One of the last European League of Legends teams to finalize its roster revealed the players it will field in 2016 today.
Giants Gaming will compete in the League Championship Series (LCS) Spring season with two new players: Danish player Peter “Atombomben” Thomsen will man the top lane position while Norwegian youngster Tihn Tri “k0u” Lam will take over the jungle.
What was an all-Spanish lineup when they entered the LCS in the Spring of 2015 will now feature three Scandinavians, quite a shift for a team that used to speak Spanish on stage.
The addition of Swedish support Oskar “G0DFRED” Lundström in the Summer propelled the team to the playoffs, and Giants hopes their two new additions will have a similar positive effect. Even with an increased Scandinavian presence, however, the team is still built around Spanish superstar Isaac “PePiiNeRO” Flores in the mid lane.
Edits to the roster aren’t the only big changes for Giants Gaming in 2016, though.
Instead of a team house, the team will work from a training facility in Berlin, adopting an office-like structure similar to a squad like Team Liquid. The players won’t all be living under the same roof. In addition, the team has greatly expanded the team’s coaching staff. Last year, the team featured a manager, coach, and a remote analyst, but now the team has added two more analysts, including an on-site one.
“We at Giants all know that it will be a rough start because this is a completely new team, a new way of playing and a new philosophy, and it will take some time until things work out as we want, but I’m quite confident about the potential of this group and I feel this can be the best Giants up to date,” David Alonso, the team’s head coach, said. “If someone expect us to not triumph, we will show them how wrong they are.”
The two new players come with quite different backgrounds. The 18-year-old jungler Lam has bounced around some of the highest profile teams in the Challenger scene, like Ninjas in Pyjamas, Gamers2, and most recently Vortex, biding his time until he became old enough to compete in the LCS. Giants is confident they can mold him into an emerging star. Thomsen, on the other hand, has essentially zero competitive experience in high level competition. The 21-year-old Dane is an odd choice for Giants, especially considering he replaces Jorge “Werlyb” Casanovas, who had multiple standout performances as a carry top laner through 2015 for the team. But as Alonso says, 2016 will be a period of Growth for Giants Gaming.
The team ended 2015 on a high note. After surviving relegation in the Spring, Giants Gaming were the Cinderellas of the Summer, using a hot start to earn a playoff berth. The team bowed out in the first round, but that was a strong performance for a team many expected to rank at the bottom. This year should feature even more competition, and while their roster may not be as scary as some of the other ones in Europe, you can never count Giants out.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr