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IEM Cologne saw the first time an amateur team took home an IEM title, as well as a ticket to the IEM World Championship. ESC Ever, notorious for taking down 2015 World Champions SK Telecom on their path through the KeSPA cup, edged out one of the LPL’s elite in a 3-2 victory over the Qiao Gu Reapers. We dove into the games and picked out some stats, like KDA and Game time, and how much – or even if – a team benefits from taking Rift Herald, and threw them together to get a better look at what went down in Cologne.

 

IEM Cologne 2015 Infograph

 

Visuals by: Ling Gu

Stats and other information by: Caymus

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When the 2016 North American LCS begins in January, Hai “Hai” Du Lam will be starting his third season under Cloud 9. Making a switch to the Jungle from Mid Lane in the middle of the Summer Split, Hai once again finds himself in a different role, this time as the teams Support. He spoke with NoL on changing roles, Cloud 9’s new roster, and more.

 

How are you enjoying support so far? Was there something in particular that was hard to adapt to?

It’s fun, it’s the role I hate the most in Solo Q but probably one of my more favorite ones to play in competitive. I think the main thing I have to adapt to is my “power level”, I’m significantly weaker in terms of power than I ever was before. So it makes it harder for me to do things on my own.

 

How did you enjoy your time as Jungle, though limited it may be? What was the biggest surprise in playing the role competitively for the first time?

It was fun! Definitely a bit different from mid, I was strong but still had to cater to people’s needs more so than when I played mid. I think the biggest surprise in the role is the fact that “strength of jungler” doesn’t matter as much as a ton of other junglers always brought it. For example, there are strong early game junglers but that doesn’t mean you keel over and can’t ward/gank, you just have to be smarter about what you’re doing.

 

What is your favorite support champion or lane combo to play as? Against?

I like play Alistar and Lucian/High kill pressure ADC. I like playing against kill lanes, doesn’t matter what support.

 

You’re known to be quite the shotcaller. Is is easier for you to direct the game from support as most people imply? What do you think it is that makes you stand out so much in terms of your ability to make the right call?

Well, it is easier since I don’t have to worry about losing the game if I’m too busy trying to figure out how to win the game. Generally when a support dies that doesn’t mean baron or turrets are gone, just you can’t fight. However when I died as mid/jungler, it did mean an objective was gone, so that’s nice. As far as my ability to shotcall, I’d say it has to come from the kind of person I am, my personality is a very dominant and confident one. When someone is consistently telling you what to do, and you win, you really have no reason not to follow that voice, no? So loyalty comes from success, and success comes from intelligence.

 

How has the team been adapting to the addition of Rush? What element does he add to the team that wasn’t there before?

We actually get along really well with Rush, the guy is a beast. Definitely a better jungler than me and reminds me of myself because he’s super aggressive albeit he makes a lot of dumb plays (which is fine). As long as I keep him in check with what he’s doing, he’s easily the best jungler in NA.

 

How has it been playing with BunnyFuFu and a two support system? We’ve seen a similar situation with teams in the past, but generally mid laners. Do you think having two players rotate can benefit any position?

I enjoy playing with Bunny a lot because for one, he adds a lot of stability to my stress/emotions outside of the game. We go to the gym together and I get along with him really well, he’s like a little brother to me because he’s basically a wide eyed deer staring into the vastness of the world. I think this system is nice because it lowers the stress level a lot and for us specifically, it helps alleviate my wrist issues that I still have. It’s nice to have a break/play not as much and have a reliable substitute.

 

With the introduction of the preseason patch, a lot has changed. How do you feel about the preseason so far and what are you loving/hating the most? Do you enjoy the shift towards a more AD centric meta?

I personally like the preseason due to a few reasons ;

They fixed the RNG waves at level 1, meaning sometimes a bot lane/top lane would get EXP off a minion due to no skill of their own and the other side wouldn’t. This swung the lane a lot and made it feel really bad to play.

They allowed teams to snowball better and be able to close out games more, you can’t really “farm in base” and hope for a comeback anymore. You get punished for playing passively, and I think that’s great.

As far as the meta I don’t necessarily see that much of a difference in terms of power for ADC, they feel the same to me. If fed/ignore, they kill you, if not, they die.

I enjoy no more Mordekaiser.

More mid laners and top laners are running ignite instead of Teleport now, this is good.

I like the trinket changes so far, less wards means more plays, which means the better team can control vision easier. (Minus baron baiting, that’s impossible with blue trinkets.)

There’s probably more but this is all I can think of for now.

 

What are your thoughts on the upcoming LCS season, with all of the new teams and wave of roster changes? Thoughts on the new TSM, particularly Yellowstar and his transition to NA?

