LCS Rookies and the Risk of Underperforming

by in League of Legends | Mar, 1st 2021

Being a rookie in the LCS is the kind of experience you’d only want your biggest enemies to go through. It’s a thankless position to be in, and its consequences are often ruthless. It is a heavy burden, and it often lingers long after these individuals step off the stage. Reaching the zenith of competition in one’s region is a feat worthy of celebration, and yet that’s a seldom occurrence when it comes to LCS rookies. While other regions nurture and protect their youngest players (and most promising prospects), North America — and its many toxic fans and followers — have a knack for bullying those who fail to meet their expectations. And, for some odd reason, no one’s ever wondering whether the bar has been set too high? Whether these expectations are even remotely rational? Or if they are the result of unreasonable expectations and someone’s wild imagination? 

It Shouldn’t Be This Complicated

There are so many factors in play, and yet we know so little.

So, if a player does badly in his first year, maybe it isn’t his fault — maybe his failure is a result of external factors. But the fact that he even got to the highest levels of play (i.e., someone deemed him worthy) should be enough for us to give him the benefit of the doubt (that being another shot). If he fails in his second year, then sure, send him off to Academy or, if his play was that egregious, maybe not even that much. 

But a cordial amount of time has to be given to these LCS rookies. They’re going through a lot, and if we — the fans and media — don’t have enough understanding, then no one should be overly surprised if they don’t grow into the superstars of tomorrow or if they fail to deliver when it matters most. And sure, competitive League is a business that thrives off of entertainment, but there’s a fine line between pushing these nascent players to do better and sheer schadenfreude.

Champions are not born — they’re nurtured. Their greatness lies dormant until there’s something — or someone — that can harness it and catalyze growth. And sure, some individuals are born with more talent than others, but without the right framework, only a select few can thrive and grow. In North America, it seems like there’s a surprising number of folks who are just dying to see someone fail. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s this culture that hinders and heavily impedes the development of native players. The LCS is like a barren land, scorched by years of hate and “malnourishment.” There is talent, despite popular belief, but it’s seldom given the right guidance and understanding. 

It’s like everyone wants these LCS rookies to step foot on stage and start dominating right from the very get-go. And sure, sometimes it does happen, but that’s the exception, rather than the rule. A bit more decency (from those watching) and patience (from everyone involved) would truly do wonders for the North American LCS. 


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