Team Coast makes drastic lineup change as relegation threat looms
Apparently this was the week that League of Legends teams became fed up with their rosters.
On Monday, Team Liquid benched its high profile offseason acquisition Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin due to attitude issues and poor play. Tuesday Elements revealed Kevin "kev1n" Rubiszewski will take over for Mike “Wickd” Petersen. And now Team Coast is sitting mid laner Jesse “Jesiz” Le in a bid to turn around its season.
Zachary “Mandatorycloud” Hoschar, the mid laner for American world championship representatives Vulcun in 2013, will take over the spot, as originally reported by Esportsheaven and later confirmed by Team Coast.
At one point in time Hoschar was a superstar, holder of the record for most kills in a season, feared for his accuracy with spear-chucking champion Nidalee. But since his team suffered a precipitous collapse after its run at Worlds, Hoschar has struggled to return to the scene, only filling in at times as a substitute for teams like Complexity.
Now he’ll get his chance to save a rapidly sinking ship.
The new League Championship Series (LCS) format puts Team Coast, sitting at 1-7 in the bottom of the standings, in an increasingly precarious position. For the first time ever, the team in last place is guaranteed to be relegated; losing its spot in the prestigious competition and the Riot stipend that goes with it, possibly ending organizations and likely ending professional careers. That, combined with a shortened 18-game season (10 less than the 28 games played each split last year) means Coast has little time to climb out of the gutter and save its LCS standing.
“The team's recent results have shown that changes were necessary,” Coast’s announcement on Facebook reads. “While it is always difficult to make a roster change, the coaching staff and the players feel this move will help the team.”
The team notes that Le’s work ethic and attitude were never an issue, but that the team wanted to try a “different play style.”
Hoschar offers more of a killer instinct than Le, often panned for his defensive play style as a member of SK Gaming last year. A poor performance at Worlds saw SK Gaming move to replace Le in the offseason.
Le sought to revive his career in America when jungler Matt “Impaler” Taylor offered to bring him across the ocean to Team Coast. Clearly, things haven’t gone according to plan.
Replacing Le may not make much of an impact, but the mid laner himself wasn’t, either.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)