T1 coaches Son ‘Stardust’ Seok-hee and Kim ‘Moment’ Ji-hwan believe teams need to focus on self-improvement and match preparation instead of complaining about the structure for professional League of Legends in North America and Europe.
One of the biggest topics of conversation in the professional League community at the moment is whether the very structure of the game’s professional format disadvantages teams from North America and Europe.
Cloud9 coach Alfonso ‘mithy’ Aguirre Rodríguez called the pro League format “unfair” following Cloud9’s Worlds quarterfinal loss to Gen.G.
Meanwhile, G2 jungler Marcin ‘Jankos’ Jankowski argued that western teams fare worse internationally due to playing fewer games.
However, when asked about the issue after their team’s semifinal loss to DWG KIA, T1 coaches Stardust and Moment felt the problem lay with the teams, not the format.
“I have experienced the environment in America, and I don’t think you can blame the environment other than the solo queue ping,” Stardust said.
At Worlds 2021, the West suffered their worst-ever performance on the international stage, failing to win a single game in the knockout stages after the 2-4 Cloud9 and 3-3 MAD Lions qualified out of the group stage.
This led to a number of western-based League professionals voicing their opinion of their perceived advantage held by the likes of the LPL and LCK.
“Given the results they have achieved,” Stardust explained, “I don’t think they can complain about the structure.
“For example, if it was G2 complaining about the structure after having so much success, I would understand their point. But it’s not the case, so I think they have to find the issue inside of them.”
There are big shakeups ahead for NA and EU. But Moment believes meaningful improvement will come from gameday preparation and adaptability.
“I think you have to focus on your opponent and adjust your play,” he said.
Both Cloud9 and MAD Lions were swept 3-0 by Gen.G and DWG KIA, respectively. While each series featured close matches, the LCK teams were able to dispatch their western opponents with relative ease.
While the debate over the parity of League’s format is likely to continue, the question remains as to whether the West will be able to challenge the LCK heading into 2022.