Hello, I'm writing this post with the intent of giving some insight into the NACS from what I know of it, and to give some clarity of our C9 Challenger team.
- As far as the tournament for NACS OQ goes, it did seem a little silly to me that you can buy Open Qualifier spots, it's an advantage given to teams/orgs that have money because it puts you straight at the end of the tournament. Although allowing the Orgs that got sent to relegation from NACS to sell their spot to cut their losses is helpful to that org, so it's not so black and white. Do keep in mind though, I do think Riot has made improvements to the OQ bracket, they added seeding and are trying to improve it. (http://www.lolesports.com/en_US/articles/2016-na-cs-summer-qualifiers-format). There are people that argue that the seeding could be done better or that the tournament could be a double elimination which are valid points, but it is getting better.
- For the actual NACS qualifier tournament, there are ways to improve the system it self. Changing the format to a round robin is an argument that can be made. It helps find the teams that deserve the #1/2 seed and gives a chance to the new teams coming in to earn it. Currently it's set that the teams that got relegated from NACS have the #1/2 seed. Keep in mind, there are benefits to a round robin system to determine seeding and giving seeding priority to the relegated NACS teams.
- As far as us being unable to play in the OQ being unfair, why is that? We want to build a challenger team, and it's either we qualify in or buy out a slot from an organization and kick their 5 players, which one is more fair? Big organizations wanting to build a challenger team is GOOD for the scene, and qualifying through is more fair than just buying out a slot and kicking the players. Could there be a better solution, I'm not sure but I can't think of one. For the teams that have to play vs the "big org" teams, it kinda sucks but if the players genuinely think they are good enough to compete, they will find teams.
- People are giving us shit because we don't currently have amateurs on our team. I'd like people to think for a quick second before getting their pitchforks out. This is a qualifier to GET IN the NACS meaning there's risk involved using unproven talent to get into the damn league in the first place. Only a moron would use 5 random players to try and get into NACS. Now that we've qualified for NACS, what does that mean? That means we can now try out players and see who is good because we aren't at risking of not being in the damn thing, but we need to keep in mind we need to be good enough to; stay in the NACS in the first place and to be able to win it/qualify for the LCS, since training players COSTS money+time from our end. We have an entire sub challenger team that we've been scrimming and even given an analyst and show them how to use data/teach them pick and bans. Could there be more things we could be doing to improve them, I'm sure we could but we have priorities and you need to take care of things accordingly. People will question what we do in the case we win and qualify for the LCS, a lot of you seem to think you can see the future. I'm not entirely sure what will happen if we do that, but I do see a benefit of us being in the Challenger scene EVEN if it just means us qualifying over and over.
- I'd personally like to see the other big organizations put their foot into NACS as well, because there are a TON of shady/shitty situations happening to challenger players by the random owners and I can guarantee you that a lot of challengers players would be more comfortable playing for a respected/known org rather than random ones. Imagine a NACS scene with TSM+TL+CLG+C9+IMT+whatever, it gives stability to the challenger scene and the organizations and the players. It allows the organizations to train players that need more experience in the challenger scene and be able to bump them up into LCS and at the same time give challenger players the safety/stability of being on a big organization.
- To go further into this, basically I want to propose having a franchised league for both LCS+NACS, that adds so much stability to the organizations. This would eliminate the need for an OQ tournament in the first place. Right now it's currently a giant risk for organizations to invest into a challenger team, the costs are insanely high for almost 0 return. You don't get a lot of exposure (so sponsors don't like it), and you have the chance of being relegated and losing the entirety of your investment every 4 months. People may make an argument that "new talent" won't be able to get a shot to show their skills, I think that is false. I can not think of a single situation (NA) that an extremely good player has NOT been able to prove themselves. If you're good enough you WILL get a shot, it's as simple as that.
- I do not believe any system is perfect, as there are always flaws to everything, however I do think the pros>cons in the scenario where there is a franchised league. Hopefully if a franchised system comes out, that gives players the ability/money to start up a player union which would help balance the powers out between Riot-Orgs-Players.
Whether or not you agree with the things I'm saying, I'm happy to start and facilitate a discussion about the NA challenger scene as a whole. I do not know anything about the EU or other region challenger scenes so I would not like to comment on something I know nothing about.