The NA LCS and EU LCS are two different playing grounds for different types of teams. The same follows for the ranked experience in the NA server and the EU servers, exhibiting different metas, FIGHTO levels, skill levels and toxicity.
Brief Personal Introduction:
I have played on the EU servers for the past three years now in Gold ELO, with some Silver experience from past seasons. The majority of League of Legends players are placed in Silver or Gold, thus if you are in either rank, you are an average player and constitute themajority of League players. I left my EUNE account in Gold III, and have recently started playing ranked on my NA account, and I must say, the difference is massive, with my NA account also being Gold III. I will proceed to state the various points of difference between the gameplay experience in both servers at Gold ELO through my experience.
The difference in the meta in NA compared to the EU servers is massive. In the EU servers, one will not hesitate to play what he/she is comfortable playing in. You’ll see a lot of uncommon, comfort champs. EU players would rather, in general, play what they’re good at and succeed with, rather than pick the patch’s OP champs to grind ELO. For example, the supports in EU will usually pick the supports they are strong at and that the ADC is comfortable with. I, as an ADC main, would usually ask my EU support to play either Leona, Braum or Thresh, as I have the most success with them, and the support would often comply.
It happens very often though that my support would simply decline this “request,” as they are not comfortable with those champions and would pick what they believe they would succeed with. In EU, you would also find many mid and top champions that are deemed out of meta played to great success. This is due to the player’s individual commitment to the champion. NA players don’t often exhibit the same level of commitment to a champion.
The NA meta is a different story. In the 40 or so ranked games that I’ve played on my NA account so far, Soraka was pick or ban. Same goes with Graves and Nidalee. In NA, strong power picks are valued more than niche comfort picks. I was surprised by this and went back to my EUNE account to play a couple of ranked games. Soraka, Graves and Nidalee were not pick/ban status. Not even close. Instead I saw what I was used to, niche comfort picks. Soraka was clearly very strong in patch 6.18 because of her low cooldown, high intensity heals. She was thus a pick/ban status champion in NA. This trend follows throughout in the NA server.
FIGHTO Level (Aggressiveness):
There is a considerable difference between players in NA and EU in terms of their aggressiveness and willingness to fight. In EU, team fights happen much more often than they do in NA as in EU, the players tend to be more aggressive. When they notice they have a lead, they will risk it in order to snowball harder around the map. This can work out really well, or just backfire ridiculously. Thus, one can observe than in the EU servers, matches that end at the mid game are either absolute victories or train wreck defeats. If a game drags on to late game, then the grounds are equal for whichever team will win.
Also, teams in EU are usually faster to react to an engage from either team, reacting quickly and precisely to make the correct move, or rushing a fail of a play depending on the individual player’s skill level. Whoever goes for the more aggressive play will win – if they execute it properly. Basically, EU games are determined by the aggressiveness of a player and whether their risks caused rewards or failure.
NA is much more conservative when it comes to aggressiveness. In NA, players are much more hesitant when it comes to engaging a fight. Instead, they generally choose to farm up an advantage, then using that slight advantage to press around the map. NA players prioritize objectives before teamfights, often opting to take dragon/baron/turret rather than a potential triple kill. This leads to a lot of teamfights around such objectives. A general pattern emerges for both servers: in EU, players will tend to attempt to triple kill or ace the enemy team and then go for an objective while in NA, players will more often tend to go for the objective first and deal with the fight than ensues as the opponents react.
General Skill Level:
In general, I believe that EU has a higher level of skill in silver/gold. Of course, the difference in skill meshes around Platinum III, at which point EU and NA have pretty much the same skill level. At that level, the only variation is the play style and meta. In silver/gold however, the difference in skill is there. My experiences in EU silver/gold showed more cohesive teams that tend to do plays as a unit. This is due to the shared aggression between the players, they do not want to sit idly and farm, thus they choose to make more plays around the map. This usually takes form in hunting down stragglers to press objectives. NA shows each player mostly farming and trying to take towers. The players are usually scattered around the map, even at 30 minutes. This lack of cohesion allows for enemy teams to easily form up as a unit and rush down enemies in a 3 v 5. It is for this sole purpose that I believe that EU silver/gold has a higher skill level than NA, albeit only slightly. An EU silver/gold team should be able to defeat an NA silver/gold team 55% of the time.
Toxicity in EU is much more significant than in NA. In the EU servers, especially EUNE, it is pretty much found in every game. This is due to the “try-harding” nature of the players, and the belief that they can solo carry a game by going after every kill on the map. When they fail at doing this, they express their frustration in chat. Even on a winning team, toxicity is most likely still going to exist in some form in the chat. NA, on the other hand, is chat heaven. No one chats and flamers are quite rare. While in EU I saw flamers in 9/10 games, in NA I see them in only 3/10 games. Yes, I counted. NA is more laid back because they don’t try as hard as they do in EU, thus the atmosphere is much calmer in most cases.
Regardless of the differences between the NA server and the EU servers, I can’t say I enjoy one more than the other. I like the competitiveness of the EU servers but at the same time I like the calmness of the NA server. Of course, I would prefer to play on the EU servers but that is solely for the reason that my main account is in the EUNE server. Either way, League of Legends is a game that aims at forming a unique experience in each game. That is achieved in all servers, and that is what connects the players of League. Good luck and have fun.