So a weird thing happened in the League of Legends Championship Series. The European team Evil Geniuses, or at least 3/5ths of the team basically bought their way into the North American LCS. I’m not entirely sure this is bad since I love Krepo, but it certainly feels weird. So here’s what I can gather happened.
Velocity eSports was pretty bad in this past split. Finished bottom of the the 8 team league. Then in the challenger league, they went 5-21 with mostly amateur teams, the worst in the league. So they basically sold the spot in the league. What officially happened was that Velocity released all their players, sold the team to the EG owner and took on the 3 Evil Geniuses players with 2 more. The 2 former EG members went to the new EU team Alliance which is owned by the same person as EG in NA.
While I’m sure that they would have made it into the LCS in the matter of a single split, it feels wrong for them to basically be able to buy their way in. I feel the worst for Determined Gaming, the team they ended up facing to retain Velocity’s LCS spot from the challenger league competitor. Since Velocity was the 8th placed team, they basically had to face the best challenger team, Determined Gaming. It is arguable that EG was the best of the LCS teams in relegation but was in the spot of the worst. Determined Gaming might very well have made it in against Curse or Coast. They’ll have another chance in a couple of months, but I feel for them.
I’m a big sports fan. Except for baseball. Baseball sucks, but I love football, basketball and hockey. I’ve been trying to think of an example of something similar to this. None of those sports have anything like relegation as they do in the LCS or the English Premier League in soccer, which I also don’t watch. The closest thing I can think of is the Miami Heat releasing all their players except Dwayne Wade during “The Decision” and basically buying the best team in the league and forgoing the traditional competition of free agency, but even that isn’t the same, because the heat had a spot in the league no matter what.
So on the whole, it doesn’t seem too bad, since I’m sure they would have gotten in anyway but what about LMQ iBUYPOWER who came over from China and are going through the challenger series?
I love the idea of relegation but it seems like some of this needs to be thought through.