This off season, like all before it, has brought along another wave of in-houses - a place where LCS, Academy, and other high challenger players get together in an organized 5v5 to escape the despair of trollo-queue. This year, however, it has an actual structure, organized largely by Inero and Danan, the Golden Guardians head coach and general manager.
They have set up a system to ensure competitive games happen every day of the week across three tiers of players. If a challenger or academy player is consistently playing very well, they’ll start subbing in for the higher tiers and potentially even just start getting scheduled there regularly. They record each game and compile stats so they can keep track of the event. Of course, it also helps the players stay motivated, as those with the best win rates and KDAs get all the bragging rights.
NA has been criticized as a region, being called the 4fun region. While in-houses won’t magically slingshot NA into first (or will it?), it does show that many in the region are very serious about their growth, even in the pre-season. These games aren’t only for avoiding trolls, they’re also places where players can practice shotcalling, sharing information, finding the meta, etc. Each player is in their main role, so nobody is randomly smashing an off-role opponent. And of course, they’re all streamed, so the ints are kept to a minimum (unless Mr. Dickens gets Karthus).
See what Inero (and a special guest) have to say about this off season, and go follow him on Twitter @inero to find streams and stats every day.