Riot Games has officially anounced the 2020 Honda Scouting Grounds. However, nearly two full months ago, FACEIT was announced as the main partner for the 2020 Scouting Grounds Circuit, which started May 1st and indicated the 2020 NASG event would occur later this year. Half of the qualification method was laid out on April 27th, and nearly 2/3rds of the Circuit tournaments have been run since then. You can read more about the organization of the Scouting Grounds Circuit here.
Fast forward to today, June 19th, Riot Games announced the official Honda NASG tournament that will take place this November. And while most rules and formats look identical to NASG 2019, they changed multiple player eligibility requirements, which have disqualified multiple players already participating in the Scouting Grounds Circuit. For instance, ANEW Esports' roster consists of Tom "Rodov" Rodov, Michael "MikeYeung" Yeung, Aidan "5fire" Reckamp, Quentin "Shoryu" Pereira, and Olivier "Winter" Lapointe, three of whom are now disqualified, leaving only Rodov and Shoryu able to actually make it to the event.
These disqualifications have been criticized by many in the scene given the timing of Riot's announcement - more than halfway through the official Scouting Grounds Circuit. For instance, 3/5ths of ANEW being disqualified not only hurts those players, but also the integrity of the Circuit, and especially the teams who have already played against them and lost.
Riot IceChest responded to some of the criticism, noting their difficulty in finalizing some of their announcements due to delays and different priorities both from COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.
The ineligible players are still allowed to participate in the Circuit, but if they win, will have to pass their NASG slots to the next player in line. However, that leaves a gray area as well. If ANEW win, deciding who qualifies for NASG is more complex. The two eligible players should qualify, but then how are the other three decided? Ineligible players being allowed to compete and win makes actual qualification muddy.
In any case, Riot IceChest has noted that he and Riot Games need to do better at being more forward and timely with their setup of NASG in the future. But for now, the eligibility requirements stand. Inven Global will update upon further changes to these rules.
For more LoL Esports content, head over to our dedicated League of Legends section!