The LCS season is just just three weeks old, but one LCS team has already made a big change to its starting lineup.
Team ROCCAT replaced their AD carry Paweł “Woolite” Pruski with Rasmus “MrRalleZ” Skinneholm yesterday, bolstering a lineup that’s struggled to a 2-4 record out of the gates despite improved individual play compared to their poor showing in the Spring season.
The shortened League Championship Series (LCS) season implemented at the start of this year, with 18 games before the playoffs, means that teams have scarce little time to make the changes necessary to remain competitive.
“Woolite is a very talented ADC and has been a great member of the team,” Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi, the team’s head coach, said. “However, if we look at the standings and our results in the current split, we are not where we want to be. We need a steady performance to win especially in these close games. This is where we think we can improve with MrRalleZ. We felt that we needed to make a change now while we have enough time left to make it to the top—and that’s clearly our goal.”
The move hardly comes as a surprise considering Pruski’s much maligned positioning issues dating back to his days as a member of Copenhagen Wolves in 2014. While the Polish play is certainly mechanically skilled, he has a penchant for playing too close to the enemy team, leading to numerous occasions where he’s caught out of position and killed, putting ROCCAT at a massive disadvantage even in situations where they are seemingly in control.
Skinneholm should provide a more stable presence in the bottom lane while maintaining some of that mechanical talent. The Danish player was one of few bright spots for Supa Hot Crew and Meet Your Makers through the last couple of LCS seasons. Most recently he competed as a member of Denial, the Challenger Series team put together by top laner Mike “Wickd” Petersen, often serving as their most impactful player during their run to the Challenger Series.
ROCCAT coach Mebdi worked with Skinneholm last split in the ill-fated Meet Your Makers squad, and with Skinneholm now out of the LCS, he seems like a logical replacement.
The one complication to Skinneholm’s recruitment might be his nationality, as ROCCAT was originally a Polish team. But the squad has slowly shifted to feature talent more than local camaraderie. At the start of the year, it recruited Norwegian mid laner Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm, and then replaced Remigiusz “Overpow” Pusch with French top laner Etienne “Steve” Michels. That leave Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski and Oskar “VandeR” Bogdan as the last two remaining Polish players from the all-Polish Kiedyś Miałem Team that ROCCAT acquired in January 2014.
Jankowski and Bogdan remain ROCCAT’s two star players, with the jungler Jankowski putting his disappointing Spring split behind him with a solid start to the Summer. With Skinneholm manning the bottom lane next to Bogdan, ROCCAT should find it easier to maintain the leads Jankowski and Bogdan build for the team thanks to their playmaking ability.
ROCCAT was supposed to be a championship contender entering 2014 with the addition of Våtevik Holm to the lineup. Then its replaced Pusch after his role swap from mid lane to top lane didn’t work out. But now it’s finally fixed what might be the last remaining fatal flaw in a lineup that certainly has the talent to compete with Europe’s best.
Skinneholm will debut for ROCCAT tomorrow when the team faces another struggling squad, the 1-5 Elements. They follow that with a battle against 0-6 SK Gaming, giving Skinneholm the perfect chance to begin his tenure in ROCCAT with two wins.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr