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Opinion

Has anything improved in the Western League of Legends scene?

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

This was a question that kept popping up in my head when I was watching the Mid-Season Invitational group stages. More specifically toward the North American League of Legends Championship Series. The NA LCS has had more money and infrastructure than ever and yet there are still multiple problems when it comes to creating internationally competitive lineups and the overall level of macro play. People always assume that the current era is the most skilled era of any particular game, but I saw many experts point out how it felt like nothing has changed, at least for the Western teams.

This has been the case for NA and EU, though in EU’s case it makes more sense as their star players seem to leave the region. Thus the next generation of players have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, and while coaches can help to a certain extent, learning directly from a veteran seems to exponentially speed up the process. (The most relevant example I can think of is Chauster and Doublelift).

NA, on the other hand, doesn’t have any excuses as far as I can see. They have the most money and comparable infrastructure to any other region in the world. They don’t have the Korean culture, but that’s not something any amount of money could replicate anyway. Yet they’ve failed to progress while non-LCS regions have continued to progress including Brazil, CIS and Vietnam.

As someone who isn’t an expert in League of Legends, I’m curious what answers people have to these two questions. What is it that the Wildcard regions are doing that NA LCS isn’t? And are the NA players to blame? When TSM failed to make it to playoffs, the blame was put on Brother Wildturtle, Brother Parth and Brother Svenskeren. Montecristo brought up the point that Liquid’s success in LoL was inverse to how much money they spent on the roster. Is it specific players or a systemic problem with how orgs run their teams in NA LCS?

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