The NA LCS Players Association (LCS PA) has announced its new leadership team, with Phillip Aram, formerly of Evil Geniuses, appointed as the association’s new Executive Director.
Moreover, the LCS PA’s new Board of Directors includes Stephen Ellis, the CEO of Pipeline, Theorycraft’s Founder & Partner, Lauren Gaba Flanagan, and Jason Docton, Rise Above the Disorder’s CEO, among others.
Aram replaces Hal Biagas after the LCS PA decided not to re-elect the former agent and lawyer, as reported by ESPN. The association posted a call for applicants for the position on its Twitter account on January 12th, 2021.
Prior to being appointed as LCS PA’s Executive Director, Aram held positions at Evil Geniuses as Chief Gaming Officer and COO from 2017 to 2019. Prior to that he was the North American organisation’s Dota 2 team manager and had previously worked with European team mousesports in 2015.
The Players Association also announced that League of Legends players Darshan ‘Darshan’ Upadhyaya (President), Jo ‘CoreJJ’ Yong-in (Vice President), and Samson ‘Lourlo’ Jackson (Vice President) have been placed on the association’s Executive Committee.
LCS PA President Upadhyaya, an LCS pro player since its inception in 2013, told Esports Insider: “I am excited to see the impact this revamped version of the PA will have not only for our players, but the league community as a whole.”
Aram added: “I’m thankful to Darshan [Upadhyaya] for his vision and drive to put this team together. I, along with our new board, are excited about the opportunity to drive real improvements to the player experience and the LCS.”
In an open letter published by the LCS PA regarding the new appointments, the association also outlined certain goals.
According to the letter, these goals are to protect players from ‘any effort to diminish their rights, opportunities, or ability to compete’, increase player participation in the association, and ensure that players are invested in the ‘collective future’ of the league and fellow cohorts.
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Moreover, the LCS PA looks to ‘bring light to the issues where players and fans have been left in the dark’.
LCS PA was first created in 2017, following the creation of LCS’s franchise system. The association is designed to give players a voice in discussions involving Riot Games and the 10 franchise team’s ownership.
However, there have been doubts over the LCS PA’s effectiveness since its inception, especially following a video by Travis Gafford which stated that the association reportedly voted to cancel the 2020 Spring Split.
The LCS PA has also provided some good moments, such as negotiating a grace period for players released close to the roster cutoffs following the controversial last-minute release of Echo Fox’s roster. This took place just before the cutoff of the 2018 mid-split roster change period, which left players unable to find teams within the window.
LCS PA’s full Board of Directors list includes:
- Stephen Ellis – CEO, Pipeline
- Lauren Gaba Flanagan – Founder & Partner, Theorycraft
- Ryan Fairchild – Attorney; Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey, & Leonard, LLP
- Jason Docton – CEO, Rise Above the Disorder
- Brian Tran – VP, New Level Recruiting
Esports Insider says: The LCS PA has largely been underwhelming since its inception, so hopefully with a brand new Board of Directors and Executive Director this changes and players get more of a say on LCS-related matters. Only time will tell if the LCS PA can maintain its promises.