League of Legends is a global game, which means for professional teams and players, paying attention to how others play matters. With mostly educational purposes in mind, as well as scoping out the competition in different regions, it’s common to see North American League Championship Series players paying attention to what happens abroad.
Slingshot asked 15 North American LCS pros about what regions they watch and how they use the information to help them. Here are their answers.
Henrik “Froggen” Hansen, Echo Fox: I watch pretty much every LCK game. Besides that I obviously watch the other regions less. I watch NA quite a bit because obviously I need to prepare for the different teams I’m playing. Besides that I’m watching EU. I will say quite a bit of EU games too because it’s just around the morning, they start and it’s easy for me to catch the games because I wake up early.
Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes, Counter Logic Gaming: Yeah, we all watch LCK.
Lee “Flame” Ho-jong, Immortals: I watch all of the LCK games. I used to try and watch every NA LCS game as well, but I didn’t have enough time in the day. I usually watch the games I want to watch, or the games of teams we will be playing next.
Austin “Gate” Yu, Echo Fox: I try to watch as many VODs as possible within my time. I think it’s unreasonable to say that I’ve watched every VOD, but I would say I watched like 70 percent of all the VODs that are available. I watch every region, but primarily I learn the most from LCK because there’s a lot more intricacy in the things they do. Even in champion interactions, and people tend to play more aggressive, so you can learn from how they play compared to some other regions. They just sit on their hands, and they don’t do too much.
Shin “Serpah” Woo-young, Team EnVy Us: I don’t watch Europe all that much other than G2, and I watch most of the LCK ones.
Derek “Zig” Shao, Phoenix1: Mostly LCK.
Juan “Contractz” Arturo Garcia, Cloud9: Yeah, actually I watch LCK VODs a lot because I think their junglers are insanely good…The games are also just really clean so it’s really fun to watch. Like the SK Telecom T1 vs. KT matchup, those games are really exciting to watch for viewers.
Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, Team Dignitas: Yes, I watch almost all of the LCK ones. I also watch the LPL and EU LCS when I can find the time.
Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black, Counter Logic Gaming: Our team in general watches almost every region. Even EU LCS is on while we’re still practicing. They play before us, and then LCK is usually at 12 a.m. at night. We usually catch it (live), or in the morning we have specific VOD reviews. “They did this. They did that.” We also watch other NA teams as well.
Alex “Xpecial” Chu, Team Dignitas: Mainly Korea. They play very clean. Obviously their meta is very different from our own, but being able to watch how they move around the map, how they play certain lanes, it’s very helpful, and being able to get inspired by the LCK is very nice. Obviously they’re the strongest region and has been for a really long time, so that’s kinda where I look at the most.
Nam “LirA” Tae-yu, Team EnVy Us: Even in Korea I didn’t play solo queue that often. I hit Challenger and play champions that have been changed or reworked. I spend a lot of time watching VODs. I consider them to be homework of sorts, and I can only really feel comfortable when I watch and study the pathing of other very talented junglers before my own competitive play.
Galen “Moon” Holgate, FlyQuest: All the time. I watch pretty much every LCK game. LPL, I like to watch not because I think they’re very good, but because I think they’re very innovative. Junglers are really creative in LPL. Mainly I try to watch creative junglers in Korea and LPL. I don’t watch that much EU, I don’t really watch much NA just because I feel like I already know those metas a lot. I try to talk to as many different junglers from around the world as possible just to get their views on stuff.
Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun, Counter Logic Gaming: Yeah I do watch other region VODs, but only good teams, the top tier teams, because it’s impossible to watch every VOD because there’s just so many games right now. What I usually try to watch is LCK’s top tier teams. Recently it was SKT vs. KT and I’m pretty sure they play again soon, so we all watch those games and discuss them.
Matthew “Akaadian” Higgenbotham, Echo Fox: I watch both LCK and Europe right now. I think Europe has some pretty good junglers right now to watch, and they generally don’t play just clown fiesta. They play slower, but at least there’s macro involved so you can learn something from watching Europe, and LCK is just good. I think that’s about all I watch.
Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi, Cloud9: I’d say LCK is the one I look at the most. I don’t necessarily go back and watch entire games or anything. I think for every game I check on the pick/ban and see what they’re doing there, trying to understand the reasoning why they’re picking in certain ways, high prioritization on things like, if we weren’t already doing that, why aren’t we doing this, that kind of stuff. I like LCK a lot. EU LCS is in the morning sometimes I’ll catch a game of that. I don’t think I watched the LPL but, mainly just looking at LCK.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Slingshot