UPDATED 4/14: Zoos Gaming has been eliminated from the 2021 LCS Spring Proving Grounds in a 0-2 at the hands of Golden Guardians Academy. With GGA's most recent lower bracket win, Academy teams are now 7-5 against amateur teams at the event.
UPDATE 4/13: The head-to-head tie between Academy teams and amateur teams has been broken in favor of Academy teams thanks to TSM Academy's 2-0 victory against Barrage.NA. Academy teams are now 6-5 against amateur teams in the spring 2021 installment of the LCS Proving Grounds.
UPDATE 4/12: Immortals Academy has eliminated Wildcard Gaming from the LCS Proving Grounds in a 2-1 victory, albeit a three day delay to play game 3 due to a family emergency on the side of Wildcard Gaming. Due to IMT Academy's win, the head-to-head between Academy teams and amateur teams has been brought to an even 5-5.
UPDATE 4/9: Two more matches between an Academy team and an amateur team have taken place in the 2021 LCS Proving Grounds. First, Evil Geniuses Prodigies reverse swept Dignitas Academy 2-1 after losing the first game, and shortly after, TSM Academy made quick work of Dignitas Mirage 2-0. Of the nine matches between Academy teams and amateur teams that have taken place as part of LCS Proving Grounds, amateur teams have won five matches.
The 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Spring Proving Grounds is an exciting new tournament that has taken the place of the LCS Academy League Spring Playoffs.
In Proving Grounds, the top six teams from the 2021 LCS Academy League Spring Split are joined by ten teams from either the bottom four Academy standings and teams in the amateur scene, which not only allows independent teams a fair shot, but also promotes the development of the amateur scene in NA.
In the first match of the second round of Proving Grounds, Cloud9 Academy defeated amateur squad Zoos Gaming 2-1, but in the first round, amateur teams got the better of Academy squads more often than not.
The inital first round match between an Academy team and an amateur team took place between C9 Academy and Dignitas Mirage. As expected, 1st seed C9 Academy took the series against 16th seed DIGM. The head-to-head between levels was evened in the very next match between Zoos Gaming and TSM Academy, in which Zoos took the series 2-1 to face off against C9 Academy in round 2.
In the fifth match of the first round, Widcard Gaming put up an impressive fight against Dignitas Academy, but ultimately lost the series 2-1. At this point in the tournament, Academy had triumphed over amateur twice in three meetings, but the momentum shifted for the rest of the first round. Evil Geniuses Prodigies defeated Immortals Academy 2-1 before NO ORG 2-0'd Golden Guardians Academy and Barrage.NA followed suit against Team Liquid Academy.
The 4-2 head-to-head was brought to 4-3 after C9 Academy's 2nd round win, but it's not entirely surprising that the tiers of teams have been closer in level than one might have initially expected. Amateur rosters don't just feature new talent, but also established players with LCS experience like Samson "Lourlo" Jackson, Andy "AnDa" Hoang, and Omran "V1per" Shoura, to name a few.
There's only one match left in the second round of the upper bracket of the 2021 LCS Proving Grounds that features an Academy vs. amateur matchup. Evil Geniuses Prodigies will be facing off against Dignitas Academy on Wednesday, April 7 in the eight match between teams from both tiers of competitive play featured in the tournament.