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The Proven – Team Solo Mid, Cloud 9, Team Impulse

 

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Team Solo Mid – 1st Seed

History:

To speak of TSM is to speak of what is arguably one of, if not the most successful North American team in League of Legends history. Their rise to fame began around the qualifiers for the Season 1 World Championships, having earned their invitation by beating the then crowd favourite CLG in two best of three matches during the regional qualifiers. TSM then went on to place third in the Season 1 World Championships, the highest of all the North American teams in that tournament.

Following their debut and a relatively lacklustre preseason, TSM came into Season 2 guns blazing. They quite literally overwhelmed all the other competition on the continent, winning every single non-international competition in an extremely convincing fashion. This was the golden era of TSM dominance; they were untouchable by any team in the region. This regional dominance continued until the advent of Cloud 9, a full season and a half after season 2. Even with the rising competition in the more recent seasons, TSM has managed to finish top two at the end of every single LCS playoff. To further iterate their regional success, TSM is only team in the world to have attended the World Championships every single season.

It should be noted that while TSM was by far the top dog in North America, they were still unable to beat any international teams, constantly losing to the European Moscow 5 and the top Korean teams at the time, Azubu Blaze and Frost. Since then, their international success has only gotten marginally better. With the introduction of the jungler Santorin to their roster this season, TSM hopes to maintain their regional prominence and show that they are capable of translating it to the world stage.

 

Current Lineup:

TSM-Dyrus TSM-Bjergsen TSM-Santorin TSM-Wildturtle TSM-Lustboy

Top Lane: Marcus ‘Dyrus’ Hill

 Dyrus is one of the few players in the world to have a claim to being the most consistently good player in the world. His career began playing for Epik Gamer back in Season 1, which after moderate success disbanded due to the team’s lack of commitment. He was then picked up at the beginning of Season 2 to replace TheRainMan, where he has remained ever since.

Dyrus is the only remaining member on TSM who was a part of their golden age, and has seen the team through all its ups and downs. Throughout this massive span of time, Dyrus has never once faced a fatal slump, and has been a consistent rock throughout his entire career. Furthermore, he has done so while remaining a competitive top laner in the world. No game changes have shaken him; few top laners can claim to have bested him. There are few, if any players in the world who could dream of having this kind of career.

Coming into Season 5, Dyrus seeks to continue his legacy of being the solid backbone of TSM’s success. Although many question his ability to continue his career as he ages and the scene becomes flooded with young talent, his career is the only testament that the naysayers need. Given his success as a player, Dyrus has cemented his place amongst the stars, regardless of most anything that could happen in the future.

Middle Lane: Søren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg

Bjergsen’s career started in Europe as a rising mid laner for the team Copenhagen Wolves. After very impressive showings in Season 3, Bjergsen was offered the burden of replacing Reginald on TSM. This move was a monumental show of faith by the organization. The young Bjergsen (who was seventeen-years-old at the time) was not replacing “just anybody”, he was replacing the long standing captain and shotcaller who had led TSM to three consecutive world championships.

Suffice to say, Bjergsen had massive shoes to fill, and he did nothing short of meeting every single expectation. In his debut, Bjergsen was voted MVP for three of the eleven weeks in the 2014 Spring Split. He maintained one of the best KDA’s of the split, finishing 5th in the league with a KDA of 6.3. His popularity surged, and he was voted to represent North America in the 2014 Paris All-Stars Tournament.

Bjergsen has since solidified his position as one of the most mechanically gifted mid laners in the world, and the best mid laner in North America. He is known for his prowess on assassins, but has demonstrated high level play in every role, notably scoring a pentakill on Karma. The kicker is that even with all these laurels, Bjergsen can still further develop as a player in his shotcalling abilities. Season 5 is the young Dane’s opportunity to shine, and to show that he is capable of a career that outshines even his predecessor Reginald.

Jungle: Lucas ‘Santorin’ Larsen

Santorin is the new kid on the block, so to speak. While he has been playing League of Legends since the middle of Season 2, he entered the competitive scene nearing the end of Season 3 as an amateur. His entrance into the spotlight was playing in the 2014 EU Spring Challenger Series on Cloud 9 Eclipse, which met its end at an unfortunate 0:3 loss to SUPA HOT CREW. He was then picked up by Team Coast, on which he did exceedingly well in the 2014 NA Summer Challenger Series, and was picked up by TSM to replace their last jungler Amazing.

Santorin has been a solid jungler with very impressive results in solo queue, having finished in the top ten in North America before the ladder reset. However, he is still extremely untested in high level competitive play, and it is always hard to see how a player will transition from challenger play to the LCS. He has only had one competitive showing at IEM San Jose, which was quite lacklustre. As the newest player on TSM, Santorin has a large amount of pressure to perform, or else the legions of fans will quite surely scapegoat him.

 Bottom Lane: Jason ‘WildTurtle’ Tran and Jang-sik ‘Lustboy’ Ham

WildTurtle’s career began playing for amateur teams in Season 2. He has consistently been a high rated player in solo queue, having obtained the top three spots on the NA ladder at the same time in Season 3. He was picked up to replace Chaox in the NA LCS 2013 Spring Split, after his predecessor fell off drastically. Like Bjergsen, Turtle had large shoes to fill coming into TSM. Chaox was their long time AD Carry who had won multiple accolades, such as MVP of the Season 2 NA Regional Qualifiers. Many eyes were upon him to perform, and Turtle shattered everyone’s expectations by scoring a pentakill during his first week as a substitute in the LCS. He has since then developed a reputation for being on the most mechanically sound AD Carries in the world, having competed and done exceedingly well on the world stage.

Lustboy is another one of those players with extremely decorated careers. He started on MiG Blaze in Korea, which was one of the best teams there for most of Season 2. After a gradual decline over the years and two rebrands, Lustboy was released by Blaze after less-than-stellar showings in OGN. He was then picked up by TSM to replace Gleeglarbu, who was unable to cope with the pressures of the LCS. While Lustboy perhaps was outshined by other supports in Korea, he is nonetheless a very strong and solid player. He is mechanically strong and very good at keeping up with the metagame. Furthermore, unlike other Korean imports, he has had a relatively easy transition into North America due to his friendship with TSM coach Locodoco.

Coming into Season 5, TSM’s bot lane has a little bit of work to do. WildTurtle had started slumping near the end of last season, which many would like to see him get out of. Lustboy is still learning English, which means there is most likely still a language barrier between him and the rest of the team. However, due to the fact he has been here for a while, language may not be that large an issue any more. TSM has an incredibly strong bottom lane in terms of mechanics, and if Turtle manages to get back in form, it could very well mean their ability to take first place again this season.

 

Team Outlook:

TSM has traditionally been one of the strongest teams in North America since their conception. Much of their success will be dependent on Santorin performing up to par, and Bjergsen further bettering himself as a shotcaller. The both of them have shown on stream that they have become good friends however, which may possibly translate to a good jungle-mid synergy that is necessary for a top team to have. WildTurtle getting back into form would also be an excellent thing for TSM to have.

