The State of the LCS and LEC with Lara Lunardi
On this installment of Checkpoint XP Daily, special guest Lara Lunardi of Dotesports joins us to talk about the current state of the LCS. We talk about why the LEC is a better experience than the LCS. Then we wrap up by discussing whether changing the import rule could fix things.
Why the LEC is a better viewing experience
As much as the LCS might be struggling with competition and viewership, the LEC is having a great year. Once again, G2 Esports looks like they’ll be competitive at Worlds this year. But according to Lara Lunardi, the LEC broadcast is head and shoulders above their LCS counterpart.
I can’t agree with her more. While the LCS broadcast from a technical perspective is second to none, from a performance level it lags behind other regions. Too much of the LCS feels like it was decided on in a board room. Whereas the LEC feels like the creators themselves have a little more freedom.
As much as it pains me to say it, maybe it’s time I adopted a team in the European region. I’m a Detroit Lions fan in football, and once week 4 passes and my team is officially irrelevant, I tend to root for Ravens. Maybe this can be the same thing. Root for Team Liquid during the LCS season, and then maybe FNatic or G2 once October arrives?
The Current State of the LCS
North American League of Legends is in a rough place. Ten years in, and it feels like we’re no closer to winning a World Championship than we were when we competed in Phreak’s basement back in 2011. There are a number of issues to look at with this.
- Broadband internet – America is huge. And there are many places in the US today that still don’t have access to high speed internet. Incredibly talented players in the middle of the country don’t get a chance to shine because they’re playing with 180ms ping.
- The path to professional league of legends is muddy – This is one that the collegiate space is working on. But it needs to be remembered that players are being scouted as early as middle school in other regions. Meanwhile, most people in North America have no idea what the path to the pro level is outside of get into challenger.
- Older vets coming in as imports. Because teams can only bring in one or two import players, no import player comes here if they’re serious about winning. Instead, they typically come to NA towards the end of their career when they’re looking to cash a big paycheck. Maybe eliminating the import rule would fix this, or maybe it would just create a glut of talent.
Riot games has a lot they’re going to need to fix to the get the North American scene up to speed. Instead, they’re looking at fixing something else.
Will changing or removing the import rule help?
Norris and I had a long discussion about this last week, and we still don’t agree in general. Our guest Lara weighed in, and took Norris’ side. She argues that while the removal of the import rule might get some results in the short term, only building from within will get the LCS to the long term success we want.
Honestly, I agree with that assessment. My primary concern is ‘will riot do those things?’ They haven’t shown a ton of willingness too so far, and my concern is that League is going to be irrelevant by the time we start getting it right. Meanwhile, some colleges are taking League of Legends seriously, but far too many are treating esports as a cash grab.
Furthermore, would removing the import rule lead to full teams of players coming over to North America to compete rather than just one or two veterans on the end of their career? While that might be the case, it might be overestimating the amount of good talent that is okay competing in other regions.
Is it wrong to want one year where we don’t have to be the butt of every joke at Worlds? What is the solution to getting ourselves to the brass ring? The import rule may not be what’s gumming up the works, but something about the system we have right now is broken.
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