His advice to young NA talent? Go to Europe.
After finally getting his first chance to play on an LCS roster, one of North America’s up-and-coming League of Legends prospects is stepping away from the stage. 100 Thieves’ rookie top laner Milan “Tenacity” Oleksij announced that he will be moving away from pro play, and focusing on content creation.
On May 13, the 20-year-old joined Travis Gafford in an interview, stating that it was his choice to leave 100 Thieves and stop playing professionally since he was still getting some offers from other teams in the LCS, NACL, and Europe. “I knew for a long time that content creation was something I wanted to take a go at,” Tenacity said. “I thought that this was the perfect time regarding all the news within the LCS.”
Tenacity broke down some of the reasons that pushed him to make this decision as well, with plenty or recent rumors and news in the competitive North American LoL Esports space. For example, earlier this month, there was speculation surrounding the removal of the import rule, which would directly affect the future of NA-based talent.
Riot Games also recently decided to remove a mandate that required all LCS organizations to field a Challengers League team, which Tenacity had heard rumors about a year ago. Since he was still an Academy player at the time, he became fearful for his job and his future as a pro player because “Riot was essentially destroying the pipeline to LCS.”
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As a result of all this incoming information, Tenacity decided that he’d switch to content creation to avoid getting swept up in the storm around the NA competitive scene. The young star also pointed out that the salaries in the LCS have been lowering year-by-year, and in his opinion, content creation was something that he was not only passionate about, but a much more stable career option.
Tenacity even said that he has been telling other aspiring NA pros that if they truly want to become a successful League pro, they’d be better off booking a bootcamp in Europe and trying to join one of the many EMEA Regional Leagues.
Europe’s pathway to the LEC has been highly-acclaimed, viewed as one of the best ways to get noticed by top orgs while getting plenty of experience playing against other regions, teams, and in front of live audiences. Multiple LEC stars have come from the ERLs, including big-name talent like Kacper “Inspired” Słoma, rookie jungler Martin “Yike” Sundelin, star mid laner Emil “Larssen” Larsson, and AD carry Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos.
It is a disappointing end to Tenacity’s saga as a NA hopeful, especially after he was praised by both fans and analysts alike for his great performances in the NA Academy League. The young star had one of the most-anticipated debuts of any LCS rookie, but because of all these changes happening to the region, he will be yet another “what if” for fans to ponder.