Kicking off on December 4, the Red Bull Solo Q Series is the pinnacle of 1v1 League of Legends. Eefje ‘Sjokz’ Depoortere, the longtime face of the event, sat down with Dexerto to explain why you should be watching the 2021 World Final.
1v1 is a hidden gem of League of Legends. It bears little resemblance to its better-known 5v5 counterpart, with players having to rely on skill alone to stand out among the crowd.
The Red Bull Solo Q Series is the pinnacle of esports for 1v1 League, a year-long circuit culminating in a World Final to crown the best amateur Solo Q player.
Sjokz, who has been involved with the event since 2019, sat down with Dexerto to talk about what to expect from the two-day final in Munich.
What is the Red Bull Solo Q Series?
The Red Bull Solo Q Series is a 1v1 League of Legends esports circuit open to amateur players around the world. Play begins at various regional and international qualifying events in March, continuing all the way until the World Final in early December.
The rules are simple. Unlike traditional 5v5 League of Legends, there is no nexus to target. Instead, each 1v1 match has three win conditions:
- Kill your opponent
- Earn a minion score of 100
- Destroy your opponent’s tower
Matches will be played on the Howling Abyss, the map typically used for ARAM games. It is the first time the map will be used for the Solo Q Series.
The World Final, which runs from December 4 to December 5, features the top 19 players from the qualifying process. After a round-robin group stage, the top 16 will progress to the knockout stages.
Sjokz will host alongside René ‘Masterplay’ Geigenberger, while casting will be handled by Marc ‘Caedrel’ Lamont, Aaron ‘Medic’ Chamberlain, and Georgia ‘Troubleinc’ Paras.
A completely different League experience
“Solo Q Series is completely different to traditional League of Legends esports,” Sjokz explained. “I absolutely love it.”
With no team to rely on, the strategies seen in Solo Q are unique to the 1v1 scene.
“You never know what you’re going to see at the Solo Q Series,” Sjokz said, “Because there are just so many different strategies. Do you want a champion with great wave clear? Or do you want to focus on getting that kill? A few months ago, I was streaming some 1v1 matches and these players spend all their time working on new ways to win.”
While players follow the broad strokes of the prevailing meta, the 1v1 format obviously comes with limitations.
“You’re probably not going to see a Yuumi, despite how strong she is right now,” Sjokz remarked. “But it’s one of the best things about the event – seeing how the players have adapted the meta to the format, and the off-meta picks they have come up with.”
The Solo Q World Final is a LAN event, hosted at the BMW Welt in Munich. For Sjokz, the offline nature of the competition plays a major part in the atmosphere.
“It all happens at the venue in Munich and it that just adds something you wouldn’t get if it was online. Being able to see your opponent, the chance to talk to the casters and broadcasters. It’s such a fantastic atmosphere.”
With recent months being full of League content, Worlds and Arcane in particular, Sjokz also sees the event as a perfect jumping-on point for new fans.
“I love League and I watch so much of it, but that’s because I’m weird and it’s also my job,” Sjokz said with a laugh. “But I think 1v1s are a great place for new fans. Going right into watching 5v5s when you’re brand new to the esport can be really overwhelming. With 1v1, you just have to focus on two people, one lane. It’s a great starting point for people who want to get into League esports.”
What happens to these players after taking part in the Solo Q Series is sometimes unclear. Some simply fade into obscurity, while others try their hand at 5v5 esports.
The 2018 champion, Erik ‘ZiViZ’ Lövgren, briefly played for Swedish team Lundqvist Lightside in NLC qualifiers. It is perhaps the best example that the potential is there for someone to go from Solo Q competitor to professional player.
A press release from Red Bull identified mid laner Mert “You Mert BRO” Aptoula and top laner Raphaël “Lingwi” Claudé as two players in the 2021 field with aspirations of a professional career.
“Professional teams might not be watching this event specifically to find their next big star, but the Solo Q Series is a great place for people to that journey towards pro play,” Sjokz explained. “Maybe you blow up on social media and a team takes notice of you, but it’s just really great and valuable experience for aspiring players. However, we have seen people go onto the pro scene. Our 2018 champion went on to play in the NLC, which is one of our really important regional leagues.
“It’s something that I really love about the event. Because you can cover it and then maybe a few years down the line you are covering the ERLs or even the LEC and there’s someone playing who you remember from the Solo Q Series.”
Red Bull Solo Q Series is an event like no other, bringing the very best in 1v1 League of Legends. There will be drama, there will be unmissable moments, and one player will walk away with €5000 and a place in history.
The Red Bull Solo Q Series World Final begins on December 4 at 4pm CEST/3pm GMT/10am EST/7am PST. You can watch all the action on the Red Bull Gaming Twitch and YouTube channel. The knockout stage takes place on December 5 at 2pm CEST/1pm GMT/8am EST/5am PST.
Read the original article from The Dexerto
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