European LCS team Schalke 04 recently announced the start of their League of Legends Scouting Days 2016 program. Scouting Days will serve as a tryout/training camp situation where Schalke will host local League of Legends talent who have not yet earned any competitive experience, pick the best 5 players, and have them play under Schalke 04 at the GEFORCE Cup in Warsaw as the team’s official pre-season roster.
The official press release stated that this event would take place at the same arena the Schalke 04 football team plays at, VELTINS Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Tim Reichert, Head of Esports at Schalke 04 had this to say about the Scouting Days program:
“By complementing the Scouting Days, we maintain our solid foundation of youth development. Therefore, we use our experience and resources in the identical way to our traditional sports. Looking at the amount of important factors involved in successful, long-lasting teamwork; one of our top priorities has always been to not only reach out to professional players but also to the uncut diamonds in the scene.”
Finding and fostering talent internally is a relatively new concept to competitive League of Legends. In most cases, when a team is in need of a new player, they simply hold open try outs and receive many applicants who meet the rank/age requirements. Almost all of these applicants are extremely green, and require significant onboarding if they do make the team.
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Programs like Schalke’s Scouting Days allow for players, even if they don’t win the event, to experience first hand what an actual LCS team wants from them. The competitive world of League of Legends demands a different skill set than the one required to excel at solo queue. These kind of events educate players and teams, helping to close that gap between solo queue superstars and successful competitive players.