All-in-all, TSM mechanically has one of the strongest teams coming into the NA LCS where language is not a major issue. Furthermore, they have not had as massive a roster swap as most of the other teams, which means that they should still be able to perform well together. Their largest issue boils down to good shotcalling, something that they have been weaker at in comparison to the best teams in the world. If they improve on these problems, there is a very high chance for them to reverse their poor showing at IEM San Jose.

Prediction for end of split: 2nd place.

 

 

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Cloud 9 – 2nd Seed

History:

Cloud 9 has had a pretty amazing history within the LCS. They started as Orbit Gaming, transitioning to Quantic Gaming, and became Cloud 9 in the middle of Season 3. They have always been in the North American amateur scene, but they never had any particular success until their rebrand as Cloud 9, when Hai shifted from jungle to mid, and Meteos, Sneaky, and Balls were picked up, and Jack Etienne became their team manager. At this point in time, Cloud 9’s players were either unknown, or had a rather unsuccessful career. To expect success from them, a completely new challenger team, was like betting on the Washington Generals.

And then the 2013 Summer Promotion Qualifiers happened. Suddenly, Cloud 9 was winning everything. Nothing stood in their way. They blazed through everything, only dropping a single game against all of the amateur teams, and beating Complexity 3:0 in their promotion series. Even so, people had their doubts (mostly because Complexity got manhandled in the LCS). Everyone questioned their ability to take on the top teams in the LCS. Cue the first Super Week of the 2013 NA LCS Summer Split; Cloud sweeps the competition, going 5:0, crushing three of the largest names in North American League of Legends. They finished that split with an unbeaten record of 25:3, with the longest win streak in LCS history to date.

No one questions Cloud 9 now. Many agree that they are currently the undisputed best team in North America, and maybe even the west. Cloud 9 has one of the highest levels of strategic play to ever grace League of Legends, and is one of the few western teams that can compete on the level of Koreans. They have made it to all three NA LCS Playoff finals they could possibly have made it to, and won two out of those three, losing by a hair’s width to TSM in the Season 4 Summer Playoffs. Coming into Season 5 fresh off a clean tournament sweep at IEM San Jose, Cloud 9 seeks to stack further laurels upon their incredible record.

 

Current Lineup:

Cloud9-Balls Cloud9-Hai Cloud9-Meteos Cloud9-Sneaky Cloud9-Lemonnation

Top Lane: An ‘Balls’ Le

 Balls is one of those players in the running for Dyrus’ title of most consistently good player. He has rarely ever performed badly since his inception to the LCS, and has demonstrated some of the best Rumble play in the world. He has always had a large champion pool and is unfazed by game charges. His abilities as a player are remarkable, and many people view him as one of the best players mechanically on Cloud 9.

Something fun of note is the Balls was once an AD Carry player for other amateur teams. He has been playing competitively since Season 2.

 Middle Lane: Hai ‘Hai’ Lam

 Hai is one of those players who have been around since Season 1. He started his own team as a jungler after getting high rated, which gradually became better known under the name of Orbit Gaming. To be frank, Orbit Gaming never did very well. They were always one of the teams in the amateur scene, but they could never achieve much success. Orbit was rebranded Quantic Gaming, going through multiple rosters swaps but never being able to make it. Throughout this period of time, Hai was trying again and again to build a top competitive team, but never quite making it.

Then he makes the switch from being a jungler to mid laner, and he acquires the current roster we know as Cloud 9 today. Incidentally, this is when Hai started winning. Since then Hai has attained a reputation of being one of the best shotcallers in the world, having been one of the main forces in Cloud 9’s strategic dominance in the game. Unlike being extremely mechanically gifted like the top mid laners, Hai’s strength lies in his impeccable decision making, which rarely ever leads Cloud 9 astray. He has at times had issues with his champion pool, but his ability to make the right calls have always made him a valuable asset to his team.

 Jungle: William ‘Meteos’ Hartman

 Meteos, unlike most players on other top teams, hasn’t actually been playing competitively for that long. He was known as a high rated player in solo queue since Season 2, but he went under the radar as he never really played for any teams. In Season 3, he joined the Cloud 9 roster, and was immediately catapulted into the spotlight as one of the best junglers in the world, and the best junglers in the west. In the beginning, he was known for a very high farm jungle style, where Cloud 9 sacrificed farm on their laners’ part for Meteos to become strong. It was during this time that Meteos hit absurdly high KDAs; his KDA on Zac was 49 with a 100% win rate, and he finished the summer split with a 12.7 KDA which is the highest in LCS history.

 However, after a less than desirable performance at the Season 3 World Championships, Meteos adapted his style and has since taken on a more supportive jungle role. He adapts well to game changes, and his champion pool is rarely an issue. He is an extremely strong player mechanically, and in addition he has very strong in terms of strategy too, being responsible for a lot of Cloud 9’s early plays.

 Bottom Lane: Zachary ‘Sneaky’ Scuderi and Daerek ‘LemonNation’ Hart

 Sneaky, originally SnEaKyCaStRoO, has been playing League of Legends since about Season 2. He was a high rated player, but like Meteos was not very active in the competitive scene. His actual debut onto the scene was with Cloud 9. Sneaky always did well in his games, but no one would ever have thought that he’d have grown into the AD Carry powerhouse he is today. His growth over the years has been phenomenal, having gone from just a decent player to one of the best AD Carries in the world today. Sneaky is extremely strong mechanically, with consistently good decision making and positioning. He has a wide champion pool, and has historically been able to play any champion at a competitive level.

Like the rest of his teammates, LemonNation has played League of Legends since Season 2. He was well known by the high ranked community as a support player who only played Janna. After reaching rank 1 playing only support, Lemon was picked up by an amateur team, and after a brief period of time ended up on Orbit Gaming with now teammate Hai. From there, his career followed the same path as Hai to where he is today, as the support player of one of the best teams in the world. His individual skill is unfortunately lacking in comparison to other support players, and is inconsistent in his ability to impact the game. However, Lemon’s true value lies in his famous notebook, which really is a congregation of notes made in preparation for each game. The amount and quality of strategic knowledge he provides to his team is what makes him invaluable to Cloud 9 as a player.

Cloud 9’s bottom lane has traditionally been very solid. In their debut, they popularized the Ashe/Zyra combination to great success, although it has since grown defunct. After Sneaky has grown into the amazing player he is today, it has since become a very reliable backbone for Cloud 9 to fall on in tough games. Coming into this split, Sneaky intends to show just how much further he can grow as a player, while Lemon should work on his gameplay. If Lemon’s abilities develop to a point where he lands key skillshots more consistently, or gets caught less often while warding, Cloud 9 will have effectively covered up one of their few weaknesses.

 

Team Outlook:

Cloud 9 is a team that has literally never placed lower than second place in any regional event. Their understanding of the game and ability to play well strategically has allowed them to cover up their mechanical weaknesses against teams with better individual players. Their solidarity as a unit is shown through some of the best team play seen in the world. The fact that they have kept the same roster and management staff for the past two years now is also monument to this fact. If they all improve further in their individual gameplay, Cloud 9 will undoubtedly retain their title as the top team in the west.

