It’s Time for LCS Teams to Stop with the Same Old Excuses

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Photo by David Lee/Riot Games.
Photo by David Lee/Riot Games. /

How LCS teams can overcome all those excuses and make the region better.

So it might seem pretty bleak, then, for the LCS teams to ever improve. The solo queue/ping issues are probably going to persist, the infrastructure can’t be improved because teams feel they need to win to justify the investments they’re getting, and as a result, talent is recycled without new talent coming in. Does this mean NA is doomed?

Absolutely not. At the end of the day, these are still just excuses that can be overcome if the LCS teams and players are willing to put in the work.

Teams and players can bypass the poor solo queue practice environment by setting up in-house games and actually sticking to them. They can improve their practice structure and hold their own players and other teams to a higher standard in terms of their preparedness. If other teams aren’t showing up and taking scrims seriously, cancel them and get the other teams to refuse to scrim them until they straighten up.

Orgs can improve the infrastructure by reaching to the system that has already developed on its own, the collegiate ranks. Not only should orgs be mining the college scene for new talent to develop, but they should also be looking to see where the undiscovered coaches, managers, and talent evaluators might be.

There also needs to be a top-down look at the existing coaches and general managers among all ten organizations, not just at the personnel but also the structure. Orgs should know if their staff 1) has a role that is necessary to the team 2) has a plan for their role which aligns with the organization’s goals 3) has the capability to execute that plan and 4) is putting for their best effort to execute that plan. If any of those four conditions are not met, the person and/or the role needs to be re-evaluated.

Again, that sounds like a massive undertaking for the organizations to be able to look inward, have an honest discussion about what their goal and vision for the LCS team is going forward (not just next year, but three and five years down the road), and determine if they have the right personnel to make that vision happen. It might mean that people have to fire long-time friends, release beloved players, cut unnecessary organizational roles, and even take heat from investors when their teams are not competitive.

Unfortunately, from all accounts, that does not seem to be the case. Orgs are likely going to continue to shell out money on known talent because they’re safe from criticism. Players will continue complaining about the quality of solo queue while sleep-walking through their practices and ignoring in-houses. Young players will get a few games on the LCS stage, look underwhelming, and promptly be sent back to Academy in favor of a middling veteran.

Next. Ranking and Rating All the Mid Laners at Worlds. dark

Just remember, though, that at the end of the day these are all excuses. North America has talented players, they have an existing infrastructure to be exploited, they have far more in resources to help develop their talent and infrastructure than the other major regions, and they have some of the best players from around the world in the league.

The opportunity is there to bring the LCS to the level of the other major regions. It’s the excuses that are holding us back.