Former Cloud9 star Zeyzal joins 4 ex-LCS on new amateur team

Melany Moncav • January 20, 23:58

Florida-based organization SolaFide Esports has signed a not-so-amateur roster to compete in the new North American amateur circuit.

Niship “Dhokla” Doshi, Winston “Winston” Herold, Jean-Sébastien “Tuesday” Thery, Apollo “Apollo” Price, and Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam are now competing on the amateur level under SolaFide’s banner. The team is currently competing in the Risen Champions League, a tier-two tournament for amateur organizations and collegiate teams. The team of former pros advanced to the semifinals where it will face Barrage Esports.

The players on SolaFide are not the only familiar names in this tournament. 100 Thieves Next, Cloud9 Amateur, and Evil Geniuses Prodigies took part in the group stage of the tournament.

The Risen Champions League is just the beginning of the new amateur scene in North America. Ahead of the 2021 season, the LCS changed the format of the LCS Academy to make room for the amateur teams in North America. Teams can compete in a series of tier two events where they will earn points. The best teams qualify to LCS Proving Grounds, an event where Academy and amateur teams compete.

The players on SolaFide might be the first to transition from the LCS into the amateur scene, but they probably won’t be the last. The introduction of the new amateur scene will encourage more teams to invest in these leagues. Salaries might not be as high as LCS salaries, but staying active is better for players than simply waiting for another shot the next season.

2021 will be a great year for the amateur scene in North America and is exactly what the region needs to start nurturing domestic talent. SolaFide plays in the Risen Championship League semifinals on January 23.

Who is competing in the LCS?

There are 10 professional teams currently competing in the LCS. Each team owns a franchise slot, partnering directly with League of Legends developer Riot Games. These franchise slots are permanent, so participating teams can never be demoted from the league. The 10 teams are as follows:

  • 100 Thieves
  • Cloud9
  • Counter Logic Gaming
  • Dignitas
  • Evil Geniuses
  • FlyQuest
  • Golden Guardians
  • Immortals
  • Team SoloMid
  • Team Liquid

When does the 2021 LCS start?

The 2021 LCS Spring split starts on Friday, February 5 at 3 p.m. PT, 6 p.m. ET.

How many imports can LCS teams have?

Each LCS team can have two imports on stage at a time. Organizations can sign multiple imports for the team, but only two can play simultaneously. Starting in 2021, players coming from Oceania do not count towards import slots.


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