James "Dash" Patterson won't be returning as a host for the North American LCS this year, as a result of the league taking a "new direction."
Dash to step down as LCS host in 2023
Dash has become a popular face on the League of Legends scene, having hosted multiple LCS events for the majority of the league's existence. But it seems his time as an LCS host has come to an end, as a result of LCS' controversial scheduling changes.
Dash made the announcement via Twitter, where he revealed that he wouldn't be returning to the LCS in the same capacity in 2023, after nearly a decade of hosting.
"I know there will immediately be many questions about why this is," said Dash, "but in short, the new direction of the LCS doesn't have a need for a consistent host."
This doesn't mark the end of Dash's involvement with the LCS however, as he will still be involved "from time to time for key moments and some content." Dash is currently in active discussions with Riot Games to find ways to work together in 2023, with him adding that he wants to be "involved with the LCS as much as I possibly can."
Whatever his future involvement with the LCS ends up being, it seems likely that it will be in a reduced capacity. Dash stated that he was moving on to the "next chapter" of his career, and is looking forward to branching out and working on new things for the first time in ten years.
Dash added that he is "exceedingly grateful to Riot for taking a chance on a relative nobody ten years ago and giving me the time, support and opportunity to grow into the host that I am today."
In a follow-up livestream on his Twitch channel, Dash revealed that the move was not his decision, and that Riot Games had informed him back in August that they would be removing his role at the LCS. During the stream, he expressed frustration that Riot didn't speak to him prior making the scheduling changes that eliminated his job with the LCS.
“After spending a decade giving a 100 percent of myself to something, I didn’t feel that kind of respect given back towards me in that moment of just having a conversation about ‘hey, we want to make changes, and can we arrive at a decision [about] that with you,'” said Dash.
When asked if he would remain in esports, he replied that he would, if the right opportunity presented itself - and if it was a game that he enjoyed playing, watching and talking about. He also mentioned that his career could take him away from esports entirely - with Dash currently pursuing his acting aspirations, while also maintaining his Twitch channel.
With or without Dash, the LCS will begin the 2023 season with the Spring Split, due to take place from January 26 to March 17. There's not long to wait before the LCS kicks off later this month - so be sure to claim your free 100% bonus before the new year of League of Legends action!