My opinion of all the new teams/players is that I hope it elevates the level of play for NA. Anything to help our region grow is welcomed by me. There’s a lot of hype on Yellowstar being a great shotcaller, I want to see if their team lives up to that hype.

 

Which bot lanes do you want to play against the most in the LCS? Who do you rate as the strongest, based on current rosters?

I don’t really care about what lane I play against, we will win or die trying. (Sneaky and me are the best 100% chance, I’ll believe that whether I’m right or wrong.)

 

You’ll be competing at IEM Cologne soon, playing H2K in the first round. With h2k having recently completed a new roster, where do you stack up, particularly against VandeR/Forg1ven?

I actually know nothing about H2K’s new roster or EU’s power level after worlds, it’ll be interesting to see how things go. I’m excited to play support on stage for the first time though.

 

Cloud 9 to take the whole thing, right?

Of course, or we’ll do our damn best to.

 

Looking back at 2015, what is your favorite memory from the past year? Was switching roles twice the least expected thing to happen to you?

My favorite memory is probably qualifying for worlds, my entire team was just shocked and surprised we made it. I’m happy we went from almost being relegated to world’s contenders. My entire team/owner were pretty depressed before that whole chain of events, and to see the emotions change in such a short time is the reason why I played and still play. My teams happiness is extremely important to me.

 

Shoutouts?

Thanks for the interview and I’m looking forward to how our team develops and grows. For all my fans out there, thank you for sticking by my side through thick and thin. Cloud 9 for life, right guys? #Cloud9

 


Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

 
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In the premiere edition of Sessions, Noah Whinston talks about his transition into eSports, acquiring investor interest, player treatment, and more.


Immortals-Interview-Noah-Whinston

 

Editors Note: Clinton Foy is the managing director of venture capital firm CrossCut Ventures.


Caymus is a content creator and journalist for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

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Stats compiled by: Caymus

Graphics by Ling Gu

All statistics were gathered independently or pulled from oracleselixir.com

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In an interview with Russian news site goodgame, team manager and analyst Dmitry ‘Moo‘ Sukhanov revealed that he has left Gambit Gaming and that the organization is “very likely” to sell their spot in the European LCS.

Here is an excerpt from the interview, translated into English:

 

Good evening everyone. Today I will interview Dmitrii Suhanov, also known as Gambit Moo. Or ex-Gambit Moo. Hello, Dima!

Moo: Hi.

Let’s start from the most important things. Recently there have been a lot of news, and not from the Gambit itself, but from the players’ twitters that they are free agents now. Even you claimed that you are a free agent too, although there hasn’t been any official statement yet about what is happening in the organization. It is obvious that there are some serious changes in the team, some people even consider that Gambit are selling their LCS spot, as many other organizations do now. Have you ever thought about such transformations coming after a rather failed season?

Moo: Well, firstly it’s a common thing that players are claiming themselves as free agents. Not only Gambit, but other players too. It’s just the period after the Worlds when most of the contracts end, as no one signs contracts for a period more than one or two years. So there is that period during which players are free agents if the organization hasn’t offered them auto-resigning. As for a failed season and the selling of a spot, as you remember, last year our results were not so well too. So the talks about selling the spot are not connected with our negative results, it’s just one more factor that led to this. Yes, there are such talks but there are no official statements as it takes a lot of time and Riot needs to check everything. But as far as I know, Gambit is very likely to sell their LCS spot. That’s why I left the team.

So there is no more profit for the team to participate in LCS even if they have a spot? Why did they decide to do this? Don’t they believe that the team can rise once again?

Moo: I don’t think that it is about the expectations from the team and its players; it is more about the organization not ready to pay the expenses that are needed from the LCS team nowadays. Let’s be honest, no one expected Gambit to be the first, and if you are lower that first, then the reward isn’t that big to pay back the money that was spent. In League of Legends, comparing to such games as Dota 2 or CS: GO, the amount of money that you get in tournaments is much less. Also add the fact that LCS teams cannot participate in other tournaments according to Riot’s rules. Yeah, there is an IEM, but the prize money from IEM is twice less that it is in CS:GO tournaments. Also Gambit has never had a lot of sponsors, so it was financed mostly by the organization itself, and it can’t do it anymore.

 

While nothing has been confirmed, it seems the sale is imminent as Moo has already left the team. Formed in 2013 around the legendary Moscow Five roster, Gambit Gaming recently faced near relegation for the second time. Since their entry into the LCS, the team has seen a notable decline in performance after being plagued by visa issues and roster changes. With three of their members already confirmed to be leaving, it may be the end of the Gambit era.

