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This year’s LCS Scouting Grounds is slightly different. However, Riot Games is still allowing players to qualify for the final event through solo queue play. Wednesday of this week, on June 12, is the first day of the Scouting Grounds beginning selection period. For those that are not going through the new FACEIT Circuit, this is your only other opportunity to qualify. Qualification through solo queue play is similar to the 2018 Scouting Grounds process. However, there are a few slight differences in response to feedback from the previous season.
LCS Scouting Grounds
Announced earlier this week, the LCS and FACEIT will be hosting the League of Legends Championship Series Scouting Grounds Circuit this year. With a $60,000 prize pool up, semi-professional teams will compete for a chance to advance to the actual Scouting Grounds event. The two teams with the highest scores throughout ten online events will qualify alongside solo queue players. Amateur leagues in the professional scene like the Upsurge Premier League, BIG League, and Dark Star Gaming will utilize the FACEIT platform to host events.
The LCS Scouting Grounds Circuit will consist of the qualifier, playoff, and final stages. The first season will take place between July and September. This change also makes the competitive amateur scene more connected to the LCS. Players competing will also have a bigger incentive to play outside of the prize pool.
Solo queue qualification
The process for players that decide to try and qualify for Scouting Grounds through solo queue is about the same. Every week, a snapshot is taken and the player’s placing on the ranked ladder earns him/her points. In the end, the worst snapshot will also be removed from each player’s score. This is so players are not negatively impacted by unavoidable commitments like school work or travel. These scores are made public in a Google Document so players can keep track of themselves and others.
For any ties that happen between players, Riot Games will use the player’s placement in the last cycle in the solo queue ladder. At the end of the solo queue ranking ladder duration, the top 2 players in each role will be invited. Additional players may be contacted if the top 2 players are not available. Non-eligible players like professional ones or those that have secondary accounts are in the initial ranking. However, they will be removed at the very end.
Each period ends at 11:59 PM PST on Tuesday of each 2-week cycle. This is also the last day for most of the patches. Patch 9.13 has a duration of three weeks instead, though.
Champion pool restrictions
Concerns were raised during the 2018 season about a rule that said players could only play 30% of their games in a single cycle. This was to prevent players that would play a lot of games during one particular cycle, but not many in others. However, a few players found it difficult; they were unable to fit in with this because of outside requirements. With things like vacation and schoolwork, some players had to deal with playing a different champ every game. As such, a new set of rules has been issued by Riot Games.
Players must be at least 16 years of age by January 19, 2020, to participate in Scouting Grounds. North American residency is a requirement as well as needing to respond to the survey being sent out in October. They also must not have played more than two League matches in the semi-professional or academy league recently.
By “recently,” Riot Games means matches in the most recent split or the past three splits for a professional league. A professional league is any league that could potentially qualify for the World Championships. A semi-professional league is one that could rank up into North American Academy or European Regional Leagues. Players also have to pass a behavior check, which reviews in-game behavior and any previous bans or suspensions. Other Terms of Service violations are also reviewed to see whether the player is in good standing.
Scouting Grounds schedule
The start of the Scouting Grounds Selection Period arrives on June 12. October 8 marks the end of the Scouting Grounds Selection Period. During early October, a survey will be sent to all Masters and Challenger players. The email will verify account details and whether the player wishes to be invited to Scouting Grounds.
In mid-October, invites will be sent to top players and some alternatives for backup reasons. On November 10, the players will arrive in LA. They will then compete in the LCS Scouting Grounds between November 11 and 16. The event ends on November 17, where NA LCS teams will then pick up players for their Academy rosters.
Will you be participating in the solo queue function for the LCS Scouting Grounds? What do you think about this new fusion concept between an amateur circuit and solo queue? Keep up with all of the latest League of Legends news and content here at Daily Esports.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.