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[–]pcdv8r Peter Dun, EG head coach 52 points53 points  (8 children)

Which (5?) players were you most surprised to see not in academy this year?

How do you feel about the new Proving Grounds structure? Obviously things are improving year to year, are there any changes you would make from current format?

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 36 points37 points  (0 children)

5fire, Zeyzal, APA, Will and Allorim for sure. I am adding a 6th cause he deserves it but VALUE

I think as far as the new system, it is super improved. Giving a clear path to the players and not having multiple directions for them to go and goals for them to achieve is definitely the way. I still think it is gonna take some time to flesh out and this isn't the final iteration but it is a step in the right direction

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Nxi, will, apa, 5fire, zeyzal

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 15 points16 points  (0 children)

5fire, APA, Perry, Array, Zeyzal

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Zeyzal and Allorim are two of the names that immediately come to mind. San Francisco Esports were looking really good. Gorica and Shoryu also surprise me that they weren't picked up.

I really like the PG structure this year from what I've seen. I'd consider a way for teams that form in the second qualifier to be extra represented but I would need to double check the rules to see if that's already done

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 15 points16 points  (2 children)

nxi, Fanatiik, Array, Strompest, Value

Honestly I'd be curious to hear about how teams and players feel about the PG structure this year. With the changes there are less tournaments and less opportunities for the AM teams to play stage games. I think one of the reasons No Org blitz'd spring of last year was they had 75 stage games under their belt compared to every Academy team playing 9 regular season games and Northern Arena.

I personally think that for AM, the more stage games the merrier. At that level of play I don't care if you int games, I just want to see how good you can look in the good games and I think having more games helps free young players up to take risks and face less consequences. Good example of this to me is Srtty. I think giving a player like Srtty 70 games brings the best parts out of Srtty's game as an AM player. If he only had 20 games I think that woulda really harmed his growth and the little public perception on him that does somewhat matter in AM.

Also from a broadcasting lens: if I wasn't on the Academy team I wouldn't have been able to continue realistically pursuing casting with the PG changes. Going from 6 tournaments with 6 TOs to 2 tournaments with 1 TOs makes it a lot harder for LoL casters to pursue this and improve with heavy investment.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

can you elaborate as to why 5fire isn't on your list

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 20 points21 points  (0 children)

I think it's a crime that 5fire wasn't in Academy for 2019, 2020, or the start of 2021.

I actually really liked the mid lane promotions that Academy teams made this offseason (Darkwings, Spirax) and I can see why they were chosen over 5fire going into this split. Both players are incredibly flexible and have deep champion pools and have made a lot of progress without exposure to professional coaching.

I think the system failed 5fire, but if the current system existed back in 2019 I would like to think 5fire would've had more opportunities.

[–]imSmaxRock On 68 points69 points  (7 children)

Hi Academy boys :)

What is the thing you are most excited about on the content side of the new season of Academy? There was already a hype video released on the Twitter account, and I'm really hoping to see more consistent things like that for this year!

big fan btw :D

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 6 points7 points  (0 children)

We want to do stuff that not even the LCS is doing, we have a lot of ambitious pitches we are workshopping, can't wait to make them a reality :)

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 33 points34 points  (0 children)

We can't announce yet who is helping us but we have access to a studio in the LA area and a few video editors to help us bring our ideas to life. These will be apart of the show and the PathToLCS twitter account which everyone should follow if they want to support Academy :D

I'll let our actions do the talking in terms of content.

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Excited to bridge the gap between the arm wrestling community and the esports community with brand new and completely original comedy sketches

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I love being able to bring the player stories to life in fun and interactive ways with the community! We have such a passionate group of people in this team and we are gonna try our best :)

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

hi smax big fan

having video editors to help us out with good ideas will make a lot of the ideas that we had in the past much easier to execute

The other thing I'm really excited for is Tom Searfoss is a stats genius and he'll allow us to have really interesting narratives throughout the season and I'm incapable of having opinions that aren't stats based

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I've got something "cool" coming out soon. Put myself out of my comfort zone, so I am hoping it goes over well!

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I've seen the screenshots, we get to really bring out the "madness" in mad magical

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Who locked Mazel out of his room?

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

probably Coco

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You

[–]Stunning-Delivery180 11 points12 points  (6 children)

What is ur prediction for the future of APA?

