Genja hails from Moscow, Russia. He gained notice in Season 1 of League of Legends, reaching 2.3k in the high elo ladders playing mainly Ashe. He started in the competitive scene after brief stints playing with Liquicity, myRevenge Russia and MTG, where he met future teammates Alex Ich and Darien.
He started making headway though in the scene when joining Team Empire as their AD Carry in late 2011, who made a large splash at IEM Season VI Qualifiers, winning it to be invited to play at IEM Season VI - Global Challenge Kiev but also due to making a now famed highlight vs SK Gaming, which gave birth to the meme and saying of players shouting "EMPIRE!".
Alex and the rest of Team Empire - Darien, Diamondprox, Alex Ich, and GoSuPepper (who would later rename to EDward) - were recruited by organization Moscow Five in December 2011. Their first major appearance was at IEM Kiev, where they made an international name for them selves by undefeated in group stage against Dignitas, against All authority, and Sypher and then beating SK Gaming and Team SoloMid to win the tournament; the only game they dropped in their entire tournament run was to TSM.
After IEM, Moscow Five competed in the online Kings of Europe tournament. Again they had an undefeated group stage, though this time they lost to Counter Logic Gaming EU in the finals after a semi-final win over Team Sypher.
Moscow Five's next tournament was the IEM World Championship in Hanover, which they also won, this time one-upping their IEM Kiev performance by going undefeated. Later tournament results included second-place finishes in the online Corsair Vengeance Cup and offline at DreamHack Summer 2012, both of which were won by CLG.EU. They got their revenge at European Challenger Circuit: Poland, which they won with a 2-0 finals victory over CLG.EU. At the Season Two Regional Finals, M5 qualified for the [Season 2 World Championship]] with the top seed from Europe after defeating EloHell, Fnatic, and SK Gaming.
At Worlds, Moscow Five were considered by many analysts to be the favorites to win the entire event. Due to their regional final victory, the team had a group stage bye and then beat Invictus Gaming in the quarterfinals 2-0, with strong midgame play. However, after winning game 1 in the semifinals against Taipei Assassins, M5 dropped the series 1-2 and finished the tournament in 3rd-4th; TPA went on to win the entire event.
After Worlds, Moscow Five placed fourth at the European tournament Tales of the Lane before flying to Shanghai to attend the TGA Winter 2012 event; they didn't participate in the tournament itself, but they played and won show matches against Team WE and Invictus Gaming and interacted with fans, hoping to boost their Chinese popularity. Upon leaving China, the team flew to Las Vegas to attend IPL 5, where they placed fourth, once again eliminated from a tournament by the Taipei Assassins, this time in an 0-2 loss despite Alex Ich farming to a 538 creep score in the first game.
In January 2013, due to Moscow Five's CEO having been arrested in July of the previous year and leaving the organization with a lack of funding, the League of Legends roster was released. Four days later, on January 14th, the team joined Gambit Gaming.
Moscow Five's Season 2 Worlds attendance granted the roster a seed into Riot's new professional league for Season 3, the European League of Legends Championship Series, despite the roster's organizational switch. They dominated the 10-week regular season with a 21-7 overall record and then finished second in the playoffs behind Fnatic. Partway through the season, they attended IEM Hanover, where they placed third after a semifinal loss to CJ Entus Frost. They also played at the 2013 MLG Winter Championship exhibition tournament, where they placed second.
After the end of the LCS Spring Split, Alex Ich was publicly voted to represent Europe at the All-Star tournament. Teammates Diamondprox, Genja, and Edward were also voted in by the region, but due to a rule requiring that only up to three members of a single team could be voted into the tournament, Yellowpete from Evil Geniuses replaced Genja; sOAZ from Fnatic was the top laner. The European team placed last out of the five regions' teams in attendance.
In the summer season of the LCS, Gambit finished in fourth place with a 15-13 record in the round robin and then in third place in the playoffs, which was sufficient to send them to Worlds. At Worlds, Gambit made it out of groups in second place with a 5-3 record after beating Samsung Ozone in a tie breaker; however, they were eliminated in the first round of the bracket by NaJin Black Sword.
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