EU LCS Off-Season Stories

With the off-season fully underway, it’s time to take a look at some off-season story-lines for the European LCS. The top two European teams at Worlds performed extremely well and have set the standard for future European teams. There is an extremely large gap between the top teams and the rest of the pack however. This off-season will help shape up the European scene in 2016 and if that gap will eventually be able to be closed. Let’s take a look at what will be happening this off-season in Europe.


 

New Blood

EUG2

As always, a new LCS split brings new players and teams into the professional scene. For the 2016 EU LCS spring split the two new teams that qualified through the challenger series are Gamers2 and Team Dignitas EU. With Dignitas already having a North American team in the LCS, they were required to sell one of thier teams. Dignitas elected to sell their European team and they are now Follow eSports. It was reported that the team was sold for 1 million dollars, but I can not confirm that. Gamers2 and Follow eSports will be looking to repeat the success of Unicorns of Love and Origen, who came out of the challenger scene and immediately had success. Gamers2 brings two LCS veterans back into the scene, Kikis and Jesse (formerly known as Jesiz), along with 3 players looking to make a name for themselves in the professional scene. Follow eSports have recently added former Enemy Esports jungler Trashy to their team of inexperienced players. At this point in time, I would pin point Follow eSports as a team headed for relegation after next split. Only time will tell if this team has the talent to compete with the best players in Europe.


Teams Holding Tryouts

gambitEU

There are plenty of tryouts going on across the pond this off-season. Gambit is holding tryouts for a new ADC since Forgiven, Pinoy, and Moopz were unable to impress in 2015. There has also been rumors of Gambit holding tryouts for top laners. Cabochard had a great spring split, but his summer split was very lackluster. Gambit will be looking to add top players and get back to the top of the European League of Legends scene like they once were. Unicorns of Love are another mid table team holding tryouts for multiple positions. The only players that have been confirmed for UOL are their top laner Vizicsacsi and thier support Hylissang. The organization has confirmed that PowerOfEvil has moved on to another team, which has not been identified. Their ADC in 2015, Vardags, has been invited to tryouts to see if he can earn his spot back against other competing ADCs. The big void for this team has been the jungle position ever since Kikis left. They have had multiple players that failed to perform at that position. I’m most intrigued in who they will bring in for the jungle position. Keep an eye out for Unicorns of Love as they will be adding possibly 3 new pieces.  Another team that will be having plenty of tryouts is Elements. Once again Froggen is left with almost nothing and will be building a team around him for 2016. Jwaow is gone from the top lane, Dexter is a free agent and looking to move back to North America, and Nyph wants to stay a coach instead of starting at support. That leaves Froggen in the mid lane, Tabbz at ADC, and a bunch of question marks. It will be extremely interesting to see who exactly joins forces with Froggen and what that team can accomplish. There will be plenty of opportunities for new players in Europe next season with all the tryouts being held.


Can Teams Catch Fnatic and Origen?

Fnatic win LCS

Probably the most important when it comes to the European scene. Can teams catch up to the level of play that Fnatic and Origen established in 2015. If teams are not building to beat Fnatic and Origen, then why are they joining the LCS? Fnatic went 18-0 in the summer split and teams have to be getting tired of hearing about Fnatic being the best European team. If you want to be the best team in Europe and get to the World stage, you have to be able to compete with the best teams. Teams should be aiming to be the best instead of just making the playoffs. Teams with goals like, “stay out of relegation”, are not helping the EU LCS as a whole. It is a tall task, but a task that each EU team needs to discuss. Teams will have to revisit how they approach the game as a whole and build a team the right way in order for them to be able to make it to the biggest stage in the world. If you are a fan of the EU LCS, you should be paying attention more to the 8 teams below Fnatic and Origen instead of the top two teams. Closing that gap should be the goal of every team at this point. This off-season will help reveal who exactly will be able to do that.

 

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin