Riot Games and FACEIT have confirmed the return of the LCS Scouting Grounds Circuit, an open qualifier system for amateur League of Legends.
The Scouting Grounds Circuit feeds into the Honda Scouting Grounds, a higher tier of competition in North America.
Related: From MLG to Vindex: The story of Mike Sepso
FACEIT ran the circuit last year and is taking some lessons into the 2020 iteration, simplifying the process with qualification points being tracked through one leaderboard. Every weekend from May through July, an event will be held that awards points.
Michele Attisani, CBO & Co-founder of FACEIT, spoke on the initiative in a release: “Part of the bedrock of FACEIT is to support and develop grassroots esports talent, and help build competitive communities from the ground up. The first year of SGC was a huge success and this year we’ve fine-tuned the format to offer an even better, more competitive experience for players. League of Legends is the biggest esport in the world, and we’re proud to be working with the LCS to help identify and elevate the next generation of star players in North America.”
Related: EGF launches Collegiate Power Series for Division I universities
Bigger partner events like the BIG League will also be ran to help showcase talent to wider audiences. The top eight teams in these events will head to a double-elimination tournament in August. The top two from that tournament will appear in the Honda Scouting Grounds, underneath the LCS, later in 2020.
Chris Greeley, Commissioner of LCS at Riot Games, also commented: “The LCS is powered by an incredible amateur and fan community, and grassroots events like the FACEIT Scouting Grounds Circuit are key to building on that success and creating a solid competitive foundation for many more years to come,” said . “Some of the LCS’s greatest heroes started in our amateur Scouting Grounds programs, like Cloud9’s Blaber — Honda MVP of the 2020 Spring Split and Spring Finals champion. We look forward to continuing our work with FACEIT and helping foster the next great stories of the LCS.”
Esports Insider says: League of Legends is the biggest esport in the world and clear minor leagues are going to help it stay there. With a simplified structure, this event should accomplish its goal of making League of Legends esports accessible to players and giving top organisations talent to keep an eye on.