The League Championship Series (LCS) released a new policy update for its content, specifically regarding the videos on demand (VODs) of league games. The update outlines that any LCS VODs uploaded online that do not ‘add value’ or follow the rules laid out in Riot Games’ legal policy will be removed.
Riot will start enforcing the new policy starting with the Mid-Season Showdown on March 20th. The LCS will use a third-party tool, Smart Live Protection, to help moderate its new policy.
Who does the LCS VOD policy impact?
YouTube channels, and other video platform websites, that upload full VODs of LCS games without changes are the main targets of this updated policy. This change will not impact channels that upload highlights or other content that transform, or in Riot’s terms: ‘Add value,’ to the games.
The LEC enforced a similar policy last year according to Michael Sherman, the publishing lead for the LCS. The LEC statement from 2020 also clarifies that commenting videos or co-commenting streams should not be affected by this change.
The policy change has caused mixed reactions among fans. Some are confused about what counts as transformative content, and others are concerned that this new policy will shutter YouTube channels like EpicSkillshot.
The channel is known for its uploads of complete VODs from matches from all the major regions. The uploads are usually quick and the channel houses a directory of games from years past. EpicSkillshot was also recently under fire from the LCK for uploading VODs from the league. The channel no longer posts VODs from the LCK per an agreement with the league.
Currently, the channel uploads VODs from the LPL and LCS with LEC highlights. With the new policy, the fate of the channel may be in jeopardy as it has years of LCS VODs stored in its library.