 

NoL reached out to Moo, who said he is planning to stay in eSports, either in the LCS or in a Russian national team.

 

 

 

image credit: Gambit Gaming

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With SK Telecom crowned as world champions for the second time, the offseason rears it’s mysterious head yet again, devouring the rosters we know and spitting them out completely disfigured.

To help you keep up, we’ve aggregated all the offseason news over the past month of LoL eSports to recap the chaos so far. Just looking for roster changes? Check out our roster tracker to see who’s playing where in the 2016 NA and EU LCS.

 

North America

 

 

Europe

 

 

China

 

  • Amateur players PentaQ (AD Carry) and City (Support) have joined Master3 to replace Smlz and LoveCD in the bottom lane.
  • Top Laner Loong has transferred from Vici Gaming to Unlimited Potential.  Hetong, Peng, Xuan and World6 have also been transferred.
  • Spirit announced that his contract with World Elite has officially ended, and is now one of the most highly valued free agents of the offseason.
  • Dada7 announced his free agency, leaving World Elite without playing any games with the team.
  • San has left OMG, announcing his retirement from competitive play in early November.
  • Superstar Jay Chou announced the formation of his own eSports brand, MRJ, and will include a League of Legends team.

 

Korea

 

 

LMS

 

  • Flash Wolves mid laner Maple will stay with the team after receiving offers from teams in North America, China, and Taiwan.
  • Westdoor announced his retirement from competitive play. Chawy will fill the gap in the mid lane for AHQ.
  • Hong Kong Esports was fined NT $200,000 for match fixing in the LMS playoffs. Toyz is currently looking to break his contract with the organization and has hinted that he was forced to participate in the scandal by HKE owner Derek Cheung.
  • Taipei Assassins announced their new roster, re-signing Bebe as AD carry and adding a substitute for each role.

OCE

 

  • Trident Esports mid laner Claire was suspended from competing in Riot affiliated events for the first split of the 2016 OPL season.

 

 

Events

 

 

Upcoming

 

  • The National Electronic Sports Tournament 2015 (NEST) is currently underway, with seven of China’s best teams battling for a $32,000 grand prize.
  • The 2015 All-Star voting has completed, and the regional teams have been announced. All-Star 2015 takes place December 10-14th.
  • IEM Cologne takes place beginning December 18th and features Team Liquid, Cloud 9, and Edward Gaming, with the remaining three teams still being voted in.

 

 

 

 image credit: Ling Gu, lolesports

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With the offseason well underway, rosters have already started to transform completely, with many teams opting for at least one change. We’ve put together a quick guide by region, and will be adding the LMS soon. In the meantime, here is the current state of the 2015/2016 Offseason.

 

Na

 

 

 

 

EU

 

 

 

 

LCK

TEAM TOP JUNGLE MID ADC Support
SKT Marin Bengi Faker (Confirmed for 2016) Bang Wolf
KOO Tigers (renamed to just the Tigers) Smeb Hojin Kuro Pray Gorilla
KT Rolster Ssumday Score Nagne Arrow Piccaboo
SBENU Soul CatchFlaw SaSin Nuclear Secret
Najin e-mFire Duke Watch Ggoong Ohq Pure
CJ Entus Shy(Tryouts) Ambition (Tryouts) Coco (Tryouts) Space (Tryouts) Madlife (Tryouts)
Jin Air TrAceSoHwan Chaser GBM Pilot Chei
Rebels Anarchy ikssu Lira Mickey Sangyoon Snowflower
Longzhu IM Expression TusiN Frozen Roar IgNar
SSG CuVee Eve Crown Fury Luna

 

 

 

LPL

TEAM TOP JUNGLE MID ADC Support
LGD Acorn TBQ(Leaving after IEM) GodV Imp Pyl
EDG Koro1 Clearlove Pawn Deft Meiko
IG Zztai Kakao Rookie KidTime KittiesMo
Qiao Gu V Swift DoinB TnT TcT
Snake Flandre Beast U kRYST4L Ella
Vici Dandy World6 Peng Xuan Mata
OMG gogoingxiyang LovelingJuejue COOL UziNorth sanLuo
Master3 Looper Condi dade smlz lovecd
RNG Letme mlxg xiaohu wuxx ley
Unlimited Potential Loong Eimy Jiaoyang Skatch Heart
Team WE Aluka SpiritWuShuang Xiye Mystic sukiM Conan
King Cola insec Corn Namei Zero

 

NA/EU LCS Free Agency Tracker

  • Wildturtle
  • Xpecial
  • Freeze
  • Forg1ven
  • Vardags
  • H0RO
  • Jwaow
  • Loulex
  • Freddy112
  • Dexter
  • GBM (Previously Mid Laner for Jin Air Green Wings, heading to NA)
  • GosuPepper/Edward
  • Goldenglue
  • Porpoise

 

NoL will continue to provide updates to each list as well as the status of free agents as information becomes available. Watch out for more in depth offseason coverage starting with IEM San Jose.

