LEC Teams Will No Longer Be Required to Field Academy Teams Come 2022
Franchised LEC organizations will no longer be required to compete in the ERLs with their “Academy” line-ups come 2022. In fact, nine team owners out of ten voted in favor of removing this rule. This, frankly speaking, is quite a depressing bit of information. Then again, it is by no means the be-all and end-all for one simple reason: most organizations reportedly haven’t been trying all that hard. And, of course, success has proven most elusive for the vast majority as well — a natural by-product. There are a couple of exceptions, fortunately, but as a whole, LEC orgs are probably bleeding a bit too much money without getting anything in return.
So why not cut their costs, seeing how the amateur league has been growing (organically) at such a staggering pace? This isn’t necessarily the right (or best) course of action, but it does make a fair bit of sense in the grand scheme of things.
A Surprisingly Strong Foundation
The ERLs (European Regional Leagues) are already a fertile ground for up-and-coming talent and even if you were to remove all of the LEC “Academy” teams in 2022 you’d still end up with an astonishingly competitive foundation — one that is staggeringly rich in talent and potential. Heck, one could argue that this sort of change makes a lot of sense: why should the biggest brands and organizations in Europe be forced to develop talent by themselves when they can pick and choose their favorites from a myriad of well-established and surprisingly popular regions? That’s why these ERLs exist in the first place!
Fielding “Academy” line-ups costs a fair bit of money and yet it hasn’t been all that effective (save for a few shining examples). The ERL scene is already thriving beyond belief, and most LEC orgs are still expected to maintain “affiliate squads” come 2022. Still, we can’t predict anything with confidence at this point in time.
Scouting Made Easy
What’s the one thing the LEC has going for it that makes all other major regions pale in comparison? It is the many regional leagues which funnel the very best teams into the EU Masters which, in a way, is nothing more than a proving ground for the youngest and brightest talents Europe has to offer.
No other region has a system in place that works this darn well. Effortlessly, even. It is an entity for itself (one that can thrive without the LEC’s support), and it’s been blossoming far quicker than anyone could’ve imagined. It is also a “formula” and a set-up that’s been working wonders for Europe — to say the least.
While this change isn’t positive whatsoever, its implications aren’t as big as some folks might lead you to believe. It might be pure greed on the part of the nine permanent LEC partners, but at least there’s a well-functioning ERL ecosystem in place which should, by all means, function as a safety net of sorts.
Either way, the future of the LEC is incredibly bright — in spite of these relatively negligible hindrances.