League of Legends free agency officially opened up this week with some big moves getting announced and some rumors and reports getting confirmed. Most of the big headlines this week will go to Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s move from G2 Esports to Karmine Corp, Luka “Perkz” Perkovic reportedly leaving Cloud9 to join Team Vitality or Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg coming out of retirement to reportedly join Team Liquid. However, one somewhat under-the-radar move that has gotten a lot of attention among fans of the North American amateur scene is 100 Thieves signing 15-year-old General Sniper to their amateur team.
The 15-year-old is considered one of the best amateur players in North America. General Sniper first hit the rank of Challenger, the highest rank in League of Legends solo queue, at the age of 12. He is currently Rank 1, according to League of Graphs, for the North American region, a ranking he has achieved multiple times.
His peak LP is 1901, the highest ever recorded in the North American server.
According to League of Legends analyst Tim Sevenhuysen, people at several LCS orgs described General Sniper as “one of the most important free agents of the LCS offseason.”
This is a particularly significant move because North America is often criticized for not focusing on the development of domestic talent and instead signing big-name players from other regions. Because he is only 15 (his birthday was Nov. 10), he will have to wait until he is 17 to compete at the highest level in the League Championship Series (LCS). He can’t even compete in an LCS team’s Academy team where the minimum age is 16. In the meantime, he will compete on 100 Thieves’ amateur team, 100 Next (100X). His contract expires in one year, so there’s no guarantee he will continue onto 100 Thieves’ Academy or LCS squads in the future, but his signing was a priority for 100 Thieves general manager Chris “PapaSmithy” Smith.
Cloud9 had attempted to sign him as a streamer last year, but at 14 he was too young, according to Riot Games rules. He is also the brother of Immortals Academy top laner Omran “V1per” Shoura.
Lead image credit: 100 Thieves via Twitter screenshot