100 Thieves General Manager Christopher ‘PapaSmithy’ Smith has revealed that he expects a high-investment offseason in the LCS as North American teams set Worlds 2022 firmly in their sights.
Speaking with Travis Gafford, PapaSmithy revealed that despite initially thinking the LCS was headed for a quieter offseason, 2021 will see teams fighting for the best available talent in order to represent the region at Worlds 2022.
League of Legends’ showpiece event is returning to North America in 2022, marking the region’s first hosting duty for the competition since 2016, and LCS teams will not want to miss out on this opportunity.
PapaSmithy expects an LCS arms race
“Making Worlds or not making Worlds, I have to assume, for the teams that have the budget to do so, is going to be an insane arms race,” PapaSmithy said.
(Timestamp starts at 25:28 for mobile viewers)
PapaSmithy prefaced his comments about a potential LCS arms race by explaining how much money was at stake with a North American Worlds.
“People watch the Worlds broadcast and are like, ‘what the hell is a State Farm because it’s not a worldwide product,'” PapaSmithy explained. “But State Farm at Worlds [in North America] is going to be an insanely valuable ad spend for them because it’s going to be a North American fanbase watching.”
With this in mind, PapaSmithy elaborated on his arms race prediction.
“Teams are going to take different bets, and they need to be aggressive because a lot is riding on Worlds 2022 in North America. It’s clear that everyone needs to look at Worlds 2022 and figure how to be a part of that.
“I don’t think it’s the year to go budget. I think it’s the year to go big.”
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Rumors are already beginning to swirl about major changes in the LCS.
Esportsmanicos have claimed that Team Liquid top laner Barney ‘Alphari’ Morris and Cloud9 mid laner Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković are looking to play together next season, There is also a wealth of high-value free agents in both Europe and North America.
The offseason doesn’t officially begin until November 15 but if PapaSmithy is correct, it’s best to brace yourself for another wild offseason in the LCS.