With the recent announcement that Pierre "Steelback" Medjaldi had left Team Roccat, I wanted to take a look back on his previous season.
Despite being on the last place team in the EU LCS 2016 Summer Split, Steelback still managed to put up impressive numbers. He managed to accumulate the second most kills out of any player in the European League, only placing below Splyce mid laner Chres "Sencux" Laursen. On top of this, he was also able to rank 4th in CS Per Minute, as well as 1st in CS differential at 10 minutes. These stats however, were mostly gathered from games in when there was not a 2v2 laning phase in the early game, so can he actually replicate these CS numbers in the current 2v2 meta?
In a recent interview with "O'gaming," Steelback says that he is excited for the 2v2 meta, saying that it favors him as he is the best laner in Europe. So, clearly he is not lacking the confidence to go head-to-head with some of the best ADCs in the world. Whether or not he can back up his talk is to be determined, but I like his confidence.
One struggle Steelback had last season was translating his gold into damage. Steelback ranked 1st in Percentage of Team's Gold at 26.3%, yet was middle of the pack or worse when it came to stats like Damage Per Minute (12th) and Percentage of Team's Damage (14th). Granted, when your team is not performing well it is going to be harder to stay in fights and do as much damage as possible. Martin "Rekkles" Larsson was right behind Steelback in Percentage of Teams Gold at 26.2%, but he was able to rank 6th in DPM and 4th in DMG%. This only proves that there is room to grow for Steelback come Spring 2017.
Now, I would like to dive into where I would like to see Steelback go next season. To preface this, he has already stated that he is going to be staying in Europe, so I will only be looking at European teams that are good fits. Also, I see Splyce as a team that he could improve, but considering they have yet to play at Worlds and their ADC is actively practicing at the highest level, I will withold my judgement.
Giants were a surprise team this season, placing higher then teams such as Fnatic, Team Vitality and Origen. On the back of mid laner Na "Night" Gun-woo, they were able to sneak their way into 4th place, despite having who was one of the weaker ADCs in Europe. Son "S0NSTAR" Seung-ik ranked 7th in Damage Per Minute as well as last in CS Difference at 10 minutes, so the upgrade to Steelback speaks for itself. If Steelback truly is a strong laner, bringing him in will give Giants one more strong lane to rely on. I think the combination of Steelback and Morgan "Hustlin" Granberg in the bot lane would prove to be a top four bot lane in Europe, which is a massive step up.
I predict that Steelback will end up at Vitality. Recently, he has been playing with Raymond "kaSing" Tsang a lot in solo queue, leading me on to think this will be his new bottom lane partner. Overall, I like the fit. This duo lane would be set up to be one of the strongest in the league as kaSing is known for his strong laning and playmaking. In the top lane, they are strong with Lucas "Cabochard" Simon-Meslet. Cabo is known for being a strong laner, which is what the meta is leaning towards now. After struggling in the lane swap meta for awhile, I am sure Cabochard is chomping at the bit to get back into 1v1's. As a whole, Vitality would have a strong top laner and bottom lane duo. Hopefully they can find a competent replacement for Erlend "Nukeduck" Våtevik Holm in the Mid lane.
After surviving relegation, Origen is likely looking to improve their team. Recently, Glenn "Hybrid" Doornenbal announced that he would be leaving, so if Steelback were to join this team, it would be with a new support as well. This very well could be a good thing as Steelback then may be able to hand pick a support he enjoys playing with. Maybe he is able to bring kaSing over to Origen, or maybe he has someone else in mind. Going to Origen would unite him with the highest Damage Per Minute player in Europe last season, Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage. Also with this move, Steelback will be with a strong top laner who highly prefers the 1v1 meta in Paul "sOAZ" Boyer, could return to his more dominant playstyle. Together, they would have 3 strong lanes, as well as an experienced jungler who is primed for a return to form.
Where do you think Steelback will end up at? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us - @GAMURScom.
The author can be contacted on Twitter - @OhSoDicey - for any specific comments or conerns.