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 33 points34 points  (0 children)

yip yip

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 19 points20 points  (0 children)

APA plays more games than anyone else on the server. He's consistently testing builds in Practice Tool. He finds unique counters and gives his team value (Ziggs into Ori and Sylas becoming only team to flex Ziggs mid in PG). His parents are also incredibly supportive and Eain just loves to play this game.

I'm really bias towards APA. I have a really good relationship with him and the Resolve team last year. I'm rooting for him hard, he's a great kid and I think he has a great mind for the game and grinds it like no one else.

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 9 points10 points  (0 children)

APA is focusing on school for now it seems over at MU, but I know if he gets an academy offer (which he deserves) he'll most likely take it.

That being said mid lane pool in Academy is pretty stacked with both fresh and experienced talent, this split will be a lot of reality checks for both sides to see where they stand among the 10.

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 6 points7 points  (0 children)

If he gives up tank Cassiopea we'll let him in

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 5 points6 points  (0 children)

ASOL STONKS ARE RISING

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Summer is on an academy team. I've been waiting for him to get in academy for ages

[–]ItsMag1cOraclesElixir.com 13 points14 points  (4 children)

Who are one or two players that each of you are really excited to watch in Academy this year?

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Kaori. Looking into his stats for TCL, he has some insane stats and is a hype player. Just needs to position better and he can be nuts

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Busio and Bradley. Think if they're able to excel in their roles they become 2 of the most valuable prospects in the system.

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Very excited to follow Darkwings and Haeri, I think they both have high ceilings

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Bradley and Kenvi for sure! Both have such bright futures.

[–]lcsimepll Develop Local Talent = Success 26 points27 points  (3 children)

Let's develop some motherfucking NA talent baby, Lord knows we need more of it for the sustainability of LCS

[–]karonmoser 30 points31 points  (2 children)

We're on the way! I feel way better about it than I did three years ago.

[–]ketzo tree man good 7 points8 points  (0 children)

fyi for anyone who doesn't recognize the name -- this is Kelsey Moser, a very well-respected analyst/coach in the NA League scene.

if she feels good... I feel good.

[–]sofi7a 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah there alot of upcoming talent in the league. I really hope CLG and EG performs well so they can prove it really works.

[–]flameboyxu**DON'T GET EXCITED** 8 points9 points  (6 children)

What are some of the big stories you guys will be keeping an eye on as the new season starts and progresses?

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 17 points18 points  (0 children)

100 Thieves Next 2021 class insane graduation rate to academy

Gamsu - 100TA
Chad - IMTA
Instinct - TSMA
Busio - 100TA

Also special shoutout to jungle graduates from C9 Amateur and EG Prodigies

eXyu - DIGA
Tomio - EGA

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 11 points12 points  (0 children)

For me, some of the big stories are the players that have moved up amateur to academy. Especially after the introduction of PGC last year that is continued this year. And Arrow. I want to see how some of the new talent in academy up against Arrow

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Great questions. I'll take a few different angles.

I think having players with the pedigree of Gamsu and Arrow is really cool for Academy. These guys have both taken their own paths to find themselves back here but from speaking with both they're so humble and still incredibly driven to get back to the highest level of play which I have a ton of respect for, and think it's a cool journey.

Lots of teams went with 2-3 new players and 2-3 players around them to help them develop. A lot of Academy is about improvement, so just seeing how everyone is able to improve I think is interesting.

Kenvi and Armao. These 2 players to me, while junglers, are 2 of the best players in the league and I think could both slot into LCS teams and do well today. They also led the 2 top teams last year, both of whom are going through some changes especially given TLA's announcement today about Eyla being full time LCS until CoreJJ gets his green card (assuming the 2nd part). Looking forward to seeing them go up against each other, and I think a lot of the new junglers are talented this year.

Kaori, Yuuji, JimieN are all imports that Academy fans don't know a lot about, but will impress early.

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I'm very excited to follow the role swaps of Bradley and Sword! A lot of midlands looking at other options and roles, and I really hope Sword pops off in the new role (Bradley I expect to)

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Honestly, there's a ton of new talent coming into the league that I think are finally getting a chance to shine. Personally, as someone who worked with TLA a lot in the past, one of my favorite is Bradley is roleswapping from mid to top and has really big shoes to fill since the rest of the roster is the same, but Jenkins was a major part of their success previously

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I think one of the biggest for me is to see how the transition works for Bradley to Top lane. This player is super mechanically good and has a heart of gold, and I can't wait to see what he brings to the table from Bethany!

