Prior to the start of 2021’s NA Scouting Grounds, Riot Games announced it is shifting the event to a remote format, similar to Scouting Grounds from 2020. Riot had initially planned to host the tournament in the Los Angeles-based League Championship Series Studios.
Scouting Grounds, or NASG, has been running since 2016 as the official tournament for teams to meet and interact with top talent in the North American solo queue environment. Each of the LCS teams are involved in the tournament, fielding four separate teams across the 20 players who receive direct invitations from Riot.
Usual NASG format
In a typical year, each of the players are flown out to LA — where they meet staff from each of the 10 LCS orgs — and go through a series of formal interviews, press training and, most importantly, scrims and stage games.
The players are split into four Elemental Drake teams: Infernal, Ocean, Mountain and Cloud. Each team has coaches and staff from the orgs embedded in them to train the solo queue players in how to operate in a team environment. They scrim most of the day, with several sets of “official” matches that are recorded.
After a few days, the four teams play in a small bracket format to determine a winner, and other various awards are given to the players to acknowledge their expertise and ability. There have been many eventual LCS players who went through the NASG tournament over past events, including Robert “Blaber” Huang, Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme, Edward “Tactical” Ra and Jonathan “Chime” Pomponio.
Riot hosted the tournament online in 2020, due to COVID-19, and made the shift again this year. The event will still take place between Nov. 7 and 13, but will have a slightly different format than the original announcement based on it being remote.
Look out for more NA Scouting Grounds coverage and news here, to get a first glimpse at future NA stars.