EU LCS: 2016 Spring Split Pre-Season Power Rankings

2016 is here and with it comes season 6 of League of Legends. The League scene has been shaken up with the tumultuous off-season that just occurred, so let’s try to restore some order by establishing power rankings for each LCS region. The North American version of these rankings will be released tomorrow. Let’s get into it then.

1) Origen

origen-hoists-the-iem-san-jose-trophy

Fresh off of their IEM San Jose championship and a semifinal run in the season 5 World Championship, Origen are the hands down favorite to take the crown in Europe this split. Eighty percent of their roster remains the same, the only change is the addition of PowerOfEvil into the mid lane. It is unclear if he will be a full-time starter or part-time starter as he shares the mid lane with xPeke. With either player in the mid lane, the rest of the roster is extremely talented and will show up. Niels and Mithy will once again look to dominate bottom lanes across the league as Soaz and Amazing continue dominating the top side of the map. Anything short of winning it all will be a disappointment to this team.

2) H2k

The only two returning players from season 5 on H2k are their solo laners, Odoamne and Ryu. The addition of former ROCCAT jungler, Jankos, provides a huge lift in the jungle. Jankos can impact a game with his early ganks and invasions as well as his superior mechanics as a player in the late game. Jankos will make Odoamne and Ryu better laners as well. The bottom lane is also brand new for this team with Vander and Forgiven occupying that lane. Vander, also a former ROCCAT member, will have his synergy with his jungler intact still, but will need to use that synergy to make big plays for his team. Forgiven has been a top tier ADC in Europe for some time now, but hasn’t had as much success as he would have liked. I think he is in a better position now than he has been in his career. It’s up to him now to take advantage of that and erase the picture that everyone has of him as a “team destroyer”.

3) Fnatic

Febiven

The departure of Huni and Reignover from Fnatic were the big headlines for this team, but the biggest impact for this team is going to be the departure of YellowStar. All 3 players now find themselves playing in North America and leaving Febevin and Rekkles to pick up the pieces. To replace the two Koreans, Fnatic picked up two more. Spirit is a world-class jungler and will be looking to help Fnatic remain as the team to beat. Fnatic decided to bring in Gamsu, former Team Dignitas member, to fill the void in the top lane. He has large shoes to fill, but his talent can help him get there. I think the biggest issue with this team will be in the bottom lane. Noxiak was brought in to take over YellowStar’s support position, but that may not be possible. YellowStar was the leader and shot-caller of this team, something I’m not very confident any remaining players on this roster can make up for. The last time Rekkles played without YellowStar next to him, it was his worst split as a professional. Fnatic is a great organization and if anybody can fight through the growing pains, it’s this team.

4) Vitality

Vitality is a new face in the EU LCS after they purchased the LCS spot previously held by Gambit Gaming. They kept Cabochard as their top laner and built around him. They have the season 5 bot lane of H2k with Hjarnan and Kasing. They will be able to rekindle their laning ability and help their team both in the early game as well as late. In the jungle is LCS journeyman Shook. He has been around the scene for a while and has loads of experience that he can use to adjust and perform well. The final player on the roster is their mid laner Nukeduck. He returned to competitive player last season for ROCCAT and performed at a decent level. He was once one of the top mid laners in Europe, but I am not so sure about that statement at this point in his career. Shook and Nukeduck will need to perform at their best and this team will be right in the mix fighting for a top 3 spot.

5) Unicorns of Love

UOL are only returning two starters from their Season 5 run, that being their top laner Vizicsacsi and support Hylissang. The loss of PowerOfEvil really hurts this team as his replacement is former SK Gaming mid laner Fox. Fox never really impressed in the LCS, but he will get another opportunity to show that he belongs on the big stage. He also finds himself on a much better team than he was previously on. He will have to show up if this team wants to run with the big dogs. Joining Hylissang in the bottom lane is Steelback. Steelback was last seen in the North American challenger scene, but we know he can perform at the pro level he was at last spring while being on Fnatic. The final member of this team is the European legend himself, Diamondprox. Seeing Diamond on a team other than Gambit will be new for many fans, but his new team offers him a fresh start and can help him turn his career around.