 

image credit: lolesports

We are announcing that the tryouts for our AD Carry position have ended, and would like to welcome the newest member of our organization, Peter ‘Doublelift’ Peng.

Doublelift is a player who truly needs no introduction. Consistently heralded as the best AD Carry to have come from North America, Doublelift has been a professional player since Season 1 and has represented our region at Worlds twice. His storied career is well known internationally, and he has proven himself on numerous occasions to be a worthy opponent on the world stage. His reputation as a consistently motivated and hardworking player, in addition to his status as a North American have led us to believe that Doublelift was the best choice for the position over a large number of talented applicants. We are extremely excited to welcome him to TSM, and look forward to the upcoming year with him.

“Joining TSM will be a new chapter in my life, one that I am both excited and proud to be a part of. I hope to prove myself and earn the welcome of TSM fans worldwide. I am determined to use this fresh start to break through my current limits and dominate the competition harder than ever.

To all my current fans: regardless of the team I play for, I will always be the same person that you have known. I will now be playing for an organization I believe that will respect my loyalty and hard work. I am extremely grateful for all the support you have shown me throughout my career, and hope to deliver even better results this season.” – Peter ‘Doublelift’ Peng

As a result of this decision, we are also announcing that Jason ‘WildTurtle’ Tran is now a part of our substitute roster, and is looking at starting AD Carry positions on other teams. We will announce any future updates regarding his situation.


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Welcome to “Chasing Glory,” a recurring feature where I will discuss the top narratives and key moments from each day of the 2015 League of Legends World Championship. After nearly a year of competition in leagues across the globe, 16 teams have emerged at the top of their respective regions. Now, they travel to Europe where they will battle through the finest international competition for a shot at taking home the Summoner’s Cup  at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin on October 31st.

Opening day featured plenty of interesting matches from groups A, B, and C of the tournament, with some teams going about business as usual and others stumbling to find ground on the tournament’s newly implemented patch 5.18. I’ll be recapping the matches in order starting with the ever so consistent Fnatic facing off against the hit or miss Invictus Gaming.

Maintaining The Status Quo

Coming off a perfect Season and a 5-2 run to win the split, Fnatic was riding a wave of both confidence and hype heading into this World Championship. Led by veteran support player and 5 time worlds attendee Yellowstar, reunited with Rekkles in the botlane, Fnatic would be among the many Western Teams to bootcamp in Korea in hopes of redeeming their lackluster Season 4 worlds performance, and seeks to continue their dominance into the World Championship.

iG, or Invictus Gaming, is a different story. Known for their inconsistency, the third place LP team comes into this event on a positive note, with a 3-1 upset over serious title contenders EDG in the third place match of the LPL Summer Playoffs and then a perfect 3-0 set against Qiao Gu for the Korean region’s final ticket to Paris.

With the recent changes in patch 5.18, carry style top laners have fallen more into favor than ever, giving a boost to both Zzitai and Huni. Locking in Riven, iG top laner Zzitai looked to snowball his lane early, prompting a Hecarim pick in reply from Huni. Leading the game by a tower and securing First Blood in the top lane, Reignover took advantage of a passive KaKAO and the duo completely negated the impact of Zzitai’s Riven.

Surrendering at 30 minutes after Fnatic ravaged through their base, iG will look to redeem themselves in their day 3 match against Cloud 9. With a rematch against Fnatic looming down the line, iG needs to pick up as many wins as they can to ensure their top 2 placing in the group. As for Fnatic, their pick and ban phase showed that they can adapt on the fly, completely shutting down iG’s composition with their own picks. Reliant on a farming Skarner that never took off iG crumbled to the European kings, and Fnatic and showed us there is something to the hype.

Cool, Calm, And Collected

After squeaking their way into a Worlds qualification with a cinderella run from 7th place to winning the Regional Qualifiers in North America, Cloud 9 was supposed to come in, lose six games, and get out. Facing off against LMS champions AHQ, who took a game from Fnatic at the Mid-Season Invitational and are known for their aggressive early play, the third seeded North American’s fate was all but sealed as Mountain’s Rengar handed First Blood over to Westdoor on Fizz.

