COPENHAGEN WOLVES, the gatekeepers of EU LCS.
TOP: Joey “Youngbuck” Steltenpool
JUNGLE: Karim “Airwaks” Benghalia
MID: Søren “Soren” Holdt Frederiksen
AD: Aleš “Freeze” Kn?žínek
SUPPORT: Petar “Unlimited” Georgiev
One of the few completely unchanged rosters this split and one could argue that’s a mistake.
With finishing the spring split in 5-6th place after a crushing 0-3 loss versus H2k-Gaming in the playoffs and an 8-10 regular season record.
With no changes coming to their roster and the EU LCS being arguably stronger this split than last, I expect very similar results from CW.
ELEMENTS, the CLG of EU.
TOP: Jesper “Jwaow” Strandgren (new)
JUNGLE: Marcel “dexter” Feldkamp (new)
MID: Henrik “Froggen” Hansen
AD: Erik “Tabzz” van Helvert (returning)
SUPPORT: Hampus “promisQ” Abrahamsson (new)
And on the other side of the coin, we have Elements. Replacing 80% of their players shows how determined to change EL are and how unhappy they were with last splits 7th place. Even in the old teammate prison known as Evil Geniuses, Froggen and company never placed below 4th place.
With the addition of 3 brand new players and 1 returning player to the team, the biggest questionmark to me will be synergy. EL in previous splits relied quite heavily on the mid/jungle synergy between Froggen and their old jungler Shook and it will be interesting to see if they can find that same synergy with dexter, or if they will have a completely different approach to the game now with so many other changes to the team.
The botlane will also be a point of interest with the new pairing of Tabzz and unproven support promisQ, I do however expect them to be a passive but solid duo.
Jwaow is to me, the biggest questionmark on this team. I’ve heard all the hype for a long time now and I’m excited to finally see him in the LCS on a decent team*, going up, for real, against veterans such as fredy122 and SoaZ and also the EU LCS Rookie of last split, Huni.
FNATIC, the (mostly) returning champions.
TOP: Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon
JUNGLE: Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin
MID: Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten
AD: Martin “Rekkles” Larsson (returning)
Support: Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim
After winning spring split and quite a strong showing the Mid-Season Invitational, I would have said Fnatic were the favorites going into the new split even before they signed Rekkles back to their roster.
Steelback was obviously the weakest player on the previous Fnatic roster and Rekkles is definitely an improvement, mechnically. However if it’s gonna yield more positive results remains to be seen. Fnatic is now a legit triple threat team with Huni, Febiven and Rekkles, and that’s not always a good thing. There isn’t enough resources in the game to support 3 legit carries, it’s been proven time and time again.
So while I agree that Fnatic with Rekkles has more potential than Fnatic with Steelback, I do hope that they learn from other teams failures and adapt accordingly.
GAMBIT GAMING, FORG1VEN’s new summer home.
TOP: Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet
JUNGLE: Danil “Diamond” Reshetnikov
MID: Felix “Betsy” Edling
AD: Konstantinos “FORGIV1ENGRE” Tzortziou (new)
SUPPORT: Edward “Gosu Pepper” Abgaryan
By far, the most confusing and illogical transfer in this entire pre-split with FORGIV1ENGRE being so very outspoken about the fact that winning is the only thing that matters to him and Gambit not having any results to speak of since the end of 2013 at IEM Season VIII, where they won the IEM Cologne event and finished 3-4th at the IEM World Championship.
These are all tournaments outside of the LCS though. The last decent showing from Gambit in the LCS was arguably season 3 summer playoffs where they finished 3rd vs Evil Geniuses, and that’s still not winning.
While FORGIV1ENGRE is for sure an mechanical improvement over their old AD in P1noy I can definitely foresee problems in this team if they don’t start this split of with a huge bang, which in my opinion is highly unlikely.
GIANTS GAMING, the Spanish Jaxmada.
TOP: Jorge “Werlyb” Casanovas Moreno-Torres
JUNGLE: Federic “Fr3deric” Lizondo Mata
MID: Isaac “PepiiNeRO” Flores Alvarado
AD: Adrián “Adryh” Pérez González
SUPPORT: Fernando “Rydle” Soria García
Being the new kids on the block during the spring split and saying themselves that their only goal was to not get relegated, I suppose congratulations are in order with them being successful in this goal.
Now though, with 1 split under their belt, is this when we can start expecting them to battle for a mid-table spot in the LCS versus such teams as Copenhagen Wolves and Team ROCCAT? Only time will tell.
For their sake though, I hope that Werlyb has grown his champion pool to something more significant than Jax. Buena suerte, vatos!
H2K-GAMING, the PR0LLY boys.