6) Splyce

splyce

Spylce is another new organization in the European LCS this season after acquiring the newly promoted team, Team Dignitas EU. Dignitas could not keep a team in the NA LCS as well as the EU LCS, so they decided to sell their EU team and Splyce became a team. The only change this team made to its roster was bringing in Trashy, former Enemy Esports jungler. Wunderwear is a quality top laner and should be able to hold his own against some of the region’s best at that position. Splyce’s bottom lane is made up of their ADC, Kobbe, and their support, Nisbeth. The star of this team that everyone should know about is their mid laner Sencux. Sencux will be looking to show that EU does in fact, produce the best mid lane talent in the world. He will have a big task in front of him trying to help his team make the playoffs in their first season as pros.

7) G2 Esports

G2 Esports, formerly known as Gamers2, won their promotion matchup with SK Gaming to clinch their spot in the LCS. The team is run by long time player, Ocelote. Like Splyce, this team has a homegrown mid laner looking to make a huge name for himself. Perkz is his name, and farming is his game. Look for him to get all the resources from his team and try to carry them late game. On the top side of the map lies Kikis and Trick. Kikis was formerly the Unicorns of Love jungler but has now moved to the top lane. His wacky champion pick and good mechanics will help him there. Trick comes over from Korea, where he struggled as part of CJ Entus, looking to establish himself as a world-class jungler. G2’s bottom lane consists of former TDK ADC, Emperor, and Hybrid. Hybrid is not a very skilled support, but he does what his team needs him to do. Emperor will look to finally find a home and make an impact on a new team. G2 could very well make a playoff push with this roster, but it will be interesting how this team reacts after getting knocked down.

8) ROCCAT

newroccat

ROCCAT are still a team in the LCS, but have zero returning players from their season 5 team. Freddy122 comes over from SK Gaming where he just had his worst season as a professional and the team finished 9th. Airwaks comes over from Copenhagen Wolves where he and his teammates finished in last place and found themselves in the Challenger scene. Betsy had a very unimpressive season last year as he led Gambit to an 8th place finish. Gosu Pepper was also on that Gambit team that finished 8th. Their ADC Jebus is the only player that was not on an LCS roster last season, but couldn’t even finish out his run in the North American challenger scene. This team has an abundant amount of veterans, but pure talent may be lacking.

9) Giants Gaming

Giants gaming had a disastrous 2nd half of the summer split in 2015. This may have led to them be unable to add any big time free agents. Xpeppi, formerly known as Peppinero, once again is surrounded by lackluster talent. Giants made no changes to their bot lane of Adryh and Godfred, but they did not look impressive the last time fans saw them on stage. Hopefully, the off-season gave them more time to improve their laning together. The changes for this team come in the jungle and top lane as Atom and Kou will be looking to make a name for themselves this season. Giants were not projected to finish anywhere near 6th place in last season’s summer split, so maybe they can prove me wrong this season as well.

10) Elements

Elements tried to sell their LCS spot this off-season, but could not make the deadline. They were then forced to put together a ragtag group of free agents just to have a team that could compete for this split. Steve in the top lane and Gilius in the jungle proved last season that they were not LCS caliber players. They will try to prove doubters with this season. Eika mans the mid lane and Mr Rallez and Sprattel will be doing battle in the bottom lane. Eika may have the most promise on this team, but not much to look forward to here for Elements fans.

It should be a very exciting Season 6 and EU LCS spring split before all the format changes take place in the summer. The season begins Thursday at noon EST with a rematch of the summer split finals as Origen takes on Fnatic. I’ll be tuning in, will you?

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin

Twitter: @BigBadGravy