After all three North American representatives bowed out of the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, fans started to look for possible solutions to NA’s evident problems in terms of growth as a region. Some people looked toward a pro-only tournament realm client as a possible solution, but former pro Hai Du Lam detailed all the issues with this idea.
One issue that the tournament realm would bring is that normal solo queue quality would lower even more if pros begin training and playing on their own private server.
A big problem with NA solo queue is that not a lot of pros take the games seriously or don’t prioritize solo queue like other regions. As a result, the level of competition is lower at higher elos than it would be in other regions, like Europe and South Korea. Higher competition in solo queue means that everyone can improve, not just the select few who have already gone pro.
A private server would also place another barrier for upcoming, new talent, since they wouldn’t have access to the tournament realm client. Incentivizing players to go pro is already hard due to the lack of avenues into the scene, and this would only discourage players further.
Although the tournament realm would improve the quality of games for pro players, the long-term effects of this decision could negatively impact the growth and longevity of the region. NA hasn’t been great with nurturing its homegrown talent. Europe and South Korea, on the other hand, constantly have new blood coming in from the solo queue scene—which in turn, fuels its competitive scene.
If NA really wants to look for a deep-rooted solution to its talent problem, it needs to reinforce a system that makes players try harder in the solo queue environment. Hai even suggested implementing a system similar to CS:GO‘s FACEIT, which awards a cash prize to its top players at the end of each month. This way, players will have to try harder and use comms to win.