The invite-only Champions Queue (CQ) was set up in February to provide a low ping practice environment for North American pro players, amateur players, as well as LLA pros.

Some fans have noticed that there are NA pros who have played few, or even no CQ games. Cloud9’s Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami for example, hasn’t played a single game of CQ so far in Split 2, according to CQ tracker

Now that Champions Queue, a supposedly better alternative to high ping, low quality solo queue, is live, there are still some pros not queuing up for it at all, which has drawn criticism from fans.

In response to the community’s criticism, 100 Thieves general manager Chris “PapaSmithy” Smith called out the “witch hunt” against these pros on Twitter.

100 Thieves general manager PapaSmithy advocates learning from pros over just grinding Champions Queue

Screenshot by Jonathan Yee/ONE Esports

Papasmithy’s comments came after a thread surfaced on the League of Legends subreddit on why Fudge doesn’t play Champions Queue.

“Ping too high, can’t play [solo queue]. But didn’t want to do in houses and now CQ,” read one Reddit comment with over 300 upvotes. “High Elo players are just entitled babies that want their cake and eat it too.”

PapaSmithy disagreed that pro players are entitled or lazy. “Fudge and [Evil Geniuses’ Kyle ‘Danny’ Sakamaki] are two of the best players in their role in North America,” PapaSmithy wrote.

“We should be learning what they do, not demanding that they conform to a new system that is intended to prop other players up to their level.”

Screenshot by Jonathan Yee/ONE Esports

Fudge has his own practice regimen, which he explained includes 1v1s and playing solo queue. Not only did he and Cloud9 place second in the LCS Spring 2022 regular season, he also held a 5.3 KDA, second among all mid laners, according to Games of Legends.

Of course, this doesn’t mean every pro should stop grinding Champions Queue and do exactly what Fudge does. But PapaSmithy’s point is that top players have well-established practice routines, and dropping them for CQ from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. is not realistic.

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