 Prediction for end of split: 1st place

 

 

Team-Impulse-Banner

Team Impulse (formerly LMQ) – 3rd Seed

History:

LMQ arrived in the North American scene in Season 3, seeking greater prospects than they found in their native region China. The old LMQ was the epitome of the American dream – five skilled players coming over from another country seeking riches, working hard to integrate and make their mark in their new environment. They were one of the largest success stories of the LCS, with their honest attempts at embracing American culture winning the hearts of many fans in their new region.

Unfortunately, this story ends in heartbreak. Not even the Pacific Ocean could save LMQ from the shady business practices rampant throughout China. After a large schism in management of the newly beloved team and an unfortunate knockout in the group stages at the Season 4 World Championships, LMQ lost four of its five members that had made such an impact on the North American scene. After picking up an almost entirely new roster, LMQ rebranded as Team Impulse, seeking to regain its former success in the LCS.

 

Current Lineup:

TiP-Impact TiP-XWX TiP-Rush TiP-Apollo TiP-Adrian

Top Lane: Eon-yeong ‘Impact’ Jung

Impact is perhaps the most renowned player on the new Team Impulse roster. He is the former teammate of the legendary Faker, having played for SK Telecom K which won the Season 3 World Championships in one of the most dominating fashions possible. However, in the following Season 4, this championship team was unable to meet its former success in the Korean scene, and Impact as a result was released.

While his career has arguably taken a turn for the worse, Impact is still a very good top lane player. He is known for his versatility and ability to play any champion at a high level. With his entry into the North American scene, Impact seeks to exert his prowess as a top laner and regain his former glory as a world champion.

Middle Lane: Xian ‘XiaoWeiXiao’ Yu

XiaoWeiXiao is the only member of LMQ left on the team. His career began as a play on Royal Club Tian Ci, the training and substitute team of Star Horn Royal Club, one of China’s best teams traditionally. After coming over to North America, his abilities as a mid laner quickly became recognized through streams and playing in the Challenger series. Not only does he field an insanely large champion pool, he is an extremely skilled player mechanically and constantly outfarms his opponents in lane. In Season 4, he was arguably one of the best mid laners in North America, and definitely played a large part in improving the overall quality of mid play in the region. XiaoWeiXiao hopes to continue his story of pursuing the American dream, and turn the unfortunate events of the end of last season into a short chapter of a very successful career.

Jungle: Yoonjae ‘Rush’ Lee

 Rush is another import from Korea, known as one of the best solo queue players from the region. However, he was never once picked up by a Korean team, and thus he career begins this split as the jungler for Team Impulse. Like all solo queue stars, Rush has to prove that he is able to translate his success from solo queue into competitive play. Given that North America is a region with few good junglers, if Rush is successful in his move to North America, he may very well follow in XiaoWeiXiao’s footsteps in playing a large part in improving the overall play of his new region.

Bottom Lane: Apollo ‘Apollo’ Price and Adrian ‘Adrian’ Ma

Apollo, or “Wizfujiin” to the older crowd has been in the professional scene for a couple of years. He played for the LCS team Coast back in Season 3 but never saw much success. He’s known as being an incredibly good solo queue player, constantly reaching the top ten spots on the North American ladder. However, with his unsuccessful stint in the LCS, many question his ability to play well on stage. Nonetheless, his solo queue success at least demonstrates his mechanical skill is good enough to be relevant.

Adrian is a relatively unknown player. He’s a high rated solo queue player who’s played in the amateur scene in Season 4, but little is known about him otherwise. He has demonstrated decent game knowledge in his ability to play all five roles across solo queue, but he is not a very strong player mechanically. Like Apollo, he will have to be able to prove his worth in the LCS by showing that he is able to translate his solo queue success into competitive play.

 

Team Outlook:

Team Impulse’s largest issue by far is language barriers. They have two Koreans, one Chinese, and two Americans on their roster. However, there is solace in the fact that XiaoWeiXiao has been learning English for over a year now, and apparently Rush speaks English quite well too.

In terms of their roster, Impulse is coming into Season 5 with some pretty interesting pickups. Impact is definitely one of the most notable players coming into North America this year, and there is a lot of hype surrounding him. Rush is rumoured to be a very solid jungler. XiaoWeiXiao has been a consistently good mid laner. The big question mark is their bottom lane. If Apollo and Adrian manage to hold their weight in a region filled with titanic bottom pairs, Team Impulse may very well be able to achieve their former success.

Prediction for end of split: 5th/6th/7th Place with Gravity and Winterfox as the others

 

 

 

Read more:

The Tested – An overview of the bottom 4 seeded returning NA LCS teams coming into Season 5

The Challengers – An overview of the challenger NA LCS teams coming into Season 5 (T8, GV, CST)

 

Written by: Kevin ‘SoullessFire’ Lee

Graphics by Ling Gu: @vpnviper

 

All player photos and logos have been taken off the web. We do not own or hold responsibility for these images whatsoever.

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The Challengers – Team 8, Gravity, Coast

 

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Team 8 – 8th Seed

History:

Team 8 is arguably the newest team entering the LCS this split, fielding an extremely inexperienced roster compared to all the other teams. Only one of its members (frommaplestreet) has played in the LCS, and for an extremely unfortunate run on the team Velocity. They’re a group who have been playing in the amateur scene for about a year, and have had decent placements in all the tournaments they’ve played in, mostly in the top 3. Their LCS debut was won in a best of 5 series versus Complexity Gaming in the Spring Promotion tournament, going 3:2 against their fellow challengers.

 

Lineup:

T8-Calitrlolz T8-Slooshi T8-PorpoisePops T8-Frommaplestreet T8-Dodo8

Top Lane: Steven ‘CaliforniaTrlolz’ Kim

CaliTrlolz actually has a pretty interesting story with his team’s qualification of the LCS. Not only did he just win a once in a lifetime opportunity, he also was granted acceptance to a Pharm D program which are devilishly difficult to get into. With a little help from reddit, he was able to defer his admission for a year to play in the LCS.

Despite the community hype, CaliTrlolz is a relatively average player in terms of individual skill. Although he has proven himself to be able to perform on standard picks, it is highly likely that his fundamentals will pose as a brick wall against the likes of star players Dyrus, Impact, and Balls. His real strength lies in some of his more unconventional picks such as Kha’zix top, which have the potential to cheese and upset other top laners who may not have experience or the knowledge on how to play strange matchups. For example, the old LMQ was dropped a game against his Vladimir when playing against Team 8 in the Season 4 Spring Challenger Series. The key point for CaliTrlolz to address is the improvement of his individual abilities. With the increased practice against high calibre players, it is very possible that CaliTrlolz could transition from a wild card to a reliable top lane player.

Middle Lane: Andrew ‘Slooshi’ Pham

Slooshi has been an amateur mid laner for the past few years, and was one of the original founders of Team 8. He usually hovers around the lower end of the challenger ladder. Although he does quite well within the Challenger scene, his track record calls into question his ability to stand toe-to-toe with the mid lane superstars such as TSM’s Bjergsen or Team Impulse’s XiaoWeiXiao. Unfortunately for Slooshi, the mid lane competition coming into the current LCS is vastly improved and quite frankly on a completely different level than in the amateur scene.

