The LCS has announced the 20 players headed to this year’s Scouting Ground event, in addition to a few changes coming to the overall structure of Scouting Grounds for the 2021 season.
In traditional Scouting Grounds fashion, 20 League of Legends players will be drafted into four teams. Those players will have the opportunity to show off their skills to LCS coaches, analysts, and executives over the span of five days of competition.
All of the players at Scouting Grounds hail from the North American solo queue ladder, while many have played in the collegiate League scene or the North American amateur scene. Former LCS and Overwatch League pro Gamsu will also be present at the event.
Originally, the LCS wanted this year’s edition of Scouting Grounds to be played in person, but the persistence of the COVID-19 Delta variant has made a live event difficult for the league. While the majority of the Scouting Grounds event won’t be broadcast to audiences, the final day of games will be played live on YouTube and Twitch.
This year’s Scouting Grounds also marks a change in the structure of the event. The traditional LCS Scouting Grounds draft is being replaced by something called “Scouting Grounds Top Prospects.”
At the end of the event, analysts who are participating in Scouting Grounds will be able to give the Top Prospect award to three of the best players at the event. This new system will “recognize outstanding players with a definitive spotlight as they grow towards LCS competition,” according to Riot.
More importantly, though, it eliminates issues surrounding scheduling conflicts between the former signing exclusivity period that affected drafted players seeking to test the waters in free agency. In previous years, non-drafted players at Scouting Grounds could jump right into free agency, while drafted players had to wait out the 10-day exclusivity period. This year, all players at Scouting Grounds will be able to “freely find their market value,” according to Riot.
LCS Scouting Grounds is set to begin on Nov. 8, with the final day of games being broadcast on Nov. 13.
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