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Posts Tagged ‘Challenger’

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With a roster built on the experience of veteran players and upcoming Challenger talent, startup organization HUMA has their eyes set on the LCS. At the teams core, Jungler Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen, formerly of Team SoloMid, and former Giants Gaming Top Laner Jorge “Werylb” Casanovas spoke with NoL on competing under a new banner, qualifying for the LCS, and more.

 

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Santorin

After leaving TSM, did you immediately decide to return to Europe, or did you consider staying in NA? What led to you joining HUMA?

After TSM, I wasn´t sure what I was going to do. I spent a lot of time considering all my options. Despite many teams making offers, I decided to go with HUMA. One of the main reasons being I saw a lineup that could make it into the LCS.

 

How confident are you in your chances of qualifying for the EU CS and eventually the LCS?

Right now I think our chances of getting into the EUCS are high, and if we make it into the EUCS I think our chances of getting into the LCS are even higher. After working with this team for a little while now I see us improving steadily and everyone truly trying their hardest. A huge upside to this team is the fact that we receive criticism really well together and individually. No one feels hurt or threatened if they are being approached with a problem, which really helps us grow a lot.

 

You’ve played in the Challenger series before. Do you have a different mindset going in this time now that you’ve gone as far as the world stage?

I definitely have a different mindset going into Challenger series once again. I have so far failed twice getting into the LCS with challenger teams, but this time I feel like I not only have more knowledge and experience behind me, but the right team to finally make it to LCS with.

 

You’re taking on more of a shot caller role in the team. What makes you suited for this role and have you already started to transition?

I have decided to take a leadership role in the team because I think my worlds experience, and playing with TSM, gave me a lot of helpful experiences to make the transition into being the shot caller easier. I am still getting used to the shot calling aspect of our games, but I believe that with time I can become more comfortable with it.

 

You have been criticized in the past for being passive. Do you believe you have played too safe of a style and do you think we can expect a more aggressive Santorin, or is this more of a product of the function of the team?

I think my style on TSM was too passive, it was a mix of a lot of different things. I do not really know why it all started where I became super passive, but back on Coast I was a really aggressive jungler and I always went for skirmishes and tried to outplay my opponent. The style I had on coast was the style where I was able to carry games and lead my team to victory and that´s the style I will be using with my new team, HUMA.

 

How have you been spending the offseason?

In the offseason I decided to visit my girlfriend, Kelsie, in Canada for a month and outside of that I, I have been playing solo queue, streamed and visted my family and obviously going to the gym too.

 

Are you enjoying the state of the jungle right now? What do you love/hate most about the preseason?

I really enjoy the state of the jungle right now, it allows me to play all the aggressive junglers which is what I love playing and it also puts me in a position where I can carry games. The thing I love the most about the preseason is the rift herald, I really like that they added that to the game, it makes the game more interesting. A thing I hate about the preseason is the fact that thunder lords is stronger than every other keystone which makes the choices of masteries very one sided.

 

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Werlyb

 

What led to your decision to leave Giants and how did you end up on HUMA?

Well about leaving giants, it was more about how I was not comfortable in general and that I wanted to try finding better options. At the same time they were not comfortable playing with me so I think it was better for everyone if I left. Huma came to me with a great offer and a roster that was really good, so I decided it was the best possible option and took it.

 

You’ve already qualified for the LCS through promotion in the past. What makes it different this time, and are your goals different after having played in the LCS before?

The difference is that now I have a lot of experience, I know more about how everything works, and I know how much we have to train as a team to really make it to the top. Also individually I’m a much better player than when I qualified before. My goals are different since I got into LCS. Before just staying in was good enough, but now I want to be one of the top teams

 

You’ve been playing a lot of duo queue with Santorin. How has that been and has the rest of the team been practicing together?

I get along very well with Santorin, I like his attitude and I think he’s really skilled. About the team, we haven’t played that much, but at the moment I think we are a really strong team and we are going to get better and better.

 

With the preseason in full swing, what type of role do you see yourself filling in the team for 2016? What is your favorite way to play top?

I don’t think I’m going to have a specific role in the team. I prefer the carry-role, but I’m also playing more non-carry champs so my team can just carry me.

 

What are your impressions of Illaoi? Have you had time to play her and do you think she has a place in competitive play?

I still haven’t played Illaoi because I don’t think she’s a good champ overall, so right now I don’t think we are going to see her in competitive play.

 

Shoutouts?

I would like to say thanks to HUMA, my fans, and my team mates for trusting in me, you won’t regret it.

