Two of League of Legends' most popular commentators Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles and Erik "DoA" Lonnquist will not cast at the League of Legends World Championships in October, which will take place across North America. Mykles, who participated each year since 2013, did not receive an invitation from Riot Games, while Lonnquist declined Riot's invitation to participate.
In their place to represent South Korean League of Legends will be SPOTV League of Legends caster Nick "LS" de Cesare and OGN commentator Chris "PapaSmithy" Smith, who is a colleague of both Mykles and Lonnquist.
Lonnquist says that he will not be attending due to other esports related obligations in South Korea and personal projects, which he says he will share more about in the near future.
"I had an amazing time at Worlds last year and greatly enjoyed working with my fellow League casters from around the world and with Riot's awesome production team at the various venues we did shows at," Lonnquist told ESPN.com. "I was invited by Riot to cast again this year, but unfortunately had to decline due to some upcoming esports obligations I've got here in Korea and because of some personal projects that I'd like to focus on. I wish the Riot casting talent and production teams the best of luck at Worlds this year."
Mykles tells ESPN.com that he was notified on Aug. 9 that he would not be receiving an invite from Riot Games to cast the event.
"It's been an absolute pleasure to work with the Riot production crew and my casting colleagues at Riot's international events for the past three years," Mykles told ESPN. "Riot decided not to invite me to this year's League of Legends World Championship. I'm sorry to my fans that I will miss this opportunity, but pleased to say that I have upcoming casting projects that I am very excited about for the remainder of 2016."
This development comes after Mykles was banned from owning a professional League of Legends organization in May. Riot Games claimed that its recent ruling against Mykles and Renegades will not affect any portion of his casting career, as it was separate from his ownership endeavors. While Riot specifies that their ruling has no impact on Mykles' contracts with OGN and Intel Extreme Masters, they do not talk about his work with Riot Games directly.
"This ruling only involves Christopher Mykles, the owner of Renegades, and has no bearing on Monte's status as a caster for OGN, IEM, or any other League competition," the ruling states. "Monte's contract and status with OGN is solely a matter for those two parties to decide, as it always has been."
This is not the first time the two casters have had differences with Riot with respect to working large League of Legends events. DoA, MonteCristo and PapaSmithy did not attend the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational in May due to an inability to agree on payment terms with Riot. In their joint statement, they cited research they had conducted on industry rates for contracts offered to casters and claimed that the MSI contract proposed "40 percent to 70 percent of the rate received by talent for major events" in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, DotA 2, Starcraft 2 and other titles. When this information was shared with Riot, the company "offered a nominal increase," but not enough to satisfy the casters' expectations.