Champions Queue

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Is North America’s Champions Queue Deserted?

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
Updated On: 
Highlights
North America’s invite-only super server has been the hot topic of debate for the past few days.
Golden Guardians’ support Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung said NA pros were not active on the server and Samson "Lourlo" Jackson tweeted that only 16 players were active on a particular night.
Evil Geniuses’ head coach Peter Dun said that there were 40+ pros playing on the server at the time of his tweet and said Olleh’s expectations of grinding was unreasonable.

Update: The LCSPA Confirms That The Champions Queue Is Alive And Doing Well

The League of Legends Championship Series Player Association (LCSPA) took to Twitter to address the concerns on the state of North America’s invite-only super server - the Champions Queue. It stated that the server was alive and well. The LCSPA further said that it was excited to continue working with Riot Games to keep improving the server so that it continues to actively grow beyond the monthly updates. “And shoutout to @Olleh for bringing the passion on stream and behind the scenes to help CQ (Champions Queue) stay vital for NA!” it wrote.

Additionally, League of Legends interviewer and content creator Travis Gafford also presented a report of the week’s Champions Queue standings and team averages. He stated that there seemed to be a lot of players active on the server and that the Golden Guardians players averaged at 22 games played.

In his tweet, Gafford wondered why some players had 0 LP despite having played games. Adding clarity on this, Oracle's Elixir Founder and Data Scientist Tim Sevenhuysen said, “Players start at 0 LP and losses are -5 but you can't go below 0 LP. So if they have lost enough games, they can still be at 0 LP.”

Currently, the second Split of the Champions Queue is underway and this will conclude on 11th April. At the time of writing, Cloud9 Academy’s Sebastian "Malice" Edholm was on top of the leaderboard with 190 points and a win rate of 68%, according to the Champions Queue website. In second place were Team Liquid’s star player Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in and Counter Logic Gaming Academy’s support Brindon "Breezy" Keesey with 185 points each.

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Champions Queue was introduced by Riot Games and LoLEsports as a saving grace for the North American (NA) Solo Queue environment. This invite-only super server provides top NA talent and teams with the tools to play quality games on very low ping with proper voice comms. Additionally, this system has also incentivized Solo Queue, giving players another solid reason to climb their way to the top.

On 16th March, Golden Guardians support Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung took a dig at the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) pros for allegedly shying away from playing on the invite-only super server. He stated that he just wanted players to practice on the Champions Queue, otherwise, it would just render this initiative by Riot completely pointless. Olleh placed second in the first split of Champions Queue and received a cash prize of $8K USD.

During a Twitch stream, Olleh reportedly typed out his thoughts on the first split of Champions Queue and also shared some of his frustrations. Since his Video-On-Demand (VOD) is locked only for subscribers, a Reddit user transcribed it for ease.

Olleh’s thoughts on Champions Queue

Olleh mentioned that at the beginning, many players were playing on Champions Queue but it sort of fizzled out and that only 20-30 odd players played towards the end of the split.

According to the official Champions Queue website, the $40K USD prize pool gets distributed to the top ten players on the server, and the prize pool for the entire calendar year totals $400K USD.

Top 10 Players of Split 1 of CQ

However, Olleh posed the question: “Why do you need money(reward) to be passionate or to practice?” and stated that players need to practice to get better. He also pointed out the fact that the support role was getting fewer games compared to other roles. When Olleh had around 80 games, players like Joseph “jojopyun” Joon-pyun and Colin “Kumo” Zhao already had 150+ games. He said this was unfair to him, in the sense that if you have a 50% win rate on the server, you are winning just by playing more games.

Olleh further claimed that pro players in the LCS only scrim between 12 pm and 5 pm and that they are free to go about their day after that. He said he was personally playing on the super server between 6 pm and 1 am after his scrims.

Olleh wondered what the pros were doing after 5 pm and said that “grinding hard is normal in Korea. Grinding hard is so special in NA. This is so weird.

Lourlo and Peter Dunn share their takes on the situation

League of Legends player Samson "Lourlo" Jackson took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the state of Champions Queue as well. On 17th March, he wrote, “16/100 lcs/acad players playing champions q as of now what is everyone doing with their time atleast make it 40% q up guys, ATLEAST FOR 1-2 GAMES A DAY.

This tweet ignited the dialogue of how many concurrent players are online on the Champions Queue server. Most pros who play on the super server seem to be running into the same set of players time and again, which makes fans lean into the narrative that a majority of the 100 pros in NA are not playing on the server.

In response to this narrative, Evil Geniuses’ coach Peter Dun wrote, “Because ppl seem to care about this kind of thing recently. There are currently 40+ LCS/Academy players currently playing in CQ and more waiting for games. TSMA (TSM Academy) obviously are playing PG so can't queue at the same time. This is much more in line with a normal night.

Regarding Olleh’s take, Dun said his expectations were unreasonable and that even playing two or three games a night would fulfill the purpose of the queue. He stated that grinding nonstop was not for everybody.

Olleh clarified his statement again and said, “I didn't suggest that all pros should play like 6 pm ~ 1 am. I wanted pros to do at least a few games a day in CQ. Because I don't see every pro play a game a day. I just want pros to play a few games. I don't expect it to be like KR solo Q grinders.”

Fans also pointed out that the decline in the number of active players on Champions Queue might be due to the fact that teams were “triple blocking” in scrims towards the end of the split. The reality of Champions Queue might get revealed once the LCS Spring 2022 playoff bracket is fixed.


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Sadakshi is the newest addition to AFK Gaming. As a passionate gamer and an ardent League of Legends fan, she brings her journalism experience to the esports scenes of LoL and Valorant