Since the beginning of October of 2019, we’ve been watching the Worlds Championship for League of Legends, from all of the 3rd seeds, 4th seeds, and wildcards facing off, and the Group Stage, we’ve finally hit the knockout stage with our last 8 teams. But for everyone from the US, we’re wondering why the three North American teams: Clutch Gaming, Cloud9, and Team Liquid, all under-performed at the Group Stage, going 5-13 collectively.
5-13, or just under 28% win rate is the worst NA has performed in Worlds in the past five years, not to say that American teams are not notoriously outclassed by Europe and Korea, even beyond just League. There is talk about combining the North American League (LCS) with the LMS (Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau) and LST (Southeast Asia) in the next year 2020 Worlds Series. What this means is that NA is, basically, no longer being considered a major region in League anymore.
Many people have considered what the issue is and how to give NA a better chance, and it all comes down to a few different things that don’t have easy fixes. 1.) The ‘Ping’ is the worst among current major regions, meaning that NA players don’t have the best time practicing on their home servers, because of latency. 2.) Our overall attitude isn’t great either. Although not all NA players are examples of this, many are toxic and sometimes compromise the game if something goes wrong for them. 3.) Importing players is also something NA suffers from, not bringing enough “home-brewed talent”, causes teams to not have as much synergy. And while the LCS Academy has brought some good players, like Damonte from NA’s 3rd seed Clutch Gaming, or another talent like Jensen, Smoothie, or Sneaky from Cloud9, there are still non-English speaking players on many of the NA teams, and creates a disconnect from the teams overall communication skills.
But there is still hope. Riot Games, the company that created League of Legends, has invested in the LCS North American League, and more than likely wants to keep it alive in its current form. Only time will tell, for now, all we can say is “there’s always next year”.
Intern Steffan | The MRL Show Intern