Gambit Gaming survive tough relegation battle
One day after legendary American team Counter Logic Gaming narrowly escaped falling out of the League Championship Series, one of Europe’s titans avoided the same fate. Gambit Gaming is perhaps the most accomplished European League of Legends team in tournament play. But this year they found themselves slipping in the LCS and eventually falling to relegation.
Gambit Gaming lost the first game to SK Gaming Prime, but came back to win three in a row to secure their spot in the LCS.
SK surprised the Gambit squad with Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek on a jungle Fizz, posting a 6/3/10 KDA while helping feed his marksman. But Gambit fought back with some clever play of their own, including the powerful jungle Gragas and Yasuo combination.
The current Gambit looks quite different from the one that placed top eight at Worlds last year, but that’s in large part due to sloughing off key pieces of the original lineup. First Alex “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin, one of the legendary mid laners in League history, left the team after they placed fifth in the Spring Split of the LCS. During the Summer season two Gambit players known for their unorthodox builds and playstyles, top laner Evgeny “Darien” Mazaev and marksman Evgeny “Genja” Andryushin, were replaced. The team needed an infusion of “fresh blood” to keep up with the ever increasing competition in the LCS.
In this series, some of the potential in that new blood came to fruition. Kristoffer "Krislund" Albao Lund Pedersen put together a great series backed by his world class support Edward Abgaryan. In game two, Pedersen put up a 13/0/6 line as Tristana. He followed it up in game four by destroying his lane on Corki, posting a 10/1/5 KDA line to carry the game.
Krislund is turning out to be an amazing addition to GMB, absolutely carrying on Corki this game and doing great this series overall.
— Eefje Depoortere (@sjokz) September 10, 2014
Pedersen had lots of doubters entering the split, taking over the important marksman role on such a storied team. He quelled doubters with his play, though some credit has to go to Abgaryan, who lived up to his nickname as the “Thresh Prince.” Gambit won all three games Abgaryan played the champion, with a 6/7/42 KDA line through the series.
Pedersen becomes the first rookie to qualify for the 2015 LCS.
“It feel greats,” Gambit jungler Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov said in the post-game interview. “It’s really great to feel we’re in the LCS again. I love the LCS.”
“We worked out really really much,” he continued. “We were practicing more than a month after we lost our matches in the LCS. Now we are pretty strong. We showed that we were to be in the LCS. Now we are ready to get first or second spot in the next split.”
That may seem like a lofty goal for a team who finished in seventh with an 8-20 record last split, but stranger things have happened in the history of Gambit Gaming, the most unpredictable team in League of Legends. For now, they’re back in the LCS and should be ready for next split. And that’s enough for fans of the team to get their hopes up—with Gambit Gaming anything is possible.