Archive for the ‘Esports’ Category


Confirmed by lolesports, LGD has opted to use substitute Lee “Flame” Hojong in place of Choi “Acorn” Cheon-ju after an 0-3 start to the 2015 World Championship Group Stage.


LGD gave The Score’s Kelsey Moser a statement on their decision to make the swap:

The team has had good results with Flame during scrims and would like to give him a chance.





LGD and the rest of group D’s matches kick off on Saturday, October 10th.


image credit: lolesports


After Renegades marksman Ainslie “Maplestreet” Wyllie announced on twitter that he would be stepping down from the team, the organization announced that they would be holding open marksman tryouts to players who have reached Master tier or higher in their region’s Solo Queue ladder.


Maplestreet also tweeted that he intends to continue playing competitively:



This marks the third marksman shift in the team since it’s inception as Misfits in March. The others being Ritchie “Intense” and Mohammad “Jebus” Tokhi, who Maplestreet was filling in for due to Visa issues, eventually resulting in a delayed arrival. Renegades opted to use Maplestreet in the NACS Summer Finals where they edged out Team Coast 3-2, granting them a spot in the 2016 LCS Spring Split with an MVP performance from the Maplestreet.

Renegades released a statement on his departure and their search for a replacement:


We are forever thankful for the effort Maple put forth this summer as we made our way from a Challenger team to members of the League Championship Series (LCS). As an organization we wish him the best of luck as he pursues another opportunity to continue his career.

With anticipation of Maple’s departure, we have already started our search for our next marksman. And with our inaugural LCS season on the horizon, we intend to leave no stone unturned as we begin our worldwide search for an individual possessing the mechanical ability and intangibles we believe will help us win.


NoL will continue to provide updates to the Renegades roster as information becomes available.


Full Announcement


image credit: Renegades


As IEM San Jose draws nearer, ESL has announced that they have invited Korea’s Jin Air Green Wings to join the competition. Jin Air recently placed second in the 2015 LCK Regional Qualifiers falling short of qualifying for the 2015 World Championship.

Jin Air is set to compete with the other teams from Europe and North America, with the Chinese region’s voting currently underway. Lineup so far:

  • Fnatic (Europe #1 Seed)
  • Origen (Europe #2 Seed)
  • Team SoloMid (North America #2 Seed)
  • Counter Logic Gaming (North America #1 Seed)
  • Jin Air Green Wings (Korea #6 Seed)

IEM San Jose is set to kick off on November 21st, at the SAP center in San Jose.


image credit: ESL/IEM


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



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.

Worlds Collide: Group Stage

September 30th, 2015


With the 2015 World Championship kicking off in Paris tomorrow, October 1st, Riot has released a hype video showcasing the 16 teams attending the tournament. The video goes by the same name of the recently released song by Nicki Taylor, who previously worked with Riot on the song “Here Comes Vi!

For event details, stop by the Worlds page on lolesports


image via lolesports


After a series of roster related rumors, Team Liquid support player Alex “Xpecial” Chu has confirmed that the team is searching for another support player.

In a video update, Xpecial offered insight into the change, citing personal and performance related issues:

There are two big reasons why this roster change is happening:

The first one is Piglet just doesn’t like me. He doesn’t think I’m that good anymore and he wants a new support. The second reason is the TL staff has been questioning my performance as of late. They don’t know where its heading and they want to look for a new option and because of piglet’s preference, we decided to go with that.


Team Liquid considered various options, including trying a new AD carry, before settling on their decision to replace the veteran support. Xpecial says though unsure of his future, he wants to continue competing.

I’m going to make sure people remember why I was one of the best, and once I have a platform to stand on, I’ll show them again why I was one of the best.

– Alex “Xpecial” Chu


It is rumored that Andy “Smoothie” Ta will take Xpecial’s place on the roster. NoL will continue to watch the story as things develop.


image via teamliquid 


After Team Liquid’s finish at the top of the standings in the Summer Split, fans were let down when the team faltered in the semi-finals and fell to the Gauntlet, losing a 3-1 series to Cloud 9 and failing to make the 2015 World Championship. Now, a month after the end of the 2015 Summer Split, Team Liquid head coach Peter Zhang has announced that he will be leaving the team and will continue to pursue a career in coaching.



