RIOT Games Implements New Eligibility Rule

RIOT Games Implements New Eligibility Rule

Riot has started to implement strict eligibility rules surrounding collegiate esports, and this new rule will now limit college players to 5 years.

Several schools have developed an electronic sports (eSports) program while treading the path of traditional sports. Additionally, universities are building eSports arenas and recruiting talents from all over the globe to compete at their schools.

Robert Morris University started a varsity eSports program in 2014. Additionally, Chicago University started with League of Legends and recruited some of the best young talents at the time. eSports scholarships have been increasing since about 200 schools were awarded $15 million in scholarships in 2019.

Eligibility Rules by Riot

Strict eligibility rules for collegiate eSports have started to be implemented by Riot, and the new rule will limit college players to an eligibility period of 5 years. Before now, everyone played regardless of years played. This will majorly limit current freshmen and future freshmen classes that have plans on playing through masters degree completion.

According to the new rule, players may compete in Riot College Esport for no more than five school years total. Tracking for this policy will begin in the 2023–2024 school year. Seasons before this school year will not count toward this policy. Competing in multiple Riot/RSSA competitions in a single year will only count as one year towards this policy.

X Users React

However, X (formerly Twitter) users have varying reactions to the new eligibility rule. Collin Graham tweeted that this is a huge and good move for the collegiate. He continued by saying that this will put more pressure on players to graduate, and he emphasizes the collegiate’s primary goal, which is education. He called this new eligibility rule a massive win for Riot. Concerning grad students who want to compete, Collin replied that he thinks there is always room for exceptions, but this at least gets the student one grad year or only all of his undergrad. He thinks that taking the hit and keeping players from playing for 7-8 years is worth it.

Another X user, Byron Hinson Jr., shared his concerns. According to him, more and more master’s students compete on the teams every year. Most are not recruited but are students who have been at ODU since their freshman year. He continued by saying that these masters students are going to be excluded. He stated that master’s students should be encouraged and deserve the same access as the younger students. Others held a contrary view, as they said one can be a coach or assistant coach after his first degree.

Additionally, Mike said that this could be a way to turn lemons into lemonade for schools. According to him, students who are in their 6th year at a school going for a second degree would have to use that last year to improve the program to the best of their ability. He said that students can improve the program before they leave using the skills they have gained through their classes.

Riot Games has been aiming to change the landscape of video games and how they are developed. This has been done with the expansion of games into entertainment. “100 Best Companies to Work For,” “25 Best Companies to Work in Technology,” “100 Best Workplaces for Millennials,” and “50 Best Workplaces for Flexibility” are some of the numerous lists that have featured Riot.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.