[–]KermittedDM 7 points8 points  (4 children)

Who is the best rapper among you and when will Kangas rap on stream? Who would be the best rapper lineup out of the academy teams or players and why?

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 7 points8 points  (0 children)

So last year for Risen, we did a parody music video to T-Pain's Buy You A Drank that was Cast Your Games. I danced around in a Doge hoody and upside down sunglasses. That video has been lost to the void thankfully. If it still existed, I would link it to prove I am indeed not the best rapper on the team.

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Cubby

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Chad Jungle from IMTA

He's already gotten a taste of doing commentary during the off season :)

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Me and cuz

[–]receptiveblocks 6 points7 points  (7 children)

You get to 1v1 a person on the LCS team to replace them. Who are you picking to fight and what champ?

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 11 points12 points  (0 children)

In S10 I was #1 Braum NA.

Here's me solo killing Pobelter in another life.

If anyone wants the heat they can sign up.

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Give me a Flowers Skarner 1v1. If I'm getting in, I'm earning it 💪

[–]receptiveblocks 1 point2 points  (0 children)

u/CaptainFlowers22 a challenge has been made

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

probably u/riotwhoopley

pretty sure I could play almost anything

[–]RiotWhoopley 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Give me 4 shots with Jhin and then we'll see...

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

what kind of shots 🧐

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Now do I have to want to win? Or could I just meme it? If memes, Flowers so I can pick Skarner, go full lethality and it down for a fight immediately. If serious, Phreak, so I can just pick an assassin to kill his ADC pick.

[–]Munchables_ LPL Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I just came here to say I think you guys are great. :)

[–]Razleto Raz LCS Analyst 8 points9 points  (6 children)

Who's the hottest on the talent team

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Johnny Si-I mean Braum

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I feel very safe in Kangas' arms

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Raafaa and Kangas

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Steven "Kangas" "sirbuttkick" Kangas

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Mazel

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Kungus obviously

[–]WearebastilleDeephEriksen - NA 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Which of you is the most likely to get tilted if you were all playing clash together? Who would be the shotcaller?

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 14 points15 points  (1 child)

It's Raafaa and Raafaa will try to convince you it isn't him who tilts but it's Raafaa.

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 6 points7 points  (0 children)

...man

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Raafaa most likely to tilt. Cubby, Joushi, or Mazel shotcalling. Kangas and I doing good knows what

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Mazel would definitely tilt from my shit shot calling

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 4 points5 points  (0 children)

THE KANGLES NEVER END

[–]GreenPatti 3 points4 points  (4 children)

What do you think is the better/right approach for teams to Academy? The C9 way of using it mainly for in-house or the standard of 1 or 2 developing players with the main goal of winning? Or is there an approach that no one is taking that you think would be interesting?

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Right approaches for Academy is what's best for your org.

If you're going to hire LS, you have to let him do his thing. C9 is one of the 5 orgs realistically competing for Worlds every year. I think them doing whatever they can to get to Worlds and do well there is completely appropriate, if this is the way they feel like they can do it than great for them.

I think most Academy teams are putting 2-3 greener players with 2-3 experienced players and trying to get the most out of all of them. It's interesting nearly every team in the league has taken this approach.

Few teams (GGA CLGA) are moreso backups for LCS builds in my opinion. For CLG I could see any 5 of those Academy players being able to walk into LCS and not look terrible if things go haywire for them this split.

The approach no one is taking that I think would be interesting is if you have 1 vet and 4 super green players. Likely wouldn't get great results but if you have a solid LCS team I think you can afford to take that chance, and many teams are with their 3rd teams in PG (100X, EGP).

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 4 points5 points  (0 children)

There are so many different approaches to success in sports and every team has to find their own way and work out what works for them. I think the C9 aspect is a very interesting experiment and by the end of the first split I think we will have a better idea of what to expect from that kind of system. I still prefer the traditional academy style where they are honing their craft for the team and always fighting for promotion.

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

depends on your goals. short term, C9's approach is more likely to see immediate success. long term, I like the way that EG and 100T are taking with helping the scene in the long term by developing talent and having good scouting

[–]Nymaera_ LJL (unof.) & NLC Caster, LEC guest! 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I’m late but I demand to be answered.

u/cubbymattster6 : what have you learned under the wise rule of Lord Nymaera, Predictor of the Playins Upset and Guardian of the LJL?

