in perspective 4 years in Esports is the length of most players’ entire career. Riot says quote “The hope is to maintain strong regional identities… And not LeBron James’ Miami Heat it.”
Why is Riot extending permanent resident rules from 2 years to 4 years?
Because they are making a hard decision that they feel is good for the long run to create strong regional identities at the cost of potentially stunting careers and organizations’ growth. Riot is like a very active parent creating all sorts of reward and punishment systems that they read about in 20 different parenting books. So their heart is in the right place…they want the best for their kid.
In this specific instance it seems like a convoluted rule that hurts more than it helps. You don’t see this with the NBA or NFL. Players move around freely depending on their contract. This hurts potential new organizations trying to start up because their pool of players are now more limited and a player who really wants to move to the EU or Korea to play may not be able to because the team already has two non-residents.
Riot’s heart is in the right place as creating and maintaining strong regional identities is key in growing new audiences that can immediately identify with by sharing a common city love.
So Riot, your why is correct, but instead of more rules, make more incentives to build regional identities…more people will come if they think you have punch and pie.