The first step towards a successful esports career is usually done at domestic and regional tournaments, as did some of the most famous players in the Adria region: Nemanja “huNter-” Kovač and Pavle “maden” Bošković in CS: GO, Dino “LIMIT“ Tot in LoL and many others. Here’s where you can start your own esports career!
Although today games like League of Legends have a mode where players team up to compete against each other in the Clash, esports fame is gained in tournaments. The first step is often national and regional esports tournaments in which the best players from a certain geographical area compete. Once you become a dominant player in your area, you move on to the European or global level. You can apply at the next opportunity. Team up and set about conquering the domestic scene.
How to find a team?
To compete in a team-based game, you will need a team first. Finding a team is not always easy. You will meet the players on popular regional Discord servers, social media or through the game itself. There are different Facebook groups for finding teams, but they have become less active. Set up a Twitter account, follow relevant sources and people on the scene for the game you are interested in and do not be afraid to contact others and show interest in joining or creating a team. The CS:GO ranking list of players from the Adria region might also be helpful.
In each match that you play alone you can meet players of similar skill levels. If someone proves to be a good teammate, try to keep playing together and you will create a network of potential teammates, but also friends. Once you formed a group of several people, check the regional rankings and social media to fill in the places you miss on the team. You can also search for teammates by placing adds.
Esports Balkan League (League of Legends)
If you want to compete in League of Legends tournaments, the road will lead you to the Esports Balkan League (EBL). It is the official regional LoL league for the Balkans region (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary) which is part of the Riot Games European Regional Leagues system. The winning EBL team directly qualifies for the European Masters, the largest European LoL competition outside the League of Legends European Championship, in which the best teams from all European countries and regions participate. The runner-up team has the opportunity to qualify for the EU Masters in the Play-In stage. The competition itself consists of two seasons, spring and summer, with two editions of the EU Masters held annually. In the current EBL season, Valiance ProGame and Crvena Zvezda Esports fight for the EU Masters slot. The Grand Finals match is scheduled to take place on March 19th in Belgrade, when it will be decided who will represent EBL in the European tournament.
Every year, the two lowest ranked teams fight against the qualifying teams to keep their place in the EBL. This is exactly your chance to secure a place in the top regional LoL league! Create your own team and give it a try at qualifying. Another option is to join a team that already has secured its place in the EBL. Here’s how you can do it.
Before season start, most teams are put together in trial matches. If your LoL rank is high enough, you can sign up for a trial match of a team. The teams usually post all information on their Twitter profiles. There you will find all relevant information regarding the teams, EBL, but also other regional esports competitions.
After winning the EBL you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills all over Europe. Toni “Sacre” Sabalic, Aljosa “Milica” Kovandzic, and the previously mentioned Dino “LIMIT” Tot are just some of the players who have gone from EBL over the biggest regional and national leagues to LEC.
A1 Adria League (CS:GO, Brawl Stars, FIFA 2022 and other games)
Two seasons of the A1 Adria League (A1AL) will be held in 2022, the 9th season and the jubilee 10th season. It is a regional esport league open to participation by players and teams from Croatia, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Slovenia. Although the games have not been officially announced yet, A1AL has so far included a variety of games on multiple platforms. Last season it was CS: GO, Brawl Stars and FIFA 2022, and a fourth game that varies each year. It is likely that this place will also be filled with a popular title such as LoL or Clash Royale or maybe even with several games.
A1AL takes place in the spring and autumn period, with the grand finale played at the Reboot InfoGamer in Zagreb, the largest gaming fair in this part of Europe and beyond. The InfoGamer fair did not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is to be expected that the fair will be back as soon as circumstances permit, and that the A1AL finals will be played live, in front of the audience. For now, the league finale is played online as part of Reboot Online Games Week. This regional league is also part of a bigger competition, so last year’s Brawl Stars winners had the opportunity to compete against European teams at the Clash of Leagues tournament in Salzburg.
You can qualify for all games in the league! Before the official start, open qualifications for all games are announced, although part of the vacancies in the league are sometimes filled by invited teams. A few simple steps will get you there: follow the latest news about the competition, apply in time for the qualifications and secure your place! Among the wide choice of games offered you will surely find something that suits you.
In addition to the two largest regional esport leagues, there are many other competitions in the Adria region in which you can participate. Companies such as Esport Adria, Good Game and Relog Media often organize tournaments in different games, including F1 and PUBG, but also CS: GO and LoL. Information about these tournaments is commonly found on the companies’ official websites and official profiles on social media. There has been a wide choice in recent years.
For students, there are already leagues that they can join through esports associations at their faculties, where such associations exist. There are quite a few of them in Croatia. Such associations often organize student tournaments themselves. Once a year, the Croatian eSports Federation organizes national qualifications for the IESF World Championship, where the best players from Croatia have the opportunity to compete in a sort of a world championship. Other countries in the region also have national federations.
If you can’t find anything for yourself, you can always check out the different tournament organizer platforms, such as FACEIT, ESL, Toornament or Battlefy, for open registration tournaments.
Below is a list of some of the organizers with a link to their official sites. Good luck with the competition. Get closer to achieving your goal by taking a first small step, start your career by participating in tournaments. Good luck!