Going back to his roots and a champion he was originally known for, Cloud 9 mid laner Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen headed into his first ever appearance in international play with the recently buffed Veigar. AHQ seemed lost against the tiny master of evil, constantly finding themselves locked up in Veigar’s Event Horizon in teamfights. Stacking his way to over 500 AP at the 22 minute mark, Incarnati0n’s 100% kill participation Veigar thwarted the early aggression of AHQ. Doing what he does best, C9 team captain and newly transitioned Jungler Hai stepped up big time, orchestrating a 23 minute victory in convincing fashion and showing us once again that his shotcalling is nothing less than world class.

Grand Challenge

Aside from the anticipated rematch of Ryu vs. Faker, expectations were low for H2K heading into this game. After SKT picked up a few early kills, H2K kept the game relatively close until a 23 minute fight in the river sent SKT barrelling ahead off the back of a Marin Triple Kill. In control of the map and a 3k gold lead, SKT would go on to close out the game systematically in a 31 minute win over Europe’s second seed.

No Mercy

For the better part of the year, EDG has been cited as one of the top teams in the world, and a contender for the title of World Champions. With the Bangkok Titans coming from one of the weaker competitive regions, it was apparent from the beginning that there was a huge mismatch in skill. Getting three kills in the first four minutes, Deft set the pace of the game with a double kill less than three minutes in. EDG quickly dispatched the Bangkok titans in a surrender at the 20:20 mark, never slowing their pace from the early First Blood.

 

In Doublelift We Trust

Before this match, most would agree that Zionspartan is a cut above his Top Lane counterpart on Flash Wolves, Steak. Despite this, Steak impressed holding his own and having a hand in 100% of his teams kills as CLG’s Zionspartan fell to his fourth death without an answer. With a 7k gold lead and 3 towers over North America’s first seed, the Taiwanese Flash Wolves were poised for victory. Until they overstayed in the bottom lane, netting CLG their first in a series of teamfight wins peppered with Flash Wolves misplays. Clawing their way back on the shoulders of Doublelift’s Jinx, CLG managed to walk away with a win they probably shouldn’t have.

Taking advantage of an enemy’s mistakes is the mark of a superior team, but CLG has a lot to work on if they want get any farther than the group stage, let alone win the tournament. Their next match against Brazil’s PaiN Gaming will be a good indicator of if they can bounce back after a loss and pull off what should be a fairly easy victory.

Wild Style

The Koo Tigers are in a funny spot in terms of how they are perceived. On one hand, they pulled off 1st and 3rd place finishes in one of the toughest regions of play. On the other, the innovation they showed in the first half of the season hasn’t been as apparent. That said, the Koo tigers sport a talented roster backed by solid strategy, especially when playing with a lead.

Viewed as the weakest team in the group, PaiN Gaming enters worlds on a high note, being 15-0 since the CBLoL playoffs. With star Mid Laner Kami at the forefront of their play, the Brazilian squad needs to capture the same macro play they showed in the Wildcard Qualifiers if they want to stay alive in the tournament.

When PaiN managed to slowly pull ahead, Koo’s Gorilla started to pull himself ahead, along with the rest of his team mates. Setting up plays across the map, Gorilla showed why he is often in the conversation of best support player in the world. With their newly found lead, Koo Tigers made quick work of PaiN in a 30 minute finish, playing a very clean second half of the game and showing why they are one of the best teams at worlds once the late game hits.

Day 1 MVP: Hai

 

hai

In choosing the MVP, I looked at a lot of factors. Individual performance, impact on game, role in team, and so forth. While there were definitely cases to be made for the fantastic playmaking of Koo’s Gorilla or the endlessly entertaining Deft Show against the Bangkok Titans. However, as great as those players were, it’s Hai who stood out as the truly most valuable player of the day.

Coming into the tournament as the last seed from North America, Cloud 9 was written out of the event before they left California. With an underperforming top laner, a rookie mid, and a returning player transitioning into a new role, there were a lot of reasons to not think much of the NA squad. Hai quickly silenced any critics with a Lee Sin performance any jungler could be proud of. Putting his signature shotcalling into action, Cloud 9 maneuvered the map, taking objectives as AHQ trailed behind. Hai also put up an impressive display of mechanics, setting up enemies and kicking them to their certain death.

The success of Cloud 9 since Hai’s return can be attributed to a lot of things. Improved shotcalling, a more comfortable mid laner, a better team environment, but above all, there is one constant: Hai.

images via Riot Games/lolesports


Tim Kimbirk is a journalist at TSM. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

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tsmfinals Good luck TSM at the World Championship! We have faith!

TSM x Dragonball Z Crossover? Sure.
Side note, my tablet died little over halfway through this so then I had to use my mouse. Pardon the mess!

Author: Ketherly twitter