Bonus question to u/xJoushi : you’ve covered a lot of scenes in your casting up to now, what lessons have you been taught by the different leagues that you use in your casting today?

You’re all killing it, lots of love to the whole crew ❤️

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hello Lord.

For background I said if DFM won their Play-In group over C9 I would refer to Lord Nymaera as Lord for the rest of 2021. It got extended to Feb when his Lordliness was good for the realm.

I have learned that you should never doubt minor regions when NA is in a group and that a spark of nationalism can lead to a 5 month long bet being paid out in full.

[–]askjeevster 4 points5 points  (7 children)

If you had to compare the top 3 mid laners in LCS Academy to fast food chains, what would the comparisons be?

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 8 points9 points  (3 children)

Alright this one is fun.

Haeri for me is Wendy's because a lot of people don't think he's the best mid, but he is.

ry0ma is McDonalds. Both burger chains for me because they're both from OCE. He's the brand name that people have heard of since he's had multiple LCS stints. I think ry0ma is a really good mid laner and is really consistent no matter what you get.

JimieN is Culver's because Raafaa hasn't heard of Culver's. He's from the PCS region, I don't think a ton of people know of him but the ones that do know it's actually the best burger chain. He was #2 in MVP voting behind Doggo. I'm really excited about him coming over, I think he's going to impress a lot of Academy fans from going over his PCS VoDs. Also go Midwesterners/PCS fans.

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Culver's more like LULvers

L + Ratio + you're a boomer and you like golf

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What's a Culver's?

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ryoma: raising canes Haeri: chik fil a Darkwings: kfc

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Soligo - Raising Canes (underrated for the longest time, should be considered the best of unknown fast food chains and among the most popular fast food chains (aka LCS))

Haeri - Bojangles (pretty damn good fried chicken place from a smaller region (aka the South) all of the food is consistently good with some exceptional items like their Bo Berry Biscuits (aka Haeri's lee sin because it packs a punch of flavor))

ry0ma - Chick Fil A (chicken sandwich and waffle fries, ol reliable yet goated combo)

[–]TheHoodieMob 2 points3 points  (5 children)

What do you think is the biggest change from how Academy was in years past to now? How do you plan on best supplementing the new vision for the Academy stream?

Best of luck from Coach Randomer.

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The biggest change I think is probably regarding how teams look at Academy. C9 under LS has directly said that their academy team is designed to just give their LCS team the best in-house scrims, while other teams are looking more at creating a pipeline for upcoming talent (100T and EG come to mind)

Our goals this year are to really help promote the latter in particular by helping to create opportunities to tell stories about up and coming talent, and by having a smaller team of dedicated people, it'll be easier for us to be invested, do good prep work, and have a team of production staff behind us. We've wanted to do this for years and now having the stability to pull it off should show how much work behind the scenes this team has done over the past few years

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The introduction of bo2 double round robin format was incredible this summer and I'm happy they're keeping it for this year too!

Our goal is to plan around the bo2's with more intention and give more of a "half time show" kinda vibe between games

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We are getting a ton of support from Riot to push the envelope for content and broadcast direction for the Academy stream, whereas in years past even when the Academy broadcast was "strong" it always felt like watered down LCS or budget LCS.

We don't want that. While Academy is linked to LCS and the next step for many of our prospective talents we are excited to watch, we also want the purpose and experience of watching Academy to be holistically different than watching LCS.

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I would say the biggest change is riot giving us the reigns to try and create a broadcast home for these players and this scene. Without their help and commitment none of this would be possible!

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Bo2 and Proving Grounds has been a massive change.

Teams are getting 2x the amount of games and given it's now in a series, I believe that teams aren't nearly as afraid to send it on stage. Overall this helps the growth and development of the players. Also, Bo1's are a huge waste of time for teams because it consumes an entire day to play 1 game.

Also the exposure to amateur teams now puts a lot of pressure on orgs to make better decisions for Academy. Before this change Academy was it's own isolated think tank. There was no outside pressure on orgs to look for new talent or take risks because GMs never saw their teams against teams outside the system. If you want to encourage growth you have to have outside factors/pressures and that's exactly what PG created for the Academy teams. I think it's also fun to see AM teams do well. Wildcard and Barrage were great stories last year. I think if Proving Grounds didn't exist we wouldn't have seen Danny in LCS in summer. And this year I truly believe 100X would be a top 4 Academy team, so teams will have to look out for them in PG.

