Back to the Throne: xPeke

Everything seemed lost. SK Gaming was about to take down Fnatic atIEM Katowice.

Everything seemed lost.
SK Gaming was about to take down Fnatic at IEM Katowice. The former world champions would be out of it in the groupstage and their last achievements at Dreamhack Winter, IPL5 and IEM Cologne would’ve gone to waste with people still thinking of their star player as washed-up.
But that wouldn’t happen.

When Joe Miller said “That was the best scene I’ve seen in the entire history of League of Legends”, he wasn’t wrong. One teleport and multiple riftwalks were enough to make Kev1n throw his headset against the ground as Ocelote cried and Fnatic started the most successful domestic winstreak a team has ever seen, winning three consecutive LCS Splits (barely losing the fourth in the finals versus Alliance) and reaching the semifinals of both the Season 3 World Championship and the 2014 All-Star event. Up until his departure in late 2014, xPeke left a huge legacy of winning everything he could, or almost everything. He wanted another World Championship. One where he could beat not also Western but Korean and Chinese teams too. He wanted to be remembered as the most successful player the game has ever seen, and so, he built his own team. With the foundation of Origen, xPeke set his new goal: eternal glory.

Step One: Back to basics

If we’ve learned something from Lord of the Rings, it’s that a long journey (either it is saving Middle Earth or winning a World Championship) needs companions. And few people have the strength and will to pursue  this task. Just ten days after the team was founded, xPeke announced three out of the four players that would go on with him, and only a month after the line-up would be filled. The last one to join was probably the most expected: his all-time sidekick and friend Paul “sOAZ” Boyer would be sitting once again in the toplane as the man who follows each and every one of xPeke’s moves. Traveling between the solo lanes would be Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider, who had just won the NA Summer Split with TSM and reached quarterfinals of the World Championship. A fellow spaniard was chosen for the support role in Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez, who qualified to the Season 3 World Championship before being banned by Riot Games because of toxic behaviour. Jesper “Niels” Svenningsen was the one to join as ADC: a rookie player that had been recommended by Rekkles himself for this position. With huge amounts of experience and individual talent, the thing that this team shared the most was hunger, and that’s what xPeke needed.

Defeating Millenium Spirit by a 2-1 margin, Origen qualified to the 2015 Spring EU Challenger Series with their minds already set on LCS. They went 14-2, barely dropping one game in the regular season and one in the quarterfinals versus Reason Gaming. They were already developing a style, outplaying their opponents and snowballing out of control. They racked up 306 kills during those 16 matches (an average of 19.1 per game), while winning six of them before the 30-minute mark. Following his trademark, xPeke didn’t play a single game on a supportive champion, with Lissandra (4w/1l) as staple pick. The bloodbath led them to autoqualifying to LCS Summer, and they wouldn’t stop there.

Step Two: (Re)Conquering Europe

The weeks before LCS Summer were the calm before the storm. A lot of uncertainty surrounded Origen: Nobody wanted to set high expectations because the EUCS level was really bad (both Copenhagen Wolves Academy and Reason Gaming lost convincingly to Team ROCCAT and Giants Gaming), but the LCS Spring Split wasn’t that strong and a lot of teams underwent changes. After defeating Giants and H2K in week 1, there was only one certain thing: Origen couldn’t be counted out.

7 weeks in, and Origen’s sitting on a 10-4 record, just behind the undefeated first place Fnatic. So far, the team has shown a very clear style of endless aggression and snowballing, starting from Pick&Ban up until one of the nexus explodes. sOAZ played carry champions in every game but the Gambit Gaming one, where he supported the team with Lulu. Amazing’s filling a utility role, mostly through tanky picks (12 Cinderhulk games) and early ganks where his carries take the kills (130 assists in 14 games). Mithy has played 13 games between Alistar (2w/2l), Nautilus (2w/1l), Thresh (3w/1l) and Annie (2w/1l), as the team prefers to put him in aggressive champions who can win 2v2 lanes and work as engage tools in teamfights. Niels aims at the carry performances, as he grabs the most kills of the team and third of the league at 76 (just behind Febiven’s 77 and Rekkles’ 79). All the members of the team have their roles defined before the game even starts. All but xPeke, who’s played 9 different champions, only repeating Vladimir (4w/1l) and Varus (2w). xPeke definitely is the star player of the team, but he’s the star in the Faker way. Sometimes he will create pressure by clearing waves and bringing consistent damage to teamfights with his Vladimir, other times he will fall back to a supportive role and help either Niels or sOAZ carry the game with his Orianna or Morgana. But when his team needs him to be the ace, he will rack up kills with LeBlanc, snipe people with Varus or make plays with Twisted Fate. He’s the player every team wants, and the one Origen needs. He’s the experience, the talent and the thirst of glory, all together in one player.

The Road Ahead

We still have two weeks left, but Origen’s already in the playoffs. To qualify for the World Championship, xPeke and company will need to either to defeat the unstoppable force that is Fnatic in the Finals or to pray for Championship Points to leave them inside the qualifying bracket, and make an incredible run just as Najin White Shield did last year. The mission seems hard and most would rather not bet for them, as the risk is too high. But so was it when xPeke teleported to SK’s base back in IEM, and if he had to replay that game, he would teleport again. He is not afraid of risking it all if that’s the only way to get his prize. He won’t hesitate when 1v1ing any player in the world, even if we are talking about Dade or Faker. Nothing will stop xPeke of getting what he wants, even if he has to start from scratch once again to reach it. Some may try to bring him down, but he won’t fall. Even if he’s versus the best team in the world, even if his inhibitors are down and the enemy is rushing his nexus. Even when everything is lost, he won’t fall.
That won’t happen.

Thanks to LoLesports and eSportspedia for the stats and the pictures