To Slooshi’s credit, he constantly adapts to game changes and learns to play what is perceived to be the best champions on each patch. Notably, this is something that balances out his weaker individual capabilities, and quite frankly is something a lot of LCS players have had problems with in the past. Much like the rest of his teammates, he has a large gap between him and his competitors. If Slooshi manages to improve and stand his ground against the large tide coming against him, he will have proven that his entry to the LCS was well deserved.

Jungle: Braeden ‘PorpoisePops’ Schwark

Porpoise is an extremely new player by LCS standards. His appearance within the League of Legends scene began in 2014 with the advent of Team 8’s rise to a significant amateur team. Given his lack of experience, Porpoise is a relatively average jungler. He played a lot of jungle Kha’zix, Elise, and Nocturne in Team 8’s passage through the Challenger series. While his play throughout the Challenger Series can be considered alright, his entry into the LCS calls for a great deal of improvement on his end.

Bottom Lane: Ainslie ‘frommaplestreet’ Wyllie and Jun ‘Dodo8’ Kang

For those who don’t know, Maplestreet is the younger brother of the former TSM jungler TheOddOne. Having played for Velocity in the 2013 LCS Summer Split, Maplestreet is the only member of Team 8 to have once been a part of the LCS (albeit on a team that went 5:23 in the regular season). He has shown the capability to be strong mechanically, but very rarely so. In addition, Maplestreet is known to go on tilt quite easily, and is constantly harassed even in solo queue to throw his game off. In the past he had a leaning towards stranger picks like Draven and Varus, but his recent performances in the Challenger Series have proven that he’s able to play more than a couple of niche picks.

Dodo8, along with Slooshi, was one of the original members of Team 8. While he’s been playing for a long while now, the most noticeable thing about him is his large amount of Thresh games. Throughout most of the Challenger series, Dodo has stuck primarily to only Thresh and Nami as his comfort picks. While a large champion pool is not necessarily the most important attribute of a support player, one might worry about how he would perform in the regular season if teams were to take away his comfort picks.

After a weak showing at IEM San Jose playing as substitutes for Latin American team Lyon Gaming, Maplestreet and Dodo have a lot to show coming into this split of the LCS. In a region known for extremely strong bottom lanes, Maplestreet and Dodo are pitted against titanic odds. If Maplestreet manages to keep his emotions in check over the course of the season, and Dodo becomes a more versatile player, they may very well find a small place in the competitive scene.

 

Team Outlook:

The primary issue with Team 8 is that all five players have a large gap in individual skill between them and the more prominent teams in the LCS. Furthermore, they have not yet exhibited the same kind of strategic prowess that Cloud 9 possessed when they broke onto the scene. When their only hope of winning stems from cheese strategies and unconventionality, Team 8 has a long split ahead of them. However, the LCS has proven its ability to help lesser known teams improve and develop the potential they have within them. While the outlook is grim for Team 8, there is much they could get out of playing at the highest level North America has to offer. And, at the very least, they may be able to squeeze a few upset victories and keep the top teams guessing what surprise is next.

Prediction for end of split: 10th Place

 

 

Gravity-Banner

Gravity (formerly Curse Academy) – 9th Seed

History:

Curse Academy has been a challenger team that’s been around since the beginning of 2013 and has constantly played in amateur tournaments and the Challenger series. Incidentally, the team’s starting roster included Team Liquid jungler IWillDominate, and Winterfox mid laner and AD Carry Pobelter and Altec. As a small no-name amateur team, it cycled through numerous high rated players over the years, amassing a gigantic list of solo queue stars who have played for the team at some point in time, and even a decent number of LCS players before finally arriving at the current roster it fields today.

In the time leading up to the promotion tournament, Curse Academy performed quite well, placing consistently top 3 in most of the Challenger Series events. After making their way to a narrow and dramatic loss to Counter Logic Gaming in the 2015 Spring Promotion Tournament, Curse Academy blazed through the LCS Expansion tournament, dismantling Fusion Gaming of which the star players Nientonsoh and Maknoon played for and securing their spot in the LCS as the 9th seed. Due to Curse deciding not to continue sponsoring their League of Legends teams, Curse Academy rebranded as Gravity in their entrance to the 2015 LCS Spring Split.

 

Lineup:

Gravity-Hauntzer Gravity-Keane Gravity-Saintvicious Gravity-Cop Gravity-Bunny

Top Lane: Kevin ‘Hauntzer’ Yarnell

Hauntzer’s been an amateur player since the middle of Season 2, and has been trying to get into the LCS ever since. Despite the amount of time he has played competitively, he has stayed relatively under the radar. He started as a mid laner, but made a generally positive transition to the top lane role later into his career. Hauntzer plays as a solid top laner, preferring to play safe champions and tanks. With this being said, he has displayed the ability to adapt to game changes and playing according to each patch, and has thus accumulated a very large champion pool. The largest question that he needs to answer is whether or not he can translate his success in the Challenger scene to the LCS.

Middle Lane: Lae-Young ‘Keane’ Jang

Keane has had quite an interesting career history for someone making a debut in the LCS. Originally from Korea, he studied in New Zealand and played League of Legends in the Korean servers back in Season 2, and was noticed by the ex-Azubu Frost player Woong, and played for an amateur Korean team MiG Wicked for a little while. He was then picked up by the Australian team Little Wraith, where he easily hit rank 1 in the Oceanic servers. During mid-2014, Curse acquired the Little Wraith roster, where Keane caught the eye of Liquid and was offered a place on Curse Academy.

Keane is one of the up and coming mid players in the NA LCS, and is strongly believed to be one of the hidden talents coming into the North American scene. Although having garnered a reputation for unconventional picks a la mid Hecarim, Keane is proficient with many of the commonly picked champions in competitive play and is far from a one trick pony. During the promotion series versus Counter Logic Gaming, Keane constantly outfarmed and dominated veteran player Link, providing a strong basis for their first two wins despite their downfall at the end of the series. While not as hyped as the Young Pobelter, Keane is another strong mid laner coming into the NA LCS that many are excited to see perform.

Jungle: Brandon ‘Saintvicious’ DiMarco

Saintvicious is quite literally one of the most well-known players in professional League of Legends. Having started the main bulk of his career on CLG (when CLG actually still won things), Saintvicious in Season 2 was once known as the best jungler in the world. Nowadays, fans look to him as an old grandfather past his prime, which in many ways is true. However, few active players in the scene today could even claim to have the same amount of competitive experience as Saint, who has been consistently active since the beginning of Season 1.

With his laurels having been listed, it should still be noted that Saintvicious is no longer the player he once was. The size of the competitive scene and talent pool since Season 1 has grown exponentially. Furthermore, time has worn his abilities, and while he is still a strong player, he is nowhere close to what he once could claim to be. Instead, his strength lies in his shotcalling and massive game knowledge garnered over the many years of play. As such a veteran player, Saintvicious plays a crucial role in leading his team of green players to victory.