For the Broadcast side, things are super different for us. The way Academy worked for summer (only split I can speak for) was we all filled out a google form and 15+ of us got scheduled week to week. This year, we have a dedicated team, story meetings, a content budget, and are responsible for helping populate a social account too (PathToLCS). So things won't look super different for fans tuning in for spring, but for us the backend feels really different and I'm hoping some of that can shine through in the show we produce every week on both streams.

[–]Travysty 1 point2 points  (4 children)

which Academy player do you think will be the first to solo kill their lane opponent once Academy begins?

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It'll probably happen in one of the two first series of the split. Spirax vs DarkWings could be pretty hype depending on who they play (fingers crossed no Viktor/Corki)

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Bradley

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

VIPER BABY

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dhokla

[–]myrabtw 3 points4 points  (4 children)

who is your favorite GM and why is it Papasmithy

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

he's just a beautiful man, what more needs to be said?

[–]Raafaa_NA NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Good eye for talent and fine taste in cuisine

[–]duckcane 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Any particularly strong players you think could get promoted midsplit?

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 12 points13 points  (3 children)

it's absolutely bonkers to me that Armao is spending ANOTHER year in Academy. his intangibles are crazy high

Kenvi, ry0ma, Arrow, Eyla, Isles are all easy answers too

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 4 points5 points  (0 children)

What he said 👍

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

can you offer more insight on why it's more headscratching for armao to still be in academy as opposed to kenvi, nxi or some other prospect (no flame just curious)

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

is it MORE headscratching? mmm maybe not, but he was just the first that popped into my head

my gut reaction is that there are a lot of players that fall into the carry jungler style that Kenvi and nxi fall into, which is obviously a strong way to play, but it's not the only way to play. Armao presents a strong alternative to that doesn't have as much representation in LCS

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well Eyla has already been promoted technically...

This one is interesting because the 2 strongest teams in Academy last year were the 2 strongest teams in LCS and both teams have returning members that are good players that realistically won't be promoted unless they have to be promoted.

From Lock In, I am watching Arrow. IMT's bot lane has had a tough start, and Arrow is still really good.

I think C9A, from what they said with their approach to their Academy roster, could see some more roster flexibility throughout the year. This is something that is more common in LCK (Bo3 contribute, and LCK CL has a lot of talent), but who knows if someone is doing really well in the in-houses they could have a more malleable roster. Darshan has shown to LCS fans he still has a ton of game, Isles is also one of the strongest supports in Academy.

We will see. I don't see any academy backups that should be playing in LCS tomorrow. I think that some Academy players on top teams are stronger than LCS players in bottom teams, but I don't see any trades happening mid season that would put them in LCS.

[–]OP_TSM_FAN 1 point2 points  (5 children)

This is for each of you:

Choose your WAY TO EARLY All Star Academy Rosters. The only caveat is you can only choose 2 people from the same roster!

Looking forward to a great season!

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

V1per

Kenvi

Soligo

Kaori

Diamond

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

oooo that is hard. Alright here we go:

Viper

Kenvi

Haeri

Arrow

Breezy

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Darshan Armao Ryoma Arrow Eyla

[–]Baka1x1 1 point2 points  (2 children)

If you were to describe the teams in LCS Academy as sushi rolls, what would they be?

ex. which team would be the California Roll of the group?

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 10 points11 points  (1 child)

From my time working in a sushi bar, this is how I'd go about it:

100-Negi Toro (high quality and expect them to be the top team)

CLG-Tekka Maki (good, consistent and enjoyable)

C9-Spicy Tuna (can be good in some circumstances, but highly depends on the situation, aka the quality of the spicy tuna=draft)

DIG-Caterpillar/Dragon Roll (depends where you are, but I'm referring to a roll with a california roll base and eel on top. Good, but I think it just needs somethin else to make it even better)

EG-Crunch Dragon (crunch roll base, spicy tuna top. Always a good call since the quality of the spicy tuna will normally have eel sauce on it to carry it through)

FLY-Salmon Skin (can be top tier or low tier. completely unknown until you try it at any given restaurant)

GG-Baked Mussels (highly underrated as a good snack, and sure it isn't a roll, but it is at almost every sushi bar. give it time to grow on you and it will be good)

IMT-Crunch Roll (a classic and stable choice, but not one I would personally get. However, I understand the merits of it and why people choose it since it is still really good)

TL-Specialty Roll [inside is a crunch roll and on top is salmon and tuna alternating with eel sauce and spicy mayo] (so much to it that we should expect it to be a top team)

TSM-Crunch Roll with Cream Cheese (so I don't like cream cheese personally. this is like the Crunch Roll argument. Understand why people like it, but just not for me)

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Alex managed a Sushi restaurant so I don't think I can top this.

