For yet another year, North America’s LCS is the weakest of the four major regions (not counting the LMS, which is to be discontinued next year). The region saw all its three teams be eliminated in group stage, highlighting the staggering difference between North America and its direct rival in the West, Europe, who qualified all its teams to the quarterfinals.
So once again, the same old discussions around the region arose. Should North America be considered an equal to Europe, Korea and China? And what can the LCS to do avoid another Worlds disaster, especially given its historically weak showing at the highest League of Legends podium?
When it comes to the latter, former LCK analyst Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles has a few suggestions.
The first suggestion could really come in handy. A best-of-3 format, currently used in the LCK and LPL, gives players much needed stage experience. This becomes even more important when there’s the need to develop young talent, where just playing a bunch of best-of-1’s not only robs them of valuable game time, but also doesn’t prepare them for longer series, which is what determines the world championship.
Scouting and managing players better is another no brainer. LCS is known as one of the richer regions in League of Legends, with many stars from Europe and Korea flocking there for bigger paychecks. As such, complacency develops, and from there the whole region suffers.
The next three tips have to do with talent development, both domestically and internationally. Of the three LCS teams that made the Worlds stage, Cloud9’s was the only roster who had majority NA players, with Team Liquid and Clutch Gaming bringing just one. An extended Challengers circuit would benefit the next generation of NA players, argues MonteCristo.
And, of course, the last step is more international competition, both in terms of bootcamps and scrims and actual stage games. With just two international tournaments half a year apart, League of Legends remains the most closed off of the big esports, excluding the likes of Overwatch League. No international experience means regions become echo-chambers of playstyles with no opportunities to fix their own flaws. And if you think no other region but NA suffers from that, think of 2018, when Korea had its worst year yet.