Bottom Lane: David ‘Cop’ Roberson and Michael ‘BunnyFuFu’ Kurylo

Cop is another player on Gravity with a vast amount of experience, although not nearly as much as Saintvicious. His career began in Season 2 playing on the original roster for Team Curse, which was constantly at the top of the amateur scene back in those days. However, Curse was never able to breach the top three spots in major North American tournaments where TSM, CLG, and Dignitas were present, constantly placing at best 4th. As such, Cop has reputation of being a B rated player, constantly playing at a level higher than amateurs, but never quite reaching the level to be considered amongst the best. Despite his imperfections, Cop performs consistently as a solid AD Carry, and underestimating him is not amongst the best of ideas.

BunnyFufu broke into the professional scene when he was replacing Saintvicious in the support role (the counter logic never leaves you). He is known for his exceptional Thresh play, landing some of the most impressive hooks recorded and generating a long list of highlight reels on reddit. Nonetheless, his play on other champions are far less impressive, giving him a reputation as a one trick pony. His ability to land skillshots is arguably unparalleled, but his performance in other areas of the game such as vision control and decision making are quite flawed, leaving much room for improvements. As few other champions have skillshots as game changing as Thresh, Bunny has a very visible weakness that most teams will exploit.

 

Team Outlook:

If Bunny is able to fix his weaknesses and become nearly as influential on other champions besides Thresh, Gravity’s bottom lane will be a very solid backbone for the team, relying on Keane and Saintvicious to make plays and carry the game. In spite of all their strengths individually as a team, Gravity’s only player to perform at a superstar level is Keane, which is unfortunately not enough to compete with the all-star lineups of the higher seeded teams. Furthermore, despite Saintvicious’ game knowledge and experience, he is but a mere shadow of his former self with increasingly deteriorating mechanical skill. He has yet to demonstrate the same strategic brilliance of Cloud 9’s Hai, which would be instrumental in Gravity placing much higher than their given prediction.

Nonetheless, Gravity is looking to be a competitive team, and is expected to place in the middle of the pack of the LCS, perhaps taking a game or two off the best teams in the LCS and providing a strong potential for creating upsets.

Prediction for end of split: 5th/6th/7th Place with Team Impulse and Winterfox as the others

 

 

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Coast (10th Seed)

History:

Coast was once the team GGU, consisting of the star players ZionSpartan and Shiphtur. While GGU had a surprise 2nd place finish in the 2013 Spring Playoffs, its rebranding as Coast started a very disappointing history. Coast has had to play in three consecutive relegation series, finally losing their spot in the LCS in their third relegation series during the 2014 Summer Promotion Tournament. Nonetheless, their position granted them an automatic seed into the NA Challenger Series, where Coast obtained a new roster in Rhux, Goldenglue, Santorin, DontMashMe, and Sheep. This roster performed very well in the Challenger Series, qualifying for the 2015 Spring Promotion Tournament.

A point of drama in the events leading to their promotion was when their management swapped out Rhux and Goldenglue for Korean players, causing a significant uproar amongst the League community. Furthermore, the swap created communication problems contributing to EG’s 3-0 sweep over them in the promotion tournament. After this embarrassing gaffe, the Korean imports were replaced by Cris and Jesiz, and Santorin who left following an offer from TSM was replaced by Impaler, creating their current lineup today. Coast then edged out a narrow 3:2 victory over Fusion Gaming, securing their spot in the NA LCS during the 2015 LCS Spring Expansion Tournament.

Lineup:

Team-Coast-Cris Team-Coast-Jesiz Team-Coast-Impaler Team-Coast-Mash Team-Coast-Sheep

Top Lane: Cristian ‘Cris’ Rosales

Cris is something of a caricature in the professional League of Legends scene. He has somewhat of a notorious reputation within the community for being a high profile flamer in solo queue. Nonetheless, he has been around the scene for years, having played for Velocity eSports for a period of time, with constant appearances in the amateur scene after.

Cris’ origins stem from solo queue in Season 2, where he was quite infamous for only playing Riven, flaming quite a bit, and for rumours of ghosting other players’ streams. The rumours have been unverifiable, but to his credit he now streams to when playing as evidence for his innocence. Since then, his champion pool has expanded, playing tank champions and initiators. Despite the amount of experience he has in competitive play, Cris has yet to prove himself to be at a high professional level. He constantly gets caught out in poor positions, and at times forgets to use item actives, facets of play that shouldn’t exist in the environment he’s playing in. The coming LCS split will either provide him with a good chance to prove himself and demonstrate his capabilities, or cement his dodgy reputation.

Middle Lane: Jesse ‘Jesiz’ Le

Jesiz is one of the two European imports in the coming LCS Split, coming to North America from Denmark. Before Coast, Jesiz was the mid laner for SK Gaming, the third place European seed at the 2014 World Championships. After an unfortunate circumstance caused by Svenskeren and a very poor showing, Jesiz and the rest of SK Gaming were eliminated in the group stage.

Even though Jesiz was the mid laner of the third best team in the last European LCS Split, his showing at Worlds and led many to believe that he is merely an average player, and not worth the relocation effort. His showing during the Spring Expansion Tournament has demonstrated that he is at least stronger than most amateur players and able to make it into the LCS. However, his performance in the expansion tournament could only be described as “reasonable”, as he was unable to make big plays and was reliant on Impaler to influence the course of the game. In order to prove his doubters wrong, Jesiz will have to show that he is capable of making game changing ultimates and roams, and that he isn’t just a passive supportive player.

Jungle: Matt ‘Impaler’ Taylor

Impaler is the other European import joining the NA LCS this Season, coming to North America from England. He has been playing competitively in the amateur European scene since Season 3, and qualified for the European LCS Spring Split in Season 4 on the team SUPA HOT CREW (yes, the name is entirely capitalized). Although SHC had a weak showing in the Spring Split ultimately finishing 7th, Impaler and the rest of his team managed to win their relegation series and catapulted to finishing 3rd in the regular season of the Summer Split. At the time of his acquisition, Impaler already had quite the reputation as a solid jungler.

It turns out that Impaler would become the shining star of Coast, having played the largest role in turning around their promotion series against Fusion Gaming with several absolutely heroic smites. In that series particularly, Impaler was responsible for many of the key and game swinging plays that allowed Coast to triumph over their opponents. To put it bluntly, the man is capable of carrying extremely hard. However, considering how narrow Coast’s win was over Fusion Gaming, it would be extremely difficult to predict how much Impaler would be able to influence the course of Coast’s games against the better teams.

Bottom Lane: Brandon ‘DontMashMe’ Phan and Jamie ‘Sheep’ Gallagher

MashMe has been one of those players who have been around since Season 1. In fact, he was one of the very first players to be considered high rated. Despite this, his early career consisted of a lot of hopping around many of the better known amateur teams at the time, doing well in online tournaments but quite poorly at LAN events. He played on multiple amateur teams until he was picked up as a replacement to Zig on Team Dynamic, which was later rebranded GGU. His time on GGU was his one claim to fame, where he and his team placed 2nd in a close best of 5 versus TSM during the 2013 Spring Season Playoffs. He is very similar to Jesiz in the regard that he is a remarkably average player, doing as well as his team, but never making the game winning plays.

