IEM Cologne Preview

Tomorrow will mark the beginning of a 3 day tournament that features six of the top League of Legends teams from around the globe. Much like IEM San Jose, IEM Cologne features two teams from North America, two teams from Europe, one team from China, and one team from Korea. Here is a little breakdown of each team competing in Cologne this weekend.


 

Participants

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Fnatic

Top: Gamsu

Jungle: Spirit

Mid: Febiven

ADC: Rekkles

Support: Noxiak

Coach: Deilor

A new look Fnatic team will be on display this weekend as they debut 3 players in thier starting lineup. With the departure of Huni and Reignover from the top side of the map, Fnatic brought in former Team Dignitas top laner Gamsu and former Team WE jungler Spirit to fill the void. With Yellowstar’s surprise move to TSM as well, Fnatic were in search for a new support player. Noxiak, formerly with Meet Your Makers, will need to show that he belongs on the biggest stage and perform well. Fnatic may have lost top tier players, but they still have Febiven and Rekkles to carry the team. The biggest issue going forward for this team is going to be who takes over the shot-calling duties after Yellowstar’s departure. It will be really interesting seeing how well this team plays this weekend.


 

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H2k

Top: Odoamne

Jungle: Jankos

Mid: Ryu

ADC: Forgiven

Support: Vander

Coach: Prolly

Just like their fellow European team Fnatic, H2k enter this competition with 3 new starters in their lineup. Their solo laners remain the same, but a new jungler and bottom lane will hope to take H2k to the next level. Jankos comes over to H2k after his stint with ROCCAT in season 5. He will look to add some aggressiveness from the jungle position that H2k never had. Also joining from ROCCAT is their new support Vander. He will be teaming up with journeyman Forgiven in the bot lane. Many people are anxious to see how Forgiven will perform with H2k given how his summer split ended with suspension. He is one of the most talented ADC’s in all of Europe, but we will have to see how he performs with his team and whether he will leave another team in pieces. RIP CW, SK, Gambit.


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Cloud 9

Top: Balls

Jungle: Rush

Mid: Incarnation

ADC: Sneaky

Support: Hai/BunnyFufu

Coach: LemonNation

Like every LCS team participating in Cologne, Cloud 9 comes into the event with a new lineup. Their long time support player LemonNation retired in the off-season and became the team’s coach. Hai moved from the jungle position to the support role so that the team can still benefit from his great shot-calling skills. BunnyFufu was also added to this team as a substitution at the support role. There may be a chance we see him in a couple games this weekend as well if Hai doesn’t perform well. The biggest change for this team is the addition of Rush. Rush, formerly with Team Impulse, was the best jungler in North America last season and took home the summer split MVP award. His high level mechanical play from the jungle position is something this team has missed since Meteos started his decline. Look for Rush to make a huge impact in his first games with his new team.


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Team Dignitas

Top: SmittyJ

Jungle: Kirei

Mid: Shiphtur

ADC: Apollo

Support: Jesse

Coach: Brokenshard

Dignitas has not been seen since the first round of the summer split playoffs where Team Impulse swept them 3-0. This is also a totally different team from when we last saw them. Shiphtur is the only player from that summer split participating this weekend. KiwiKid is still the starting support for Dignitas, but could not attend the event in Cologne this weekend. Jesse, who most recently was the starting ADC for Gamers2 as they qualified for the EU LCS, will be filling in at the support position. He will be joined in the bot lane with former Team Impulse ADC, Apollo. Apollo will look to finally establish himself as a “hard carry” type of player, as this team will need him to be that in order for them to go far. The new duo on the top side of the map for Dignitas were also last seen playing for Gamers2. SmittyJ and Kirei come together from the European challenger scene and are going to be looking to make a name for themselves in the North American scene in 2016. Their first challenge with their new team takes place in Cologne this weekend.


QG Reapers

Qiao Gu Reapers

Top: V

Jungle: Swift

Mid: Doinb

ADC: TnT

Support: TcT

Coach: Hiro

QG stormed onto the LPL scene last summer as they finished 2nd in their first split together as a team. They failed in the regional qualifiers however and just missed going to the World Championship. This team was the 2nd best team in China for the entirety of the summer split though. If you have not had the chance to see QG play, I strongly suggest watching them this weekend. Swift, many may know him from his days on CJ Entus, is an animal in the jungle and is a force to be dealt with. Another familiar name on this team to western fans is their support player TcT. He was known as Mor when playing with LMQ in North America in season 4. QG have the talent to win this tournament, but will they is the real question.


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Ever

Top: Crazy

Jungle: Ares

Mid: Athena

ADC: LokeN

Support: KeY

Ever is a challenger team from Korea that earned their spot at IEM Cologne by winning the KeSPA Cup and defeating some of the best Korean teams in the world. Ever pulled upsets over LCK teams Samsung and Rebels Anarchy before meeting up with World Champions SKT T1 in the semifinals. They shocked all of Korea when they swept SKT 2-0. They continued their run and swept CJ Entus in the finals to secure their spot in Cologne. This tournament will be a good test to see if their run in the KeSPA Cup was a fluke, or if this team really is on the rise to stardom.


Schedule and Format

The 6 teams will be competing in a bracket with Fnatic and Ever having first round byes. Starting at 10:30 AM EST tomorrow, Team Dignitas will take on QG in a best-of-3 series. That series will be followed by H2k taking on Cloud 9 in another best-of-3. Action starts again at 10:30 AM EST on Saturday and consists of the two semifinal matchups. Both semifinal matchups will be a best-of-3 series. The finals will begin at 11:30 AM EST on Sunday and will be a best-of-5.

Broadcast Team

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IEM Cologne will be a very interesting tournament with teams playing their first competitive games with new rosters and trying to prove themselves against the best teams from around the world. Friday through Sunday will have great League of Legends action that fans should definitely be checking out. Hope it’s an exciting tournament.

By: Jeff “Gravy: Miskin