LoL Open Tour: a focus on the importance of amateur leagues

The LoL Open Tour is a reference point, an unmissable event for all LoL players wishing to make a living out of the competition.

On the long and winding road to becoming a professional video game player, every gamer must have gone through the amateur ranks first. While some players spend their entire career there, others only pass by briefly, just time to splatter their opponents with their skill, before continuing their ascent.

For a long time, amateur competitions were the sole definition of esports (a time that people under twenty years old cannot know), but nowadays they have evolved into a breeding ground for talent. They form a fertile layer from which players with huge potential are sprouting up here and there, thriving in this vast, yet sometimes erratic space, before unfolding their wings and taking flight (that is, level up). Far from being demeaning, this allegory reflects well the current situation of the amateur scene. While media coverage and worldwide interest in esports keeps on growing, the need for talented players is increasing significantly. The question now is to identify them! This explains the emergence of real, structured, and professional events, which give everyone the opportunity to be spotted through high-level competition.

In France, for example, this is the case of the LoL Open Tour, launched by Riot Games France, the French division of League of Legends’ publisher. This stems from a very simple idea: to significantly expand the pool of high-level players in France and potentially make them progress through to higher levels of competitions, such as the LFL (national league) or even the LEC (European league). And after 2 years, there’s no denying that things worked out pretty well! Saken, Skeanz, Toucouille are as many examples of players who made themselves known directly via LoL’s online ranking system, before joining a team, performing their best, and eventually taking off and asserting themselves as some of the best French players.

In this context, the importance of a tour such as the LoL Open Tour speaks for itself within a comprehensive and ideal esports ecosystem. By identifying the most promising hidden gems upstream, esports – and especially League of Legends – support a renewal of the scene, as well as giving a chance to anyone who is talented and hard-working enough, to carve a niche and make a name for themselves, which is, by all accounts, a great thing! It also allows for a football-like approach, which is good news too, since football is one of the most successful sports models when it comes to spotting young players, through the clubs’ own training facilities.

While this model seems particularly suitable, a few games, such as CS: GO, DotA or even Fortnite, prefer to use in-game rankings, word-of-mouth, and third-party organizers to identify the stars of tomorrow. The latest example is CS player Misutaaa, a new recruit of Team Vitality – and a former Nicecactus player! Though his skill level was definitely higher than average, he had scored only a few wins in the game, but has been able to take advantage of his good relationship with Team Vitality’s players to earn a place in their roster. This happens very rarely though, making an amateur circuit, such as the LoL Open Tour, setting an example to follow for many other esports games!

Nicecactus believes that the creation and organization of an amateur league is one of the best ways to help bring structure to a game at the grassroots level, to unlock players’ potential and encourage talent to flourish. In our position as a training and talent-spotting platform, and with this purpose in mind, we organize weekly tournaments with several hundred euros in prize money up for grabs, in order to motivate players to compete and progress, through rewards! The road to becoming a professional player is long, arduous and full of pitfalls. That’s why we decided to make this path easier by offering everyone the opportunity to speed up their progression, just like the LoL Open Tour does on a larger scale.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. If you wish to learn more about amateur esports and make fast progress by taking part in competitions, follow us on social media and join us on nicecactus.gg!

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