Riot will be trying out a brand new LCS recruitment system for 2017. Currently a major issue with eSports as a whole, and especially professional League Of Legends, is there is no clear path towards making it to the big leagues. In nearly every sport around the world there is a straight forward path to playing at a professional level. While these paths are by no means easy, players who posses the talent to pursue it are well aware of whats ahead. When it comes to eSports things are a bit unknown, as they are not played highly at a collegiate level and in most cases they do not have a minor league.
Come November for North American Challenger players this will all change. Riot will be inviting the top players from the NA ranked ladder to a brand-new event located at the LCS studio in LA. At this event players will be given a chance to bootcamp with organizations including but not limited to Echo Fox and Team Liquid. After that players will compete in an in-house tournament to showcase their skills to NA LCS and Challenger teams.
Starting October 31st, Riot will review the NA ranked ladder, selecting the 4 highest-ranked players from each role who meet the criteria for invitations. On November 13 the invited players will join together at the NA LCS Studio where they will be drafted into event teams by LCS pros and coaches for the duration of the NA Scouting Grounds. For a few days the organizations will spend the time working with them on their communication, strategy, and gameplay. Near the end of the week they will compete with the other players in a round robin tournament, demonstrating their skills infront of these teams. VODs of all matches will be released so international teams can learn about the players.
This event is currently planned only for North America. Players who meet the requirements will be contacted via email around early October. Those who are invited are not responsible to pay for transportation, housing, or meals during the event. Riot mentions that this event is to showcase skills of players who have not yet been discovered. Therefore players who have played in 3 or more LCS/CS games will be ineligible.
Many people are praising Riot for creating this system, and while it seems to be a test for the time being, it is a huge step forward for professional League Of Legends.
For more information about the NA 2016 Scouting Grounds click here.