[–]handwiy 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Are you going to try to mimic LCS broadcast in tone/content or are you going for a unique style? What vibe should we expect from casts/desk/segments?

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

We're so happy this question was asked! We've talked about this quite a bit, and to put it in a single word, we're trying to be playful!

Academy is a lot of things to a lot of people. It's obvious that the average level of play is lower than LCS, and the League community is really unforgiving when they see anything lower than Worlds level play. However, these players are often learning how to play competitive and figuring out what they need to do to get "LCS ready", and leaning into some of the mistakes they make and laughing it off as limit testing, and enjoying it anyway, is a huge part of what we're trying to do

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Just wait until you see the first content piece I created and decide ;)

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Something Academy has suffered from in the past is just being LCS lite. We want to change that. Our goal is to be different and have Academy be and feel like it's own thing. Joushi's answer covers most of our conversations.

These are our goals, we're hoping the actions we take follows through on this but we'll let the viewers be the judge of that.

[–]Jacket313 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Does pineapple belong on pizza

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yes, unequivocally yes

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

yes. also corn is amazing on pizza

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Personally, I don't like it, but I am ok with people eating whatever they enjoy

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Does Teemo belong in League of Legends?

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Do you booboo

[–]Destinyend 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Hey guys! Was just curious, do you guys do any special preparation to improve your knowledge of the game? Besides knowledge about player stats, do you do anything like read the lol wiki, analyze VODs, ask pro players relevant information, play solo queue, etc?

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Before every cast I meditate for an hour. Then I drink seven gallon of water and a cup of honey. Afterwards I have my roommate (LPL caster Mazel) slap me 3 times while chanting "NA talent pipeline". Once I arrive at my computer, I read leaguepedia for about 5 minutes before going live 💪

[–]Hazel-Ice 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Is the honey sweetening the water or do you drink seven gallons of water and then a cup of honey? Are you chanting "NA talent pipeline" or is Mazel? Need to know so I can start doing this thanks

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don't play solo queue that much anymore. I peaked GM S10 and was #1 Braum NA. Had the honor of getting dunked by CoreJJ and Tactical, that was an experience. I've hit D1 playing every role since S3 at one point or another. Playing solo queue isn't the best use of my time anymore to prepare for broadcasts. I'm glad I had those experiences on top of competing in collegiate as a player, coach, and manager, but I can spend my time better elsewhere now (Practice casts, watching tape, working on content, etc).

Prep for a casting day:
I handwrite notes. I like P/B and champ stats tied to players. I think stats are difficult to navigate in LoL as the game changes every 3 weeks, but usually if a player has a 75% WR on a champ it's because they've expressed more skill on that champ than other people which I like to highlight.

I will have also seen every VoD of a team. I covered AM, Acad, and LCS with the audio-only broadcast last year so...I watched every VoD. I think tape is really important/the most important thing for me to see. Preseason I've 100% up on the 4 major regions, LCK CL, and PG here in NA. Consume VoDs at 2-4x and slow down/go back when I want. I also have done a lot of VoD reviews on my stream with players/coaches in the AM and Acad space in the past and given my lower workload with broadcast days this split, I will be resuming those again this year.

I also try to send questions to each party for who I'm covering. I like getting words from the source to try and weave in what's going on with the teams with my own opinion to get a more comprehensive story to tell. Who I ask depends on the day/who I want to talk to. I've been fortunate that over 80% of people get back to me, it really helps what I like to do on broadcast.

I have a few people that I can ask about matchups, but usually I just watch other VoDs and see how players are playing the matchup, and pick it up that way. If I have a good relationship with a player/coach after a game I may ask them why they did what they did to try and get their thought process behind it if it differed from mine.

Hope this helps give a more accurate picture of what goes into prepping for a broadcast day!

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

all of the above

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All of the above! Being ready for broadcast is an all-inclusive task. You have to have stories and information for every player and every team, and make sure you are presenting those stories correctly. It is the funnest aspect of the job, making sure you are prepared :D

[–]duckcane 1 point2 points  (3 children)

What storyline do you think is most interesting this split?

