Riot Games announced in its latest Riot Scholastic Association of America update that high schools in North America can now host their League of Legends tournaments against other schools or outside of PlayVS.
Previously, PlayVS was a high school esports tournament organizer that had an exclusive deal with Riot to run school vs. school scholastic tournaments.
A former employee sued the company for pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination after it failed to disclose what esports titles it holds exclusive rights to, the lack of transparency regarding its current platform, and user dissatisfaction with its performance, and business practices.
Although PlayVS isn't specifically mentioned in the update, the updated guidelines make it clear that schools can compete without having to use the startup platform.“Esports is poised to succeed if we open, rather than narrow, avenues for competition and growth within high schools,” the announcement states.
'As we move forward, our priority with high school esports will be to provide more flexibility for schools and players to decide how, when, and where to compete.'However, Riot has stated that schools are not allowed to run competitions against students from other states or provinces and that a national champion cannot be crowned.
The League of Legends service provider PlayVS has issued its statement regarding the news, stating that they have been in communication with Riot and have come to an agreement regarding the service.
'PlayVS restates its commitment to investing in the game's future while remaining enthusiastic about its future,' the statement said.
In 2018, PlayVS launched as a scholastic esports platform that sells itself as a 'turnkey' solution. A streaming network for the National Federation of State High School Associations, which writes rules for sports played at the high school level, was also signed by the organization in 2018.
The Washington Post reports that PlayVS signed a deal with the National Federation of State High Schools in 2018 to be the association's platform for competitive sports. NFHS is just an advocate for PlayVS, but schools can use other tournament organizers if they choose to do so.
For the Riot title in 2020, the company has signed an agreement to be the exclusive organizer for scholastic tournaments. The Riot said at the end of their announcement that they would be 'closely monitoring' how organizers, schools, and students respond to the change and would be considering feedback.
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