Sheep’s career is markedly shorter than his AD Carry’s, having been brought into the spotlight during the implosion of Team XDG to replace BloodWater. Unfortunately for Sheep, XDG was falling to the bottom of LCS standings faster than Lindsay Lohan was able to destroy her public image. After losing their relegation series to LMQ, Sheep was picked up by Coast where he’s been playing since. Sheep’s most remarkable performances have been on Thresh, but he has been shown to play a variety of other supports as well.

MashMe and Sheep round off to being a solid, but average bottom lane. They usually don’t do exceedingly poorly, but they also rarely create the same kind of impact on the game of the top tier bot lanes have in the world. While this may not be the worst thing in weaker competition, North America happens to have some of the stronger bottom lane pairings in the world. Much like Jesiz, they will have to step up their game in order to prove themselves worthy of being in the LCS, and not rely on Impaler to make the big plays to win games.

Team Outlook:

Throughout this overview, there is one word that consistently appears when discussing Coast: “average”. Cris has been at best an average player in his career, MashMe and Sheep are average players, and even Jesiz, while having decent mechanics, is still a remarkably average player. Throughout the Expansion Tournament, Coast’s four laners play relatively passively, waiting for Impaler to instigate and pressure the map through ganks. In such a team oriented game, Impaler will have his work cut out for him if Coast expects him to constantly carry each game. He will require assistance from his teammates in creating openings and finding plays to make. If even just Jesiz manages to step up in doing so, Coast will have a much better chance of success in the current split. Coast has decent players, they just need to rise above their mediocrity to make a good show.

Prediction for end of split: 9th Place

 

 

 

Written by: Kevin ‘SoullessFire’ Lee

Graphics by Ling Gu: @vpnviper

 

All player photos and logos have been taken off the web. We do not own or hold responsibility for these images whatsoever.

Due to the departure of Joe Miller and Leigh “Deman” Smith, Riot Games was in need of new casters for the 2015 EULCS Season. As such, today they’ve announced their new casting lineup for the 2015 EULCS Season in an announcement at LoLeSports:

 

As we kick off a new season of the EU LCS, Trevor “Quickshot” Henry and Martin “Deficio” Lynge will be heading up the caster team hosting 2015’s live broadcast from our studio in Berlin. Moving into leading roles within the team, Quickshot and Deficio will be helping to guide viewers through a brand new season of LCS action — including guest spots along with Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere on the new League show, PTL.

In addition to this core duo, new face Devin “PiraTechnics” Younge will be joining the EU LCS caster lineup. Formerly of the LPLen team that brought the Chinese LoL pro stream to Western fans, PiraTechnics will be making his debut during the first week of the season.

This season, we’re also adding an analyst desk in EU to offer post-game in-depth analysis with expert commentators. Hosted by Sjokz, the desk will feature guest commentators and analysts to break down the day’s action, including Worlds analyst and pro Mitch “Krepo” Voorspoels for week one. In the future, more guests and pros will be rotating to pick up the conversation live in studio, so look out for more announcements in the coming weeks.

Over at the EU Challenger Series, Richard “Pulse” Kam and James “Stress” O’Leary will be helming the caster desk. A familiar duo to viewers of the LCS Expansion Tournament, Pulse and Stress will oversee the games as Challenger teams fight for a spot in the EU LCS.

We hope to add to our EU LCS lineup in the next few months, but are excited to be kicking off the action from our new studio space with this collection of talented casters. With new and reshuffled teams battling seasoned veterans and a brand new EU LCS studio home, we’re looking forward to a 2015 season full of fierce competition in Europe!

Deman and Joe Miller have chosen to stay in Cologne, where they will be working for ESL on other events.

Categories: Esports, Riot News Tags: , , ,

Welcome back to Rift Pulse, a weekly roundup of all things LoL eSports. This week follows the start of the LCS, the announcement of a Mid-Season Invitational, a brand new weekly show by Riot, and more.

 

Rift Pulse Jan 20 updated


North America


  • Team Liquid announced their foray into the Challenger Scene with Liquid Academy.
  • Alex Ich will be starting as the Mid Laner for Brawl, in addition to being a substitute for Team 8.

 

Europe


  • Soaz will be playing top for Origen, finalizing their roster.
  • Fnatic has announced the formation of “Fnatic Academy“, a secondary squad with the goal of participating the the Challenger Series that will also serve as practice partners.

 

China


  •  Fzzf has announced that he is retiring from competitive play.

 

Korea


 

Tournament and Scene updates

 

  • With LCS fast approaching, Riot has put out a promotional website packed with features, roster information, a full schedule, and more.
  • Riot has announced a new “Mid-Season Invitational”  a brand new international event held in May, between the Spring and Summer splits. The event will take place in NA, the venue is still TBA.
  • Riot has released an update detailing new plans for live events in NA. Most notably, the NA LCS Summer playoffs will not be hosted at PAX Prime this year.
  • Riot has also announced Primetime League“, a new weekly show hosted by Jatt and Riv that will air on Twitch starting on January 21st, at 3PM PST.

uolkikisfp

 

What is it like going from playing in Challenger Series to playing in international LAN tournaments? What is the hardest part to adjust to?

Kikis:  As for myself, I have a lot of experience of playing LAN events even before LCS was a thing, for example 2012 regionals at Gamescom, so it’s nothing new to me. But it’s a lot different and more exciting to play in front of huge live audience, when you can feel when they cheer and get hyped, instead of online at your sweet home. It’s definitely something I look forward to and will never get bored of.

 

What steps do you take to adapt to the newest patch? What is your approach to the current jungle?

Kikis: Well, the most important thing is to get used to it. And to do that, you just spam solo Queue games.. To get a feel of what’s strong I try a lot of champions that I think might be worth experimenting with. If I don’t see any potential in a champion, I’ll just drop it and move on. If I think something can work I’ll use it in a scrim to see how it works in a more competitive environment. I don’t look too hard though, I don’t put pressure on myself to deliver a new pick to the audience. I won’t put team in situation that we lose purely by trying too hard to make something work.

 

Who do you expect to give you the hardest time in the jungle?

Kikis: It’s hard to judge skill levels after new jungle patch came out and most of the junglers didn’t play competitive games on it. But if I had to choose, I respect Svenskeren as a player the most and I think he could give me the hardest time in the jungle with his aggressive playstyle. It doesn’t mean I would fall under his grace though, I will fight to the death with everyone I meet on Summoner’s rift.

 

What do you like or dislike about the current state of the jungle in the preseason and what changes would you like to see heading into Season 5?

Kikis: I like the way changes are going right now. Riot is doing their best to make this role balanced and fun. I actually really enjoy 2 stacks of smite and ability to change jungle items for free before enchanting. It gives better options for farming junglers that start with purple smite, and later on they can change it back to more useful smite in team fights.

 

What are your thoughts on ranged junglers and do you believe they require an advanced mechanical proficiency? What is their place on a team?