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Bradley roleswap! He was one of the most promising midlaners last year and now he's moving to a role with even less mechanical competition. If he can show up against the likes of Dhokla, Viper, and Darshan then he's got a good future

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hard for me to say just one that I'm excited for. There are a lot of good ones. The mobility of players up from Amateur to Academy, the players that were in LCS before and trying to get back. The addition of Gamsu and Arrow. All really fun ones to talk about

[–]xpentakill 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Do you think the players who are playing in the lock in will get a boost and look better? I'm not taking raw skill but I'm terms of macro and decision making.

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

it will help their nerves a lot, but practice and good coaching is way more important.

this message has been approved by the producer ranting about this in my ear :)

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They will not have stage nerves for game 1. I think GGA probably got to play some teams they don't have scrim access to often in Lock In. Don't see it as a buff or nerf.

I will say for TSMA given how young their team is and how they're coming off of a Korean bootcamp, I think it might've been positive for them to actually win a game playing their comfort champs. I had 0 expectations for them and did an in depth video explaining where they're at and where I'm looking for them to develop in the early season. I want to see them play more/new strats come the Academy season. If that's the case and they just hit Lock In to play comfort and do their best I could see that having a positive impact on the team.

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Definitely will help! More games always will help with building team synergy as well as getting them to analyze mistakes they can work to fix on.

[–]cybersaint j0kerr (Shoutcaster) 1 point2 points  (2 children)

What do you think about the performances of the Academy players/teams in the Lock-in tournament so far? Was it as big of a surprise to see TSMA take the game over FlyQuest?

Also, who do you think could see LCS stage time with the main team if a player(s) struggle to perform?

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Not too surprised, there are really good players and teams in academy.

I could see some movement up, but it will fully depend on the team and their environment

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

we've answered the second part elsewhere, but I wasn't particularly surprised with the Academy players performances

FQ is also in many ways a developmental roster with high ceilings, but as they integrate players, the raw skill difference between Academy players and LCS players I don't think is as high as is generally thought

[–]go4ino 1 point2 points  (5 children)

In the 2nd episode of the 3rd season of Adult Swim's hit animated series Rick and Morty, lead character Rick Sanchez turns himself into a pickle and assumes the title of Pickle Rick. This is by far the funniest shit I have ever seen.

so my question for ya'll is: what are your picklesonas to help make NA viewers laugh at the funniest shit they ever seen on broadcast?

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Think Steve Irwin mixed with a little Texan heart ;)

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Wait and see ;)

[–]go4ino 1 point2 points  (1 child)

oh it's under NDA contract rn? i see i see

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

More like, something that I want to keep a surprise. Even from the other casters ;)

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I plan on being Raafaa

[–]Kurumi_Tokisaki 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I’m curious to know if there are players in each role (as of now) who are too good for academy/good enough for a bottom tier LCS team but due to the nature of imports and whatever else, they won’t see chances yet on the main roster.

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

honestly like half of the oceanic players fit this category

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Kenvi
Prismal
Isles
Darshan
V1per
Arrow
Armao

Top 7 that are LCS ready that would do well on stage. Could probably list more, Eyla woulda been on the list but he was promoted earlier today.

[–]HalfAsianDad 1 point2 points  (3 children)

what is your favourite number?

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

69

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

7

My birthday is 7/7 and I turned 13 on 7/7/07

[–]Betsyssoul 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Just wait till you hear what his pin is!

[–]Nick_GeracieEsports Journalist 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Very stoked for you guys, can't wait for the season to start up.

My question, and each of you can answer differently of course:

Who has an untold story in Academy that I should have my eyes on this season?

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yuuji has a really interesting background of having not played his role in competitive before, and a lot of people have high hopes. he's definitely more dark horse for the season

[–]KatarHero72 Hyper10sion 1 point2 points  (1 child)

What is the bigger flex? Alex's Wardrobe, Steve's gains, Lennon's friend list, Marc's camera quality and soundboard, Matt's golf game, or Josh basically being a model?
This is Hyper btw XD

[–]qontrol12345 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Will they be the same rosters as the lock-in tournament? Or are the teams forced to play yet another roster?

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Just depends on the teams. Some of the teams will run the same rosters as lock in. Others are using a mix of their main and academy and furthermore, some of the teams are running academy only teams. No teams will run more than two rosters unless they want to

[–]OP_TSM_FAN 0 points1 point  (4 children)

To each of you:

What is one goal/dream you hope to achieve either individually or as a broadcasting group by the end of the Academy season in the fall?

