The USA also disappointed at the LoL Worlds 2020: The US League of Legends teams were already thrown out in the group phase. The 2019 world champion, the Chinese Doinb, explains the reason: The US league LCS has too many old players who just won’t quit. There is a lack of teenagers bringing a new perspective to League of Legends.
This is how it last went for the USA at the LoL Worlds: The last 2 world championships were catastrophic for the US LCS league. Although one is still considered one of the 4 big regions and sends 3 teams to the Worlds every year, 2019 and 2020 were already over for all LCS representatives in the group stage:
- Although the stars of the LCS 2019 were pushed and praised by the domestic phases throughout the year, it was not enough against the teams from Asia and Europe to escape the group phase in 2019
- Also in 2020, it was over for all 3 LCS teams after the first 6 correct games
The maximum penalty this year was for the nominally strongest team in the USA: Team Solo Mid flew out of the Worlds without winning a single game. It has never happened before that a “number 1” seed from a large region drove home without a win.
In the US there are always the same players
Why is the USA so bad? FunPlus Phoenix’s midlaner, Doinb, explains how he sees the problem:
- in the US there are no new players, no rookies, high on the teams
- the same players would always play and teams would change from year to year
- therefore the same players would always go to the worlds and then do worse than expected
- the typical LCS player is in his 20s
Doing believes the teams hold onto “old players” for so long because the fans have got used to them and are fans of the players rather than the teams. Therefore, players keep their spots as long as they are in good shape and new players don’t get a chance to become pro players.
From the point of view of the Asian LoL professionals, it is completely surprising that players in the USA are allowed to play “for so long”.
In fact, only one LCS player was new to the Worlds this year, Team Liquid’s ADC: Tactical. In general, only 5 players made it into an LCS team as rookies. Most teenage LoL players in the US wait for their chances on academy teams.
The advantage of Asia is a large number of teenagers and their “on your mouth” attitude
This is the advantage of Asia:
- Doing explains that Korea and China have strong new rookies making their way into the league every year
- That would also help the old players because you are constantly playing and training in the lanes against teenagers
- Players with 17, 18, 19 would have a different game setting, they would be very specialized in “mechanics”. They are hardly interested in tactics. They would have a “When I see you, I fight you” attitude that translates into an “Either you die or I die”
It is quite normal for players to lose reaction time when they get into their 20s. Response time is incredibly important in e-sports.
Doing sees hope for the US league: Many of the players are now slowly getting older, where they are retiring. Then it’s time for a new era.
Is Doing Right? The US stars themselves like to blame the solo queue in North America for the problems in the US. Doublelift explained, for example, that the solo queue only educates “egomaniacs” who then don’t work in a team. It is also often said that professionals do not take the solo queue seriously enough and that this puts the region at a disadvantage because the level of training is so low.
But in fact, Doinb’s explanation seems conclusive and comes to mind when you look at the stars of the worlds and their ages:
It is noticeable that generation change has already taken place in Asia. In 2020, the dominant Lol players from Asia (and Europe) are around 20 and are playing their first or second World Cup. The “older players” like Faker can no longer qualify for the World Cup or have already ended their careers like Uzi.
At DAMWON Gaming, young players like Showmaker and Nuguri gained their first experiences in 2019 and felt the pressure of the world. They failed early on. In 2020 they beat the experienced players from G2 Esports and are now in the final.
In the USA you tend to see the old stars who switch from team to team, who have a lot of experience and are highly regarded by the fans, but the opportunities dwindle from year to year.
At the age of 23, US players are downright stunned that their LoL career should already be over. They don’t see why they should give way to rookies who haven’t done anything yet.
One of the best players in the USA has now ended his career: After 6 years with Team Solo Mid, the Dane Bjergsen left with only 24 years. He has also taken part in many worlds without really winning anything.