Why North America Historically Has Failed Internationally
I want NA to win worlds more than anything. I am personally working as hard as possible to make Cloud 9 as good as possible to have the optimal chance at winning worlds. But there will be three North American teams at worlds, and if any of these teams end up winning then I will be extremely happy. One of the reasons NA has historically failed against international competition is because of its reluctance to look outward and the tendency for the NA meta to become inbred and weak.
The Adoption of The World Meta
The Asian scenes historically have had the most access into videos of the American and European scenes, while the American and Europeans historically having little to no vision into the Asian scenes. This gave the Asians a very significant advantage in the past, which we saw at Season 2 World Championships. This advantage has been erased over the past year, with top games from all over the world now readily available and documented for anyone to view. This research path has leveled the gap tremendously amongst all teams willing to put in the effort and time to look outward into the professional League of Legends world.
All top tier games from every region are currently streamed and easily watchable by all other teams across the world. If there is a new, dominant strategy developed in any region, it will be immediately noted by every COMPETENT pro team from around the world. This will lead to the metas converging into one; and it certainly has already begun. Cloud 9 is already a part of the world meta. Any team looking to win worlds needs to become a part of the world meta, while all teams not looking out into the world for influence upon their strategy will fall behind strategically. Any regions not looking for influence from the others will become inbred and fall behind the world meta.
I feel a common worry that arises from teams researching other regions is that there is a lack of innovation. Adoption of the world meta does not mean lack of innovation. In fact, to properly and efficiently innovate you NEED to understand the context of the meta you will be playing in; otherwise your innovation will certainly fall on its face in the presence of unaccounted factors.
Our early adoption of the world meta has led us to a significant advantage over many other North American teams. If these teams continue to refuse to join the world meta, they will be incapably unprepared when they actually have to play teams outside their region. This is the main reason we have seen North American teams fail time and time again when up against international competition.
If ANY region fails to adapt the world meta and just pursues their own, they will fall behind. We saw this with China earlier this year, World Elite’s dominance forced the other Chinese teams to focus solely on beating World Elite. This led China’s meta to fall behind internationally. I am worried that our dominance of the NA scene could cause the same issue. Other NA teams are now solely focusing on beating Cloud 9 rather than joining the World Meta as we have done, and this will very likely leave other NA teams behind when faced with international competition.
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