Given today's IMTA roster victory over Golden Guardians, there has been a bit more discussion on NA's native talent and how likely it is that players who are currently in NA Academy/lower could be LCS players right now. To expand on that discussion, here is a guide to the current NA Scouting Grounds Circuit. I'll check comments and answer questions as they come up.
Current format has 6 different tournaments. Most points: Legends Weekend League (LWL) Next most points: Upsurge Premier League, Challengers Uprising, and BIG League Lastly: Risen and Focus Leagues
Each tournament awards a certain number of "points" to the teams who place highest in each league. After all 6 leagues conclude, the 8 teams with the most points will play in an 8 team tournament. There are cash rewards with placing, but the most important reward goes to the top 2 teams, where their players will be 10 of the 20 players at the Scouting Grounds later this year.
There are games nearly every weekday with one of these leagues. For example, you can find Upsurge games on Tuesday, and Challengers Uprising games on Wednesdays. Now that you know the format, who are some of the teams to watch for?
- 100 Thieves Next- Widely considered to be the best Amateur team currently, this team is the only one with backing/support from an actual LCS organization. They have not lost a set in any league in a couple months, and even if they don't make SGC Finals, most of their players will make it based on being high rank on ladder. Their roster of Tenacity, Kenvi, Copy, Yeon, and Auto are coached by former CLG top laner FallenBandit.
- Maryville University- Always feared as one of the top collegiate programs in North America every year, Maryville is also one of the few collegiate teams good enough to compete at a high level in SGC, and are one of the few top teams competing in all six of the tournaments that are going on. The team has solid players in each role, with Niles, Iconic, Wolfe, Value, and Shady as starters. They are led by coach Zeu.
- Radiance- Radiance is former C9 mid laner Hai's team. You may recognize them from their former mid laner Evolved, who is currently on TSM Academy. Their team struggled early out the gate but has succeeded in recent weeks across the leagues they compete. Their roster of Engo, Im Avi, Young Mid, Andybendy, and Cao is led by coach Dayos.
- ANEW Esports- This team was widely considered to be the favorites to be at the finals of Scouting Grounds this year, as their roster and coach all have spent time at Academy before. However, they have been struggling recently, and due to the changes last week regarding players eligible for Scouting Grounds in LA, 3/5 of this roster is unable to attend even if they qualify. The roster consists of Rodov, MikeYeung, 5fire, Shoryu, and Winter are coached by Zig.
There are many other teams and organizations who compete in the Scouting Grounds Circuit, ranging from famous NA Amateur org Supernova, to Jacksonville based Team Fish Taco, and tons of teams inbetween. Right now there are roughly 20 teams between the 6 leagues, as most of them are reaching playoffs all the games matter substantially.
If you're interested in more content about NA Amateur, feel free to check out Challengers Uprising; on top of running one of the leagues they also produce content about amateur teams and players, and are a good starting point to learn more about LCS's future players.
You can check out each of the leagues by checking their Twitch channels here:
LWL (Saturdays) – no official stream, but https://www.twitch.tv/usbofficial tries to stream a lot of the games
BIG (Mondays and Fridays) – https://www.twitch.tv/bigleague_na
UPL (Tuesdays) – https://www.twitch.tv/upsurgeesports
CUP (Wednesdays) – https://www.twitch.tv/challengersuprising
Risen (Sundays) – https://www.twitch.tv/risen_esports
Focus (Wednesdays and Thursdays) – https://www.twitch.tv/focus_esports_lol
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