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League of Legends news » “You have nothing to lose!”

Signups are now open for the fourth Forge of Champions qualifying tournament! This is your last opportunity to get involved in this year’s competition and make a name for yourself. Climb high enough during the first stage and you’ll face off against the pros from the UK Premiership. There’s cash and honour on the line, but the only way to get there is to sign up. It’s completely free and there’s still everything to play for even if you join the competition at this late stage, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

So far competition has been fierce, but we’ve seen civilian teams making it into the quarterfinals alongside the pros. That’s no mean feat! One of those teams, the eccentrically named Super Duper Giant Truck Team, won a cool £500 in the first qualifying tournament and continue to make it into the scoring stage. In fact, one last push in the final qualifying tournament could land them in the top 8 and the live grand finals. Unless you get in there and take their place

Don’t be intimidated!

“So far it's been a nice skill test to see if we can give the Premiership teams a run for their money,” says Callum "Melvinizzle" Iles, the team’s jungler. “Obviously nobody expects Super Duper Giant Truck Team to be able to stomp them, but when we get to contest them and find a lead it's quite satisfying.”

The level of skill seen so far from new teams has surprised some of the pros, even if they’re newly set up and haven’t quite coalesced quite yet.

Super Duper Giant Truck Team put up a good fight against EU LCS team Misfits’ academy squad in Qualifying Tournament 1.

“It’s been really interesting to play against the up-and-coming talent qualifying through the open tournament,” says Jon “Just Jon” Ellis, player development coach for ExceL, who won the second qualifying tournament and currently lead the standings. “There is a really large range of team styles that seem to be working. Sometimes you play against five players who are all good on their own and who qualified on individual skill, and other times you play against a group who are maybe worse individually but have been playing as a team for a while and have found success off the back of stronger macro play.”

As time goes on, these teams will learn to work together even better and players will gain valuable experience from playing against the pro teams. It’s invaluable training for all involved.

You just need prep, hard work and determination

“It’s been exciting to play in Forge of Champions, since every game is way more important in Forge of Champions than a regular split,” says Christian "Munckizz" Werner Munck, jungler for Enclave Gaming. “The further you get in Forge of Champions, the more competitive and nail-biting it gets.”

“It’s an unforgiving format that ensures you have to give everything to each tournament or you find yourself at the end of an upset,” says Joshua “Furndog” Furneaux, ExceL’s head coach. “We’ve seen multiple upsets throughout Forge of Champions so far. The amount of time between games is generally shorter than we had in previous UK tournaments, so we have to be quick on prep and adapting. The tournament structure is so cut-throat that every game is good to watch.”

So what do you need to keep in mind before signing up to Forge of Champions?

“I would say it takes a lot of prep, hard work and sheer determination,” says Super Duper Giant Truck Team’s Melvinizzle. “We all aim to play what we’re good at and enjoy, then try to find the least ways to compromise possible. This usually ends up in us either hard stomping a team that doesn't do its research properly, or managing to pull clutch fights out that in all reality shouldn't be allowed if they played around us correctly.”

How to improve as you go

Civilian teams are doing well, but the areas for improvement are clear.

“They work decently well together as a team and identify their strengths pretty well, I would say,” explains Daniel “DanXD” Feldhäuser, Hyperion’s top laner and captain. “They do have problems with drafting, since their players often have limited champ pools, and problems with high-level macro and in some cases laning when they face very skilled individual players.

So what can players do to improve?

“Look at the level of the individual players. If they are much better than you across the board, try to improve in solo queue. Important for that is a good mentality towards improving in the soloq environment.”

Things are very close as we head into the finals for Qualifying Tournament 3.

Another benefit of Forge of Champions is that free training against pros can be hard to come by when you’re trying to find your feet on the competitive circuit. The open tournament structure obviously helps with that.

“There is a surprising range of styles coming through,” says ExceL’s Just Jon. “I think most of the teams I’ve seen come through the bracket are on the right track. They just need more time playing together and learning how to set up objectives, move vision control etc. Those are the kind of things you can only learn from playing high-level matches together as a team, which is often a hard thing to organise for newer teams.”

Just do it!

Super Duper Giant Truck Team has some sound advice for those still on the edge about signing up for the next Forge of Champions.

“You have nothing to lose!” says Melvinizzle. “It may sound cheesy, but the first step to winning is trying. The second is being a step ahead of the enemy (and we do that with the good old occasional cheese), and then a lot more trying. So give it your best go!”

“Treat it as a learning experience,” says ExceL’s Furndog. “What did the other team do so well to make it hard for you, what did they play and why? How can we move forward? I think anyone who adopts this mentality can improve so much.”

Signups for Forge of Champions 4 are live now on the Forge of Champions website until Friday 3rd August at 6pm BST, so hurry while there’s still time!

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