After the complete joke of Riots 2016 history, with all the broken promises, bad judgements and what not crap from your side Riot, I think the playerbase has earned at least one small event that dosent require a purchase of some sort.
There is this usual contrargument, stating I cant demand anything since its a free game. Sure, I cant demand. However, I am one of those that are very well aware that Riots cashcow would never see the day of light, or bring any money of all unless it actually had a playerbase. So its a two way relationship.
The funny thing, are how Riots marketing department dosent even comprehend the natural logic behind motivation and money income.
Happy and motivated players spend more money than when they are feeling (subjective motion)forced to buy stuff. The feeling of getting forced will demotivate players, and increases their chance of not buying stuff.
The amount of "commercials" about merchandise are becomming so heavy. I would guess at least 2/3rds of all news are now another poster for you to buy something (which you often cant even use). The real stink, are when its so obvious Riot are getting merchandise hungry, that they wrap it into some thin layer of game, or lore to make players swallow it. Its sickening really.
Stop with the fucking merchandising for once, and generate some fucking love for your CORE product for once.