Hello, IAHSEA member schools!
At our October 27th executive team meeting, we had a serious discussion regarding the continued inclusion of League of Legends within the Iowa High School Esports Association. After some deliberation as a group, we had to make a difficult decision and we ultimately cut League of Legends from our organization. We understand that this news may be upsetting to many member schools, and more importantly, to our students. We understand League of Legends is an incredibly popular game and the cornerstone of several of our schools’ esports programs. We’d like to take a moment to explain our rationale behind this decision.
As you may or may not be aware, Riot Games, the company which develops League of Legends, has officially partnered with PlayVS, and now requires that any high schools who wish to play League of Legends be a member of PlayVS (for which there is a cost per student, per season). Other high school esports organizations have attempted to ignore this requirement and host their own seasons anyway. This is an option we discussed at a previous meeting; however this directly violates Riot Games’ community guidelines. Riot Games can and is issuing cease and desist orders to said organizations, forcing them to stop their seasons prematurely. The last thing we want is for the Iowa High School Esports Association to be jeopardized or delegitimized in any way due to a legal battle with Riot or any other entities.
Now, that being said, we have two pieces of potentially good news to share as a result of our conversation.
First, League of Legends can still be played in an invitational format in events hosted by schools, as long as certain requirements are met (section 9 in the community guidelines). We discussed the possibility of offering our support (but not endorsement) to schools hosting tournaments that follow these guidelines. This would allow individual conferences or host schools to structure the events how they are comfortable, especially in this uncomfortable time.
Second, at our November executive team meeting we will be proposing and discussing possible replacement games for the Spring. If you have any game suggestions you would like to add to replace League of Legends in the Spring season, we are happy to take those suggestions to be reviewed by the team, up until 8pm on November 23rd, 2020. As it currently stands, here are two possibilities:
We replace LoL with a new title, taken from game suggestions offered by the IAHSEA member schools or the executive team.
We leave the Spring season as it is, minus LoL. This gives us Rainbow Six Siege as a paid title and first-person shooter, and Rocket League as the newly free-to-play title.
We value your input on which option you would like to see us choose. Please continue this conversation with us on the IAHSEA Slack.
The 2020-2021 Executive Committee