 

Kikis: I think ranged junglers are pretty strong, but it’s hard to fit them into a team comp. A lot of the times you have mid, ad and support ranged and you need some kind of front line. They require proper knowledge and practice about juggling the minions to not lose health and also don’t let them hard reset, which slows your jungle tremendously. Though with the recent nerfs on soft resets going down to 5 I am not so sure about them anymore. That might’ve killed their viability.

 

What was your mindset picking TF at IEM, was it intended to be a “cheese” or is it simply something you’ve practiced and had success with? What were your thoughts going into the matchup against TSM?

Kikis: We’ve practiced TF in scrims quite a bit. It worked pretty well. A lot of damage with great CC and map control with ult. I was confident in the champion, team was confident in me and we just went with it. Of course the part that we pick it in higher rotation to make enemies think it’s a mid-laner played a big part and that was intended, but it wasn’t the sole reason to use Twisted Fate. Everyone was super pumped against playing versus TSM and we were really motivated to win that and I’m really glad we actually did.

 

What did you gain most from playing at IEM? What are your overall thoughts on the event?

Kikis: Most people on the team doesn’t have a lot of LAN experience, especially in front of such a huge and wonderful audience, so it was a good thing for us. We played versus the best teams from NA and we learned a lot from C9 about vision control and team synergy. The event itself was really nice. We’ve met a lot of fans of the team, signed some stuff and took some photos. (which is pretty new to us by the way, it was overwhelming).

 

How are you preparing for the LCS? What are your goals going into the spring split?

Kikis: Well, mainly playing the game. 7 hours of scrim daily, 1-4 hours of solo Q and some analysis/team talk and watching replays. Every day we are getting better, we know our problems and we address them correctly. Everyone has a lot of trust into each other which is really great. We are not afraid to practice picks that we think are strong and we are motivated to put up a good show in the LCS and hopefully more.

 

Who are you looking forward to playing against most and who do you feel is your biggest threat in the EU LCS?

Kikis: It might sound lame but I look forward against playing every team. I am curious about overall strength of EU teams and on how we stand against them. The biggest threat will probably be Elements and SK. They look really good on paper, but we have to see if they stand up to their hype.

 

What players do you look up to? How would you define your playstyle and how do you feel it plays into your teams overall gameplay?

Kikis: The people I most look up to are the ones that give their heart and dedicate a lot of time to league. So from Europe it would mostly be Rekkles and Froggen. Also Faker, because he is a god, and Zefa. I really like Zefa’s playstyle and love watching him play.

 

What is your favorite lane to gank? 

Kikis: I don’t really have a favorite lane to gank. The only thing is that a lot of the times it’s hard to gank bot lane because they have more people percentage wise compared to other lanes and more defensive summoner spells.

 

Shout outs?

Kikis: I would like to thanks to everyone who is cheering for me or my team. The amount of support we are getting lately is huge and we are grateful for that. Also shout outs to our sponsors for helping us out and making living in gaming house possible!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Authors Note: Due to a busy schedule and preparation for the upcoming LCS, the release of this interview was delayed and some of the information is late.

Categories: Esports, Original Content Tags: , , , , , ,

 

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PBE 09/01

 

[ Reminder ] The PBE is a testing ground for changes. What you see here may not reflect what you see in Patch Notes. Remember that developers want your feedback so if you disagree with a change, you can always submit your thoughts on the PBE Community Forums.


All Updates for Patch 51 Cycle

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eSports 2015 Login Screen

A new login screen will hit live with Patch 5.1 to celebrate a new season of competitive play.

 

 

 

New Splash Arts

 

Challenger Ahri


For a full preview of the skin, check here.

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El Tigre Braum


For a full preview of the skin, check here.

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Alistar


For a preview of Alistar’s visual update, check here.

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Alistar_0 (1) Alistar_Square

 

 

New LCS Summoner Icons

LCS icons for the new season are now available for all participating teams.

 

North America

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Europe

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 


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How is playing in the starladder and what prompted this decision?

It’s pretty hard to find a team in my circumstances and I felt really burnt out after trying with NIP. We tried out several teams and it didn’t go that well, so I decided to play soloqueue and stream. But I didn’t feel really good from that because I really love playing competitively, so I decided to join a team that I will be able to play tournaments even if it is lower level and at the same time try to develop russian eSports.

 

The prizepool of Starladder is noticeably small compared to the LCS and other events, what else are you doing to sustain yourself in the mean time?

I still have some savings, I’m streaming though I decided to do break because I felt a bit burnt out and wanted to focus on my own gameplay. Also I get a salary from RoX.KIS team.

 

You said you want to focus on playing to maintain and improve your skill level. Where would you place yourself currently in comparison to other LCS mid laners, skill wise? Do you have plans to stream in the future?

I will stream and I think even if I am behind from LCS mid laners, it is not that far. Most difference of LCS teams right now is decision making, teamplay and vision control rather than personal skill. I will start streaming after I get back home after holidays maybe.

 

What went into your previous switch to Top lane before your return to mid? Which role do you prefer to play and where do you feel stronger? Why?

Right now I really prefer playing mid lane. I found a lot of flaws in my gameplay and fixed most of them I feel. It was a fun time playing top lane but switching back and forth isn’t the best idea in my opinion, so I will just stabilize and show some cool mid lane performance.

 

What is your current visa situation? Where would you prefer to play if you could play anywhere and is it possible for you to relocate for a team?

I cannot do visa solo, so I need the team that will help me with the visa. It is much easier to do it in NA rather than EU in my opinion  because of NA athlete rules. And overall right now I think NA environment is much better for playing with team rather than EU. So I would prefer to play in NA. It is possible for me to relocate for team with my family, I don’t see much problem in that.

 

Would you prefer to join an existing LCS team? How viable is it for you to play through the Challenger series?

I think it is viable for me to play in Challenger Series if I am 100% sure in team commitment and get some help with visa so I can be more stable. It is really hard to focus on the game when your visa is not in a stable situation and you don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I would prefer to play in an LCS team but if I get a good challenger offer I would accept it. A lot of teams and fans think that a team needs to provide an apartment for me and my family, but I can sustain myself and pay for everything myself. The main thing I need help with is the visa and finding an apartment for me and my family that I will be able to play from.

 

Have you ever considered working in eSports outside of being a player? What would you do, if anything?

Hmm, I have considered it but I don’t want tobecause I am interested in the competitive side of eSports.

 

What is your favorite memory from the LCS?

Getting through to worlds in season 3 against CLG.EU.

 

What are you thoughts on Gambit currently?

I think that right now Gambit looks really strong, maybe one of the favorites for the upcoming split. I am glad that they finally found their spirit and a strong lineup.

 

Would you participate in the infamous CLG.EU / Moscow 5 reunion showmatch?

Of course I would. It could be really fun!

 

Shoutouts?

Thanks everyone who still supports me and cheers for me, thanks to my wife and my family for helping me especially in current situation. I think that I still got really decent chances of getting back on track.


 

HarYRDyt_400x400

 

How does it feel to qualify for the LCS again after multiple close attempts? How do you stay motivated?

