The Spanish League of Legends competitive season is about to kick off. Often considered the strongest national scene in European League, the Superliga has a history of serving as a proving ground for Spanish players that often end up competing in the LEC. This year, players such as G2’s bot laner Victor “Flakked” Lirola or MAD Lions’ jungler Javier “Elyoya” Prades Batalla have landed in Europe’s prime competitive scene after making a name for themselves within the Superliga.
Even a number of renowned international LEC players seem to have come of age within the Spanish League scene. Vitality’s Polish jungler, Selfmade, joined MAD Lions’ first national roster in Spain when the organization was first founded, and Vitality’s Portuguese former bot laner Attila, who was previously known as Minitroupax, started out at Vodafone Giants’ academy before stepping up to the main roster in 2017.
In 2021, the Superliga amassed more than 5.5 million hours watched on Twitch, which accounted for a 39 percent increase from the previous year. This year, it reached its peak viewership during the Summer Split final at 73.596 viewers, according to LVP.
For 2022, the Superliga has welcomed five new teams that have caught everyone’s attention. From superstar streamer Ibai’s long-anticipated roster to F.C. Barcelona’s first venture into League esports, these are the five new teams to watch out for at the beginning of the season.
Last September, the newly formed organization bought Astralis Stormbringers’ spot in the Superliga for €300,000 (roughly $340,000). KOI Esports was officially unveiled at a live event in the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona last month. Its founders, Spanish streamer and influencer Ibai Llanos—with over six million followers on Twitter—and FC Barcelona superstar football player Gerard Piqué, presented the new organization’s League roster to a packed stadium and a Twitch audience of over 300,000 viewers on Ibai’s channel. The organization’s already large fanbase saw them in action during the presentation, where they defeated Karmine Corp in a heated show match. After the show, KOI made headlines as they amassed 200,000 followers on Twitter in the span of two hours.
KOI’s starting roster is made up of top laner Enzo “SLT” Gonzalez, jungler Luis “Koldo” Pérez, midlaner Jørgen “Hatrixx” Elgåen, bot laner Rafa “Rafitta” Ayllón Zapata, support Daniel “seaz” Binderhofer and head coach Jesús “Falco” Pérez Rubio.
Team Heretics is by no means a new organization. With rosters in Call of Duty, Clash Royale, CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege, and Fortnite, the Spanish organization known for its achievements in CS:GO and CoD has been trying to enter the national League scene for a long time, and now, Heretics has finally set foot in it. Heretics previously played as G2’s academy team in 2019, also known as G2 Heretics. This year, though, the organization will play under its own banner and management.
Apart from a brand new roster, Team Heretics has also signed with former SK top laner Jorge “Werlyb” Casanovas as League of Legends ambassador and Team Heretics organization partner.
They presented the new roster recently, featuring toplaner Max “Satorius” Günther, jungler Subicz “bluerzor” Dániel, midlaner Artur “Zwyroo” Trojan, botlaner Jakob “Jackspektra” Kepple, and support Alexandru “whiteinn” Kolozsvari.
LEC powerhouse Fnatic has signed an agreement with Team Queso, a Spanish organization that has held a spot at the Superliga since 2019. The alliance between these two organizations has been unveiled as Fnatic’s rebranded and relocated academy team.
With a new merged logo that intertwines both brands, Fnatic Team Queso comes in with a considerably strong roster composed of top laner Óscar “Oscarinin” Muñoz Jiménez, jungler Magnus “Maxi” Kristensen, mid laner João Miguel “Baca” Novais Bigas, bot laner Louis “BEAN” Schmitz, and support Rúben “rhuckz” Barbosa.
F.C. Barcelona is one of the world’s most popular football clubs, and for the last few years, rumors and whispers about the organization venturing into League esports have filled Reddit threads, stadium halls, and community gatherings.
The club isn’t a complete stranger to the esports industry, having already set up teams for other titles such as Rocket League and Hearthstone, but heads started to turn when the organization announced its League roster—around the same time as one of the club’s superstars, Gerard Piqué, announced his own League team with Ibai.
Barça Esports recently announced its full starting roster, which will include top laner Jakub “Dreedy” Viceník, jungler Dimitar “LeBron” Kostadinov, mid laner Mihail “twohoyrz” Petkov, support Luca “Lucky” Santos Fontinha, and former EXCEL bot laner Matthew “deadly” Smith.
Perhaps the less mediatized or shocking of the new team announcements has been that of Bisons Esports. Bisons is a new team with no affiliation to big football clubs or veteran esports organizations. Based in the north of Spain, Bisons Esports bought its spot in the Superliga, previously occupied by BCN Squad, for €190,000 (roughly $216,000).
The team is composed of young talent native to the Basque region, where the new organization is based. The new roster was unveiled in an epic cinematographic piece of content that showcased the five players hidden under cloaks making their way across the wilderness and breathtaking landscapes of the Basque region in Spain.
The players that make up the roster are Alejandro “Jandrolo” Reyes, Asier “AsiO” Corral, Adrián “Essential” Danlos, Martin “Machine” Danlos, and Eneko ” Enekoló Paganini” Rodríguez. When the season begins, the young squad will have a chance to prove themselves against some of the strongest teams the region has seen in the past years.
The Superliga’s Spring Split kicks off on Monday, 10 January, at 11am CT. Fans can follow the competition on the Superliga Twitch channel.
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