TOP: Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu
JUNGLE: Jean “Loulex” Burgevin
MID: Sangwook “Ryu” Yoo
AD: Petter “Hjärnan” Freyschuss
SUPPORT: Raymond “kaSing” Tsang
The definite surprise of the spring split. H2k went from being newbies in the LCS to finishing 3rd in the regular split and 3rd in the playoffs with arguably the best player/coach synergy in the EU LCS. I expect H2k to continue to fight for the top spots this split and with now more experience under their belts, they should be even better.
My biggest concern with H2k is their champion pools with Hjärnan struggling from time to time on champions not named Sivir and Odoamne’s ability to bust out some carry toplaners if needed.
ORIGEN, the old boys club.
TOP: Paul “SoaZ” Boyer
JUNGLE: Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider
MID: Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez
AD: Jesper “Niels” Svenningsen
SUPPORT: Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez
The boys are back in town! With SoaZ, Amazing, xPeke and Mithy all being veterans of the LCS, in top teams, there’s a lot of hype surrounding Origen and their storyline this split will be if they can live up to that hype.
Personally, I’m expecting big things from Origen. With so many veteran and proven players it would shock me if they didn’t at least make top 5, possibly top 3.
The obvious questionmark for many is the AD Niels, who hasn’t ever played in the LCS.
However his strong performance in the 2015 EU Challenger Series has me less worried, with him having the highest KDA and highest GPM in the whole tournament.
TEAM ROCCAT, overhype personified.
TOP: Etienne “Steve” Michels (new)
JUNGLE: Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski
MID: Erlend “Nukeduck” Holm
AD: Pawe? “Woolite” Pruski
SUPPORT: Oskar “VandeR” Bogdan
The hype for ROC before spring split was on-par with Origen for this split after changing their unorthodox midlaner Overpow to toplane, bringing in Nukeduck as their new midlaner and adding Woolite over Celaver as AD, while keeping their best players in Jankos and VandeR untouched.
We heard how the “first blood king” Jankos would snowball the extremely aggressive and mechanically skilled Nukeduck into domination of the midlane, while VandeRlife was gonna hardcarry botlane for Woolite and make sure he’d have a safe laning-phase to later explode on a late-game AD carry and that Overpow would pick all these off-meta champions and dominate toplane a la SoaZ. And what did we get? an 8th place team with a 6-12 record.
So coming into this split after re-qualifying through the 2015 EU LCS Summer Promotion, it was quite obvious that changes had to be made. The question is now if replacing Overpow with Steve is enough.
It should be noted that ROC has also signed a hyped challenger jungler in Amin as well but he will remain a sub for the time being.
SK Gaming, what the fox happened?
TOP: Simon “fredy122” Payne
JUNGLER: Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen
MID: Hampus “Fox” Myhre
AD: Adrian “CandyPanda” Wübbelmann (returning)
SUPPORT: Christoph “nRated” Seitz
Being the strongest team during spring regular season did not come without some hardships for SK. Inner turmoil and poor showings in both IEM Season IX World Championship and the 2015 EU LCS Spring Playoffs finishing 5-6th and 4th, respectively, it was clear this lineup wouldn’t last.
While the team will be less individually skilled now with loss of FORGIV1ENGRE, perhaps their team synergy with CandyPanda will be improved to make up for that loss. I’m personally looking for Fox to step up and be the main carry of SK with CandyPanda playing more of a clean up role for the team.
I expect fredy122 and Svenskeren to remain really solid players for their positions with nRated being the brains behind it all.
UNICORNS OF LOVE, when fantasy became reality.
TOP: Tamas “Vizicsacsi” Kiss
JUNGLE: Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek
MID: Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage
AD: Pontus “Vardags” Dahlblom
SUPPORT: Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov
The laughing stock of many analysts with their nonsensical playstyle and off-meta champion picks, UoL shocked the world finishing 2nd place in the 2015 EU LCS Spring Playoffs.
Now becoming huge fan favorites for their truly unique approach to the game it will be interesting to see if the dream continues or if it ends this split.
Out of the teams that made no changes, UoL was the only team that was right not to do so. Finding a new player for their playstyle in the short off-season between splits would have been an incredibly hard task, and really… they went from being the only new team to qualify from the 2015 Spring Promotion Tournament to coming 2nd in the playoffs.
Give these guys some more experience before tinkering with the roster. I personally don’t foresee any 1 player’s individual performance being the anchor that would hold them from achieving higher placings, but their unrefined (yet highly entertaining) style.
Marcus “Mad Xadz” Johansson is an amateur writer who writes for no one but if someone wants to pay him to write stuff about things , he’d be very happy about it.
Images courtesy of http://lol.esportspedia.com
*Edit 21/5 2015, 11:22 – Misinformation about Jwaow.