The LCK will host an Academy Series for trainees and amateur League of Legends players who want to show off their talent in a professional setting, according to Korizon Esports translator Kevin Kim.
The Academy Series will consist of four open-cup tournaments held on a monthly basis from August to November, out of which the top two teams will be seeded into a championship held in December.
— Kevin Kim 🦆 (@KevinKimLoL) July 31, 2020
The conditions to participate are strict to promote unknown talent instead of established pros. To participate, a player has to fulfill the following criteria:
- 12 years or olderDiamond III or aboveNot registered on the roster of a professional teamHasn’t played in LCK, CK, or other regions in the past 12 months.
The semifinals and finals will be broadcast on the official LCK channel, according to Kevin Kim. Participants will reportedly be allowed to stream their matches as long as they turn on a 30-minute delay and remove all cameras, microphones, and other third-party apps.
The first bracket has already created and posted by Korizon Esports. It features multiple trainee teams of LCK participants, such as T1, DRX, Sandbox, Afreeca Freecs, and others.
While the prize pool is only ₩ 10,000,000 (around $8,500), the chance that’s being given to amateur players is invaluable. The LCK continues to feature the debuts of talented rookies on a yearly basis. Earlier this month, an unknown rookie was subbed in for Faker on T1 and he produced a great performance on par with the legendary mid laner.
While other regions complain about lacking talent, the LCK seems able to fill in three different tournaments with plenty of players all likely trying to become the next Faker. We already have substitute mid laner Clozer to fill in for Faker from being a rookie a couple of weeks ago.
It’s going to be interesting to see if other regions will be able to replicate the success of LCK and create interesting Academy leagues. The European counterparts seems to have been able to found the EU Masters, from which they keep finding rookies on a yearly basis who perform really well on the main stage. The most notable recent example is the MAD Lions.
After Splyce rebranded to MAD Lions, most players left and only mid laner Humanoid was remaining as the backbone. Splyce brought the four EU Masters rookies to the LEC and they started dominating the LEC, achieving a playoff spot in the first split and then finishing second in the second split of their LEC lifespan.