For more than three weeks, a total of 16 teams have fought in the first-ever LCS Proving Grounds. The tournament has hosted LCS academy teams as well as the best amateur teams in North America. It’s the first time that the academy and amateur scene have clashed in such a big event and it came with lots of surprises.
Throughout the whole tournament, amateur teams have proved that they can beat academy teams, ultimately resulting in No Org beating Cloud9 Academy in a 3-1 fashion in the grand final.
They found their fight, and they found the win! 🏆
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) April 26, 2021
While most fans expected the LCS Proving Grounds to be won by an LCS academy team, the complete opposite happened.
With the recent format changes to the academy and the amateur scene in North America, Riot has given amateur teams a chance to show off all the hidden talent. The event has essentially replaced the NA Academy playoffs, and with the great performance by No Org and other promising amateur teams, it’s looking to pay dividends already.
With teams such as Cloud9 Academy, TSM Academy, Team Liquid Academy, and many other prominent organizations, it was a big surprise that a team without any funding or organization could go all the way. No Org has been dominant throughout the whole tournament but was knocked down into the lower bracket by Cloud9 Academy in round 5.
After the loss to Cloud9 Academy, it finally looked like the academy teams had gotten the upper hand in the tournament but it only lit a fire in No Org. In the do-or-die match against 100 Thieves Academy, No Org took a dominant 3-0 win and was therefore completely ready to get revenge in the final. In the 3-1 final, there wasn’t any doubt who the better team was despite Cloud9 Academy almost forcing a five-game series.
With No Org taking the LCS Proving Grounds trophy, a big shift in the North American academy and amateur scene might be underway.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) April 25, 2021
Despite being an amateur team, No Org isn’t completely unknown. In fact, the team consists mostly of former LCS and academy players who didn’t get a spot on any LCS organization for the 2021 spring split.
Instead, the players joined forces under No Org with the goal of winning the LCS Proving Grounds and fighting their way back to an organization. With names such as Omran “V1per” Shoura, Andy “AnDa” Hoang, and Aidan “5fire” Reckamp on the team, there was never any doubt that this team could go far. But beating the best contenders in the LCS Proving Grounds wasn’t in the cards.
WE FUCKING DID IT BOYS GGS WE WON PROVING GROUNDS NO ORG NO SPONSOR NO MONEY JUST 5 SMURF PLAYERS AND A COUPLE OF CRACKED COACHES :DDDDDDDDDDDDD
— 5fire (@5fireleague) April 26, 2021
The win from No Org doesn’t only solidify the five player’s potential as individuals, but also shows that it’s possible to achieve something big in the new North American academy format without being under an LCS organization. The future also looks much brighter for talent development in North America, as several other teams have performed well throughout the LCS Proving Grounds.
What the future holds for No Org is still unknown but it’s not unthinkable that most of the players will have a spot on an academy or even LCS team when the next split starts. There’s also a chance that the whole team will be picked up by an organization, as the five-man squad has showcased great coordination and synergy in recent weeks.