The controversial ‘import rule,’ officially known as the Interregional Movement Policy Roster Restrictions on the LCS rulebook, is set to remain. The LCS, through its commissioner Chris Greeley, addressed the issue in a news conference on June 1, stating that the league would “not be removing the import rule.”

In its current shape, the import rule (4.4, LCS rulebook) restricts rosters to field two non-resident players maximum in any given starting roster. However, due to the perceived lack of depth in the North American scene and due to the underwhelming results of its teams in international tournaments, team owners have voiced their preference towards repelling the rule altogether.

When asked about the rule by independent content creator Travis Gafford, the commissioner did not address if the LCS would change the criteria for residency, focusing instead on it not “being repealed.” Despite the community and medias’ passionate discussions on the matter, the LCS had yet to make an official statement on the matter; Greeley explained where the LCS stood in part of his reply:


We haven’t commented, at least from a LCS perspective, because the import rule is a global system which requires global input, not just input from the LCS.
LCS commissioner Chris Greeley, when asked about possible changes to the import rule

The commissioner notably avoided addressing whether changes could be made to the Regional Residency Requirements (2.2, LCS rulebook). Indeed, should those requirements become more permissive in the LCS, teams will be able to discard the notion of hiring local talents as much as possible.

In some ways, regional residency rules and exceptions have allowed workarounds to take root across the world; in Japan, DetonatioN FocusMe will be able to field a lineup with three Korean players starting the summer split as their jungler, Mun “Steal” Geon-yeong, will be eligible for residency according to the LJL’s rules.

However, such workarounds have attested of an import player’s dedication to a region outside their own, or to a team outside their initial region: Team Liquid’s Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, of Evil Geniuses’ Jeong “Impact” Eon-young, and TSM’s Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon have played in the LCS for a significant portion of their careers.

However, the league could change its stance on what constitutes a “LCS resident.” It has already done so before the 2021 season by including players from Oceania into its “resident” category, allowing LCS teams to field five players from that region within a team.

Although commissioner Greeley addressed the ‘import rule’ situation, the answer did not add whether LCS residency rules would allow for more workarounds in the future, leaving a potential loophole.

Adel primarily covers League of Legends, with a particular emphasis on League of Legends esports competitions. He has over 10 year of experience covering the LEC and other LoL competitive events across Europe.