It feels really good, especially since I’ve been on this team for months and we’ve all worked hard in the gaming house to make it happen. Winning by a 3-2 margin was just one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. It was amazing that me and my teammates perserved after losing 2 games to tie the series. Honestly a good amount of my motivation comes from when I lose horribly to my opponents. Sometimes there’s a lot of mental blocks like the enemy is bad and just lucky etc but sometimes the enemy plays really agressive and just outplays you the whole game so I always want to strive to do better than them but at the same time perfect my play so I can try to be the best in the world.

 

Is this the strongest team you’ve been on so far? How do you believe you will perform in the LCS, and do you think you can reach the top 6?

Yea it’s definitely the strongest team I’ve qualified with but myself and the other players on my team take a good amount of time to adapt to the meta. so atm we’re not doing super well but I believe in my teams potential and the hard work that they put in. The first split might be shaky but I definitely think we can make top 3 and go to worlds in 2015.

 

Who are you most looking forward to playing against? More specifically who do you think will be the biggest challenge for your team?

I’m excited to play almost every team. I think there’s never been so much talent in LCS ever, I am excited to watch and play against a lot of the talented players who I believe will become huge carry superstars: Quas, Pobelter, Impaler, Crumbzz, Cali(no pressurino) etc.

 

Who do you feel is the biggest threat to you in the bot lane?

I think most bot lanes have better mechanics than us but I think me and dodo have a strong strategic mind so as long as we don’t blunder super hard I think sneaky and lemon will be the biggest threat as they have strong mechanics and brains meaning I should cheese them with my good old kennen ADC.

 

How much do you think the role of AD has changed in the recent patches? What changes do you like or dislike most? Is there anything you would change before the new season starts?

I don’t think it’s changed too much, it feels like a lot of junglers can do significantly more damage though making the early game more difficult for ADCs. Riot has nerfed a lot of the ADC’s recently so now they’re all pretty similarly balanced. Corki doesn’t have a ridiculous edge anymore because Sivir OP.

What are the biggest obstacles in playing in Challenger and the road to the LCS? Do you feel Riot is taking the right steps in creating a viable path to the Pro Scene?

Well everyone kind of starts off in Challengerland and its just not cutthroat enough in a way. You have to beat an LCS team to make it in so you gotta assemble a really strong challenger team to do that. When the current roster of team 8 formed we were slightly behind the monstrous LMQ in skill but had a good record against most teams. A bad seeding (partially our fault but also ranked 5′s is a horrible way to bracket because for example : if seed 1 was LMQ seed 18 would avoid seed 1 until finals  but 20,10,11,2,19,9,12 are all doomed to face seed 1 early to the point where they wouldn’t get enough points to get into the playoff stage.

 

How do you feel about the new teams entering the LCS and of them who do you feel is strongest?

I thought Coast would be really good coming into the tournament but they looked a little shaky. I think they’ll eventually pick it up and be a huge threat in terms of mechanics and laning phase. Also Impaler seems to be ‘slightly’ good at jungling. Curse Academy was on and off amazing they would seemingly play teamfights brilliantly and then follow it up with them getting picked off multiple times. I think if CA fixes that they’d be a similar team to C9 with absolutely dominant team fighting pressure.

 

It seems that newer teams have trouble not being relegated. Is this just not adjusting properly to the level of play or not changing practice habits? What plays most into this?

Don’t know. It seems like a lot of the teams end up disliking each other when they finish low in the standings. I thought Complexity had really strong ward control but it seemed that our teamwork and essentially chemistry was better than CoL for teamfights which decided most games.

 

How was it subbing for Lyon Gaming? What was it like playing with a squad from a different region?

I just wanted to have fun. We didn’t get a huge amount of practice so it was kind of an uphill battle and then during the tournament games we ran completely different stuff. Wish there was a loser’s bracket so we could’ve played against pain they were really cool people that I met during the afterparty. It’d also help the international scene grow!

 

What are your overall thoughts on IEM San Jose? How is playing on an international stage compared to the LCS or even Challenger? What did you learn most?

I sucked but people were congratulating me for shooting a rocket that got me a triple kill when Seiya completely set up that play LOL. I wasn’t on my game because I wasn’t used to how uncomfortable earbuds + tight headsets were. It was very painful for me but I made a few amateurish mistakes so I gotta just work harder so that doesn’t happen next time.
Draven. Will we get to see him again? Where does he fit in 4.21 and what types of AD carries do you enjoy most right now? 

Draven is always playable but a very unsafe pick. He’s got the damage potential though and the dollah bills. In the current patch I still love Corki. He’s absolutely broken after triforce is finished, I feel like I always have 2k+ gold on my next back. He’s insanely flexible and still super OP imo.

 

Shoutouts?

Shoutout to all the m8′s who have supported the team. Be sure to follow the team on twitter because we’re eventually gonna have a store that will sell hella stuff! Shoutout to our sponsors Freedom, CyberpowerPC and Wearhaus and all the people that want hugs at live events. Hugs are cool.

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Team Roccat has announced today that they have acquired a new coach in the form of Titus “Ducky” Hafner. 

Hafner is the former coach of Copenhagen Wolves, as well as a Challenger ranked player on EUW.

 

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“I’m very glad to be part of ROCCAT. I’m certain we will be a team to watch out for and compete for a top spot in Europe. -Ducky

 

In addition, Roccat has also picked up former mousesports player Leonhard “foo sharp” Wolf as their assistant coach.

NoL sources say that former Roccat coach Fryderyk “Veggie” Kozioł has left the organization on good terms.

For more details, check out Team Roccat’s official Facebook announcement.

Categories: Esports, LoL News Tags: , , , , , ,

Welcome to the second edition of Rift Pulse, a weekly roundup of all things LoL eSports. This week follows the end of the EU and NA expansion tournaments, the 2015 Challenger Series, the conclusion of IEM and much more.

 

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North America

 

  • Shan “Chaox” Huang has officially joined a new Challenger team, Roar. The team has already begun bootcamping in China.
  • Team Liquid looks to take over Curse as title sponsor.

 

Europe

 

  • The first four players of xPeke’s new Challenger team Origen have been announced. http://na.lolesports.com/articles/origen-unveils-lineup – origen
  • Fnatic has announced that they are looking for a LoL coach and are holding open applications.
  • SoaZ looks to be parting ways with Fnatic and could potentially be joining former team mate xPeke in Origen.

 

Korea

 

  • SK Telecom T1 has released Impact from his contract and hints at a possible overseas plan.
  • Former CJ Entus Blaze top laner Flame will be joining Chinese organization LGD.

 

China

 

  • RooKie and KaKAO join Invictus Gaming.
  • Team DK picks up former KT Bullets top laner Limit and former VG.S AD carry ViigejBoBoBoBo. 

 

Tournament and Scene updates

 

  • Giants Gaming and H2K Gaming emerge at the top of the EU expansion tournament, joining the LCS in 2015.
  • Team Coast and Curse Academy earn their spots in the LCS in 2015 after strong performances in the NA expansion tournament.
  • Cloud 9 takes home their first ever IEM title at San Jose.
  • Gambit Gaming takes their sixth IEM trophy, taking down CLG in Cologne.
  • Riot announces format changes to the Challenger Series.