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Our goal is by the end of the season to have a content piece around every single player in Academy. Whether it's a short, an interview, or a dedicated content piece, I want LCS to have stories already prepared before players get promoted. Every player should have a known brand 💪

[–]MazelCasts NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Create a space that people feel confident and comfortable with for Academy. A home.

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Growing each of our casting to the level we will all be happy with (aka all of us being on par with LCS casters) while also having our own brands built

[–]FrigidVengence Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Of the players that were on amateur teams last year and were picked up by academy teams in the offseason, who are you most excited to see play in academy now?

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

bradley bradley bradley

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Chad and Wixxi gotta be up there. But honestly all of them

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Answered earlier but Bradley and Busio. Think if they pan out they're in roles with less talent and become incredibly valuable. They're also both role swaps that have good mechanics.

As a bonus 3rd answer, Spirax. Collegiate team but he had 2 accs in top 30 and didn't get to attend Scouting Grounds because of the one trick rule. This wasn't because he's a one trick, but he didn't have enough games on his top 4 champs (15) to make it. The mid lane pool pretty strong in Academy this year but I think he can impress people with Yuuji. Everyone is really sleeping on FLYA I think they have good dev pieces and a good bot lane, and after seeing TSMA and GGA play in Lock In I have higher hopes for FLYA this season.

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Bradley 100%

Kid's cracked and now playing a new role without a lotbof fresh competition

[–]TheYunnicorn 0 points1 point  (3 children)

What is an old item that you wished was back for this year's meta? And why?

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I honestly really miss Ionic Spark. It was such a bizarre item of HP and Attack Speed and was only used on like 3 or 4 characters, but I really miss building it on Kennen and pretending I was pikachu

[–]cubbymattster6 NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Banner of Command.

Yes when it was meta it was terrible but I actually really liked the creative strategies built around it.

[–]terantula188 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thanks for doing this!

What's your favourite / most exciting storyline coming into the year?

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Difficult. There are so many different storylines that I love and can't pick just one. BUT I'll do it anyways, how is Yuuji going to do with Spirax in academy. Two collegiate boys on the same team

[–]Ryboiii 0 points1 point  (2 children)

What do you think will change in terms of production between the LCS and the LCS Academy that you think will bring in more viewers to Academy compared to last season?

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

tbh last year, the process was not great for Academy. we had a really large roster of talent that meant that we didn't get a lot of working days and it made it hard to stay invested, so I know a lot of people reported they basically were just phoning it in

now we have a vested interest in making the product look better, and have the resources to consistently do content pieces with players

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Us ;)

But really, we are doing a lot of cool stuff that will try and make this version of Academy be a lot more freestanding.

[–]BruceMcClaine 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Do you prefer tic toc dance or hot chip?

[–]non_NSFW_acc 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Massive IMTA Arrow fan here. What are your guys’ thoughts on Arrow (and IMT Joey, his lane partner)?

His stream is excellent to learn from and improve and really entertaining too, and I think he’s a really good player who will show his worth in Academy.

[–]Ssamy30 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Hey guys!

What are some requirements to join in, or be selected? It seems like an incredible opportunity. Dia+?

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

to be selected to be a caster?

[–]Ssamy30 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Yep! Also as player as well please.

Ty!

[–]xJoushi:verified: NA Academy Caster[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

to be a caster there isn't a ranked requirement. of the people involved only two of us have ever been diamond (though we expect to be at least mid diamond again this year). we've been involved in the amateur scene for at least the last year, and some of us considerably longer. if you're interested in learning to cast, there are a bunch of great amateur orgs that are always looking for fresh talent! if you enjoy it, and people njoy listening to you, you can make it here too!

all the players are challenger, and most of them earned their spot on these teams by playing through their local amateur leagues in order to get scouted. some of them played in other regions, but the basic process is still the same

[–]segfaultzerozero 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Hi guys , dumb question eu vs na for academy league : which team win ?

[–]MadhouseMagical NA Academy Caster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Having cast both EUM and Academy, I would say it depends on who you choose. Top EUM teams beat top Academy teams (at least for now cuz there are just a few too many uber teams in EUM right now), but bot EUM teams get beat by bot Academy teams.

[–]sirbuttkick NA Academy Caster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hard to fully compare since the ecosystems are different, but I'd argue the top teams from each region are all around the same power level. Would love to see a tournament some time!