 

image credit: Ciqret, lolesports, HUMA


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 December, multigaming organization Natus Vincere, or Na’vi, made their official return to the competitive League of Legends scene with the announcement of their challenger roster, and their intent to climb their way through the Challenger Series into the LCS. NoL spoke with their starting Jungler, Amin “Amin” Mezher, on playing in the Challenger Series, the development of the amateur scene, how he ended up on Na’Vi, and more.

You’ve spent quite some time in the Challenger series. What has kept you motivated to continue playing? Has there ever been a time you considered giving up?

I just enjoy playing the game in an amateur scene where I can have a real life and also some competitive gaming. Giving up? No. I could have played in the LCS if I wanted to, I had offers.

 

What are your thoughts on the development of the Challenger scene over the past year and where is it still lacking the most? What needs to change to make being an amateur player more viable?

I think the challenger series has improved a lot since I played in it with NiP. It’s a lot more structured now, with better money.

 

With so many teams receiving backing, both new and old alike, are you concerned with organizations who have a higher spending power potentially limiting the growth of upstarts and those with less money?

With so many new organizations coming in, with an entire bank in the pocket it definitely makes it harder for Solo queue players to get into the scene. Why would you tryout a random solo queue player when you can just buy one of the best players in that role?

 

You sometimes get a bad rep for your attitude. Do you think it is deserved and are you doing anything to change this perception?

I would say it’s deserved, but a bit exaggerated by the community, reddit etc. I think I was way more toxic back in the day when I was a lot younger. Now I’m trying to be more mature and I think I’m on the road to incarnation.

 

How did you end up on Na’Vi? What led to your decision in joining the team? What was the trial process like?

I wanted to join an amateur team this year and I heard Na’Vi was looking for players so yeah, the org is very big in esports and it made my decision easier. I saw that they took it very serious with the staff etc. which was important. To be honest I just scrimmed two games and after that it was a done deal pretty much.

 

What are your immediate goals now that you are officially competing again?

My first goal is to qualify for CS and play good every game and prove myself a bit more to the community.

 

Does Na’Vi have a gaming house, or plans to get one?

I do believe Na’Vi are going to buy a gaming house soon in Berlin, so yes.

 

Are you already practicing as a team? Results?

We haven’t played a lot of tournaments or barely any official games, but we’re practicing. Results are pretty good since we’re a new team.

 

How confident are you that this team will perform in Challenger Series and potentially make the LCS? Is there an expectation to qualify by the organization?

I believe if we stick together and if everyone takes it serious, we can go a long way, including in the LCS. Na’Vi believes in us.

 

What is the team atmosphere like? Is it strictly business, or do you guys do things together outside of the game as well?

I like the team atmosphere because it’s not strictly business, we’re friends too. So after scrims we can just keep hanging out.

 

How is shot calling handled in-game?

We’re still a new team so we’re trying stuff out pretty much but it’s mostly me, mid, and top shot calling.

 

How are you enjoying the preseason? What do you hope to see changed before competition starts?

I like the preseason, I like the fact that more aggressive junglers are played. It fits me.

 

Who do you see as the biggest threats in Challenger right now? Who are you most looking forward to play against?

I would say Millenium are one of the best challenger teams right now. They’ve played together for a long time and have great teamwork.

 

Shoutouts?

Just a big shoutout to Na`Vi and all the sponsors


 

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.

Flaresz becomes free agent

October 23rd, 2015

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Enemy eSports (NME) Top Laner  Cuong “Flaresz” Ta took to twitter to announce that he is now a free agent and is ready to be contacted for potential offers.

 

NME fell to 9th place during the Summer Split of the North American LCS, with Flaresz putting on a subpar performance and averaging 5 deaths per game, leading the league at 90 deaths. The team was then relegated from the LCS after an 0-3 defeat to Team Coast.

 

image via lolesports

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French organization Against All Authority (aAa) announced that they will be making a run at qualifying into the 2016 Challenger Series after recent roster changes.

With the departure of top laner Aymeric ‘Darlik‘ Garçon and jungler Eric ‘Spontexx‘ Peugot, aAa scoured the scene for replacements, eventually deciding on Swedish players Amin ‘Amin‘ Mezher and Olof ‘Flaxxish‘ Medin. In the past, Amin has played for Supa Hot Crew and Ninjas in Pyjamas, and served as a substitue for Team Roccat for the 2015 season.

