The North American collegiate and the amateur circuit are giving a second chance to compete to former LCS players. One of the players to come out of retirement and join one of these teams is former Team Liquid top laner Diego “Quas” Ruiz.
Quas started his career in 2013 with New World Eclipse in the North American Challenger League. Later that year, Quas joined Team Curse, an organization that would end up merging with Team Liquid ahead of the 2015 season. Quas played with Team Liquid for almost a year before being suspended by the management due to behavior issues.
After getting suspended, Quas announced his retirement. He would end up coming out of retirement three months later when he joined NRG Esports. In November 2017, Quas announced once again that he would retire from competitive play.
In 2020, Quas joined Bay State College, a college located in Boston, Massachusetts. The team recently competed in the Risen Champions League, a tier two amateur tournament where Bay State College placed ninth. SolaFide Esports, a team that consists of five former LCS players finished first in this event.
Quas, who is now 29, regularly streams through Twitch.
Ahead of the 2021 season, the LCS announced its new plans for the amateur scene. The LCS Academy playoffs were replaced with Proving Grounds, a tournament open to Academy teams and amateur alike. In order to qualify to Proving Grounds, amateur teams must compete on a series of tier one and two events that grant points.
Players are finding their way back into the competitive sphere through collegiate and now the amateur teams that are looking to make it to Proving Grounds. It wouldn’t be surprising if more former Academy and LCS players join the teams competing at this level. While players are not making the same amount of money as an LCS player, staying active gives them a chance to being scouted.
The 2021 LCS Spring split starts on Friday, February 5 at 3 p.m. PT, 6 p.m. ET.