Strengthening the premier regions with wildcard talent.
Importing players is something most people who follow lolesports are aware of. However, it is often players from more competitive regions moving to less competitive (but wealthier) regions. There is never any wildcard players being able to move up to a premier league.
North America is a region that suffers from a lack of domestic talent since there are less people playing in NA. What if instead of importing talent from other premier regions, NA teams could bolster their rosters by importing players from nearby wildcard regions that would count as NA residents. Specifically, the regions that NA teams would be allowed to recruit from would be Latin America and Brazil.
European fans need not worry that this would disproportionately benefit the NA scene, as Turkish and CIS players would be allowed to play in the EULCS as domestic talent. For Japanese players, they could be allowed to play in Korea or China. And for South East Asian players they could be invited to play in the LMS.
- Gives wildcard players more stable career opportunities in competitive League of Legends.
- Bolsters the talent pool available to teams competing in premier regions.
- Wildcard scenes might become stronger, as players will want perk the ears of premier team talent scouts.
- Might make regions seem less unique.
- Wildcard scenes might become even worse (short term) than they are currently since their best talent will likely be funneled into the nearby premier league.
But what about wildcard TEAMS?
While this article has so far mostly focused on individual players moving up to premier leagues, it might also be interesting to allow full wildcard teams a chance to compete in the premier regions challenger league. Interestingly, there is already a precedent for this, as Japanese teams have been invited to compete in NLB.
Currently the EUCS and NACS only feature a meager six teams. Riot could grant the wildcard regional winners the lowest seed into the challenger playoffs. There first match would function as a promotion match in that if the wildcard team can defeat a challenger team in a series, then they will be invited to play in next split’s challenger league in place of the challenger team they beat.