The team has also added William ‘Galette‘ Lobjois, former manager of training Imaginary Gaming, as their team manager.

aAa plan to debut their roster soon:

 

The first official meeting of the offline team will probably be at the ASUS RoG Tournament to be held in Montpellier on 21 and 22 November (vote for aAa!). Then follow the “marathon ladder” to hope to earn a spot in the qualifying stages of the Challenger Series. Stay tuned!

 

 

Current AaA roster

 

Flag  Olof  “Flaxxish”  Medin – Toplaner

Flag  Amin  “Amin”  Mezher – Jungler

Flag Louis “Polyokov” Hamet -  Midlaner

Flag  Florent  “Yuuki60”  Soler – Carry AD 

Flag  Leo  “Lounet”  Maurice – Support

 

images via aAa

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After announcing their return to League of Legends, Natus Vincere has started their hunt for a head coach.

The team will be attempting to enter the 2016 Challenger series and qualify for the EU LCS in the Summer.

To continue our expansion, we are looking for a passionate, enthusiastic and experienced Head Coach to be a vital part of building a League of Legends team in Western Europe. We value our players and employees as they are the foundation of our success and take great care of their individual development. Thus, we are not only looking for a coach helping to grow the team within League of Legends but also outside of Summoner’s Rift.

 

You can view the complete requirements of the position in the full announcement.

 

image via Na’Vi

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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

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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.

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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

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Mohammed “Jebus” Tohki has started his journey to North America and is set to join upcoming Challenger team Misfits as their AD Carry. Jebus played for Gamers2 in the EU Challenger Series Playoffs, narrowly missing the Promotion Tournament with a 4th place finish and is considered one of the top prospects of his position in the Challenger scene.

Chris Badawi, the owner of Misfit’s, confirmed the move in an official statement to DailyDot.


Jebus is an immense talent, to be sure.  But the true appeal of him to Misfits is his stellar reputation as a team player with an absolutely ridiculously kick-ass and positive attitude. He’s the kind of guy you want speaking at your wedding (or funeral for that matter.) A kind, hard-working, good-natured friend who, for his part, has had trouble finding the perfect environment and support structure in EU—a misfit to the core, there is really only one logical place for him to be.  We are all just waiting for the visa gods (visa Jebus?) to do their thing and I can’t tell you how excited every one of us is to have him join our band of misfits.
Go Misfits!


Ocelote” Rodriguez sent a tweet shortly after the announcement was made, indicating that Jebus was still contracted to Gamers2.


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I reached out to Chris Badawi on the matter, who had this to say:


I reached out to Ocelote and never heard back.  I know Jebus isn’t and hasn’t been getting paid – and a contract for services without payment is essentially slavery – it is unenforceable in every jurisdiction in the world.  I’m a former lawyer and not easily intimidated by flaccid, limp and unsubstantiated contractual claims/threats.  If a contract is legitimate and its terms honored in good faith by the controlling party I will respect it absolutely – this is unfortunately not the case here. Players deserve better.  They deserve to be better treated, respected and valued – unfortunately many owners/management in this scene simply won’t and don’t.  Jebus has a heart of gold and a truly good and decent soul.  If any one deserves better than the scene currently has to offer, it’s him.


reported that Nick “LastShadow” De Cesare had difficulty receiving payment for coaching services.


Tim Kimbirk is a content creator and interviewer for SoloMid. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

 

Alexey “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin and Alberto “Crumbzz” Rengifo have come together to create a new Challenger team.

Long time veterans of the LoL scene, the two have crossed regions to join forces and compete in North America.


From the official announcement:

Rengifo and Ichetovkin will be joined by Maria “Yuno” Creveling in the support position. Creveling previously played for Team Roar’s bottom lane alongside Shan “Chaox” Huang.

The AD Carry and Top lane positions have yet to be finalized, but the team is currently scrimming with Ritchie “Intense” Ngo (AD Carry) and Oleksii “RF Legendary” Kuziuta (Top lane). Badawi states that the scrims so far have been going great but that the team is still considering all available options and accepting applications.


See the official announcement for complete details as well as a Q&A with team owner Chris Badawi.

Team Solomid has expanded it’s roster of competitive teams with the acquisition of Team Confound, Joining TSM under the name ‘TSM Darkness’. The team intends to compete in the 2015 NACS Spring in hopes of making it into the LCS. This marks the first semi-pro team to play under the TSM banner since 2012’s Team SoloMid EVO.

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TSM Darkness Roster

Ryan “Ron” Ballard – Top
Lyonel “Arcsecond” Pfaender – Mid
Paul “Indivisible” Nguyen – Support
Andrew “Azingy” Zamarripa – Jungle
David “Kabigon” Bérubé – ADC

Read the official announcement on Facebook.