Peter took to social media to share his thoughts on his departure. Excerpt:


Future plan


It’s been a long time i write about this. First of all , I want to thank big Steve for helping me
improved as a person also as a coach, and thank mark/joka for helping me all the time managing team.
Thank all 5 player’s and TL staff work with me, especially Dom.Dom helping me lot to coach the team in the beginning of the spring split. Really appreciate the time spend with all of you guys.

Team Liquid
TL is the first foreign team I joined. I have never been to a different language team, it
hurts a lot in the beginning, especially we still have 2 Koreans on the team. But I think we fixed
these issues in the end of spring split which we eventually break the curse. But also there is lot
issues we didn’t fix as a team which I don’t want to mentioned here, I hopefully they will fix in
the next split. They are all talented player, i wish them best of luck and do well in the next split.


In more Team Liquid related news, the organization recently shared that on September 21st, AD Carry Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin’s had his contract extended to November 20, 2016. Co-owner Steve Arhancet said the team will share full roster details after the 2015 World Championship.

Full statement by Peter Zhang
Team Liquid has not officially commented on the coaching situation. NoL will continue to provide updates as information surfaces.
image via lolesports


Hoping to revitalize the team heading into the 2016 season, Team Dragon Knights have renamed themselves to Team Arena Online after partnering with Houston based online tournament organizer, Arena Online. Team Arena Online retains their seed into the 2016 NA Challenger Series Spring Season, where they will compete to gain entry back into the LCS.


Retaining three members of the original TDK squad, Team Arena Online currently consists of:

Top Lane: Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong

Jungle: Kevin “Kez” Jeon

Mid Lane: Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo

As for the bot lane, it is rumored that Support player Andy “Smoothie” Ta will be leaving to replace Team Liquid’s Alex “Xpecial” Chu, and remains unclear whether AD Carry Kim “Emperor” Jin-hyun will be returning to the team.

NoL spoke with Chris Shim, who made a brief statement on the change:

Arena Online brings a platform to gamers of all skill levels who want to compete in online tournaments for PR, prizes, reputation and even cash. We are excited to be working with Arena Online and we believe that the partnership will benefit the organization in many ways and will allow us to focus on the upcoming season.

-TAO Organization-


Original Announcement


images via Arena Online


Two weeks ago, Counter Logic Gaming announced that in lieu of visa issues, jungler Jacob “Xmithie” Puchero would be ineligible to compete at the 2015 World Championship. Now, those issues have been resolved, and CLG has announced that Xmithie will be starting for the team in the Group Stages in Paris.

From the announcement:

Several members of the community reached out to us after the announcement that Jake’s VISA wasn’t possible to complete in the time allotted. These people were instrumental in advising and rushing the process at critical areas to get it completed. We couldn’t have done this VISA without them and Xmithie wouldn’t have gone to group stages.

We are so grateful for their help and wanted to list them below:

  • Paolo Bago from the Philippine Esport Organization
  • Michal Meduna from the European Commission
  • Also the Philippine Esports Team, Philippine Senator Bam Aquino and his office, and Norman E. Cualteros.
  • Our local advisor Joyluck


Xmithie expressed his gratitude on twitter:


Official announcement by CLG


image via lolesports


Finishing first place in the regular season yet failing to qualify for the 2015 World Championship, Team Liquid looks to replace veteran support player Alex “Xpecial” Chu for the 2016 Season.

Originally reported on by the DailyDot, one source close to the organization has said that after being handed control of the roster, Jungler Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera wishes to “reinvigorate the line-up with some young blood.” Xpecial has been playing competitively for the past five years, and has been hailed as one of the top supports in North America for a large part of his career.

Off the back of an average performance in the 2015 Summer Split, another source close to Dominate has said that “Xpecial has been around for so long that there’s a feeling he might not be able to perform at the level you need to be the best in North America. Dominate seems to have made up his mind that Xpecial has to be the one to go if they are to improve as a team.”

The player in mind? Dominate is apparently quite fond of the skill in Team Dragon Knights own Andy “Smoothie” Ta, who was just relegated after his first split in the LCS.

It is unclear whether Xpecial would remain with the team, or play elsewhere, or possibly even retire. While nothing has been confirmed, NoL has reached out to both Team Liquid and TDK, and will continue to provide updates as the story develops.


image via lolesports