Tomorrow, the largest League of Legends tournament starts up once again as Week One of the Summer Split of the League Championship Series begins.
During the offseason, there were major roster change ups—including the departure of veteran team captain Alex Ich from Gambit Gambing, the team he helped put on the map—along with exciting games from the All-Stars event in Paris.
Here’s what you need to know before the games kick into gear.
Relegated no more
The three teams that were sent into relegation last month from the European league—the Copenhagen Wolves, Supa Hot Crew, and Millenium—all scraped by to stay in the LCS. None were closer to falling out of the league than Millenium, who barely edged past the Swedish Ninjas in Pyjamas to take back their spot. All three teams played well, though, and have hopefully found answers to the issues that got them relegated in the first place.
Rebuilding the Wolfpack
The Copenhagen Wolves had a rocky offseason, losing two of their key players. Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider, one of the better junglers in Europe, has been recruited onto North American Team SoloMid, where he will immediately make an impact. Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou, however, was released by the Wolves in the wake of a league fine related to harassment and toxicity. Karim “Airwaks” Benghalia and Paweł “Woolite” Pruski now step in to take their place.
Who’s in mid?
Gambit Gaming has long been a dominant force in Europe. Lead by mid laner Alex Ichetovkin, Gambit played among the top teams in the world for years. The League scene was rocked last month, however, when Ichetovkin was spotted competing with a strange challenger team known only as Rest in Pepperonis. Fan fears became real when he announced he was leaving Gambit to join the Ninjas in Pyjamas, who were playing as “RiP” in disguise. Filling in for Ichetovkin for now will be Sebastian “niQ” Robak, who is playing on a temporary basis.
Ready to ROCCAT
Last season, rookie team ROCCAT burst onto the scene with brilliant strategies and strong individual talents at each position. They ended up taking third, a wonderful end to the perfect Cinderella season. Now with a full offseason under their belt, they’ll be looking to once again make a splash—and with a few weeks for rest and recuperation, their fans expect no less.
They may have won the championship in the end, but Fnatic had a rough season that saw them lose eight games in a row. At times, they looked like they might have even been relegated. But a late-season surge helped them climb back up the rankings, and they finished strong through playoffs to take the crown once again.
Then, at All-Stars, the team only managed to win a single game. Fnatic’s hot and cold streaks are wearing their fans’ patience thin, and another losing streak might be too much for them to recover from. Then again, Fnatic have won the European title three seasons in a row. Which side will show up to play this season?