The New Team on the Block: How Misfits Will Impress in Europe
Misfits is the new organization joining the European LCS for the 2017 Spring Split. The team was formerly known as Renegades Banditos, but after parent team Renegades was banned from competing in the LCS, the Banditos changed their name to Misfits. The current roster consists of Barney “Alphari” Morris in the top lane, Lee “KaKAO” Byung-kwon in the jungle, Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage as the mid laner, Steven “Hans sama” Liv as the ADC, and Lee “IgNar” Dong-guen in the support role. They also have Leon “Lamabear” Krüger and Florent “Yuuki60” Soler as substitutes.
The team started their journey in the EU Challenger Series Summer Qualifier. They participated in the qualifier because they finished first in the ESL UK Premiership. In the qualifier, Misfits dropped only one game in the group stage to Low Priority, but finished at the top of Group A. They beat EURONICS Gaming 3-1 to earn a spot in the Challenger Series Summer Split.
During the Challenger Series, Misfits rampaged through the competition, only losing one game to Team Forge, going 4-1-0 overall. Coming in as the number one seed for the playoffs, Misfits did not drop a game in either of their series, beating both Epsilon Esports and Millenium 3-0 to earn a spot in the Promotion Tournament. In the EU LCS 207 Spring Promotion Tournament, Misfits lost their first series in close fashion to Origen, going 3-2. In their second series, Misfits beat FC Schalke 04 3-1, earning their place in the EU LCS.
The top laner Alphari has not played on many previous teams before Misfits, but has been opening eyes as an exciting new prospect. He seems to have a large champion pool, with the potential to play tanks or carry champions, though he tends more towards the carry champions. In a brief interview with SpoTV caster Nick “LastShadow” De Cesare, LS spoke of his praise for the English top laner and how some top Korean players, like Choi “DanDy” In-kyu, also believe that Alphari is one of the best top laners they have seen come out of the west.
Jungler KaKAO is a well-known name in completive League of Legends, due to his time playing with the KT Rolster organization. He played with KT for two years and saw some success on the team while swapping between the different sister teams of the organization. After exciting in Korea, KaKAO was one of the Koreans imported to China, joining Invictus Gaming with KT teammate Song “RooKie” Eui-jin. Invictus Gaming made it to the 2015 World Championship, but went out in the group stage, only winning two games. After spending a year with IG, not much was heard of from KaKAO as he joined LSPL team Wan Yoo. Having played one years in the Chinese secondary league, he is making his grand return to the stage with Misfits, hoping to showcase his form from when he played with KT Rolster.
PowerOfEvil joins Misfits as the mid laner coming from fellow EU LCS organization Origen. PowerOfEvil came to prominence during his time with Unicorns of Love when the team shocked Europe by having success in their first year as a part of the LCS, finishing second in the league. He played with UoL for close to a year before moving over to Origen as the replacement for Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez. The team impressed as a roster, winning IEM San Jose and finishing second in the EU Spring Split. Although the team saw success in the first half of the year, the second half was not as welcoming as the team finished far down the table and had to fight for their spot in the LCS by playing in the promotion tournament. With the poor finish, PowerOfEvil decided to move on and joins the Misfits organization, looking to show fans that he is still a top European mid laner.
Hans sama is a new face to the EU LCS. He is a young player, coming into the LCS at 17-years-old, but he has a two and a half year long career to date. Before his time on Misfits, Hans sama played with another challenger team called Millenium. He played with Millenium for one split, then joined Misfits for the summer split. Hans sama is an exciting young player and he will look to show that age does not matter in the EU LCS.
The final starting player on the roster is IgNar. IgNar joined Misfits from Korea, where he played for both Incredible Miracle and KT Rolster. Although Incredible Miracle was not the first team he joined, IgNar began his career with North American team Winterfox, but never played a game for the team and left the organization after five months. While at Incredible Miracle, IgNar helped the team requalify for the LCK before the organization rebranded as Longzhu Gaming. On KT Rolster, IgNar did not get much playing time as he sat behind Ha “Hachani” Seung-chan in the support role. He joined Misfits for the summer split in the challenger series and was with the team for their promotion to the LCS.
Misfits will be playing in Group A, alongside G2, Fnatic, Giants, and ROCCAT. This will be a tough group as G2 was the top team from last year and Fnatic is an organization with many years of competing at the top level and has a strong new roster. Despite adding two new players to the roster, the vast experience of those players will allow them to adapt quickly to the team and Misfits will finish in the middle of Group A, above both Giants and ROCCAT. This will give Misfits a spot in the playoffs, and due to the skill and knowledge of the players, I feel they could surprise the number two team from Group B and make it to the semifinals. Despite a win in their first series, the roster has not had enough experience at the top level and will fall in the semifinals. The team will most likely finish in fourth place due to the EU LCS featuring many strong teams that have more experience at the top level.
Like their name, this roster is a team of misfits. Alphari is a stand-out player from a region that does not produce many top talents in esports. KaKAO was at the pinnacle of competitive LoL while playing in Korea, but has since dropped off the map and is looking to restart his career at Misfits. PowerOfEvil had a bright start to his EU LCS career, but fell in form during the latter half of last year on Origen and now looks to show Europe that he is still a top mid laner. Hans sama is a young player, and despite showing good talent during his play in the challenger series, he was too young to compete in the LCS. His story is similar to that of Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Hans sama will look to replicate the success that Rekkles has had. Finally, IgNar tried to find his way in Korea but never had a chance to shine on a top team. He now looks for the opportunity to show his skill in Europe’s top competition.
With the financial backing from the American basketball team the Miami Heat, Misfits is set up for success in the future, with top level players from around the world. Although they are the new kids on the block, the players of Misfits are no stranger to the stage and have many years of experience between them. Their roster consists of a British top laner that is being touted by some as one of the best in Europe, a Korean jungler who was once a household name but has since fallen from the limelight, a German mid laner that was once one of the best mid laners in Europe, a French ADC who is out to prove himself in his first year of top level completion, and a Korean support who has not had his chance to shine yet, but looks to dazzle with an exciting team.
How well do you think Misfits will do in their first EU LCS Split? Tell us your thoughts below or with a tweet @GAMURScom.
Photo credits here.