Apex Gaming; The Newest North American LCS Team

Today Apex Gaming became the tenth and final team that will be competing in the 2016 North American summer split. Apex defeated Team Dragon Knights (TDK) 3-0 in the final series of the promotion tournament. Team Impulse and Renegades successfully earned back their spot in the LCS, but Team Dignitas failed to do so and opened up the door for Apex to take over their spot. Here’s a little insight on the team viewers will be seeing a lot more of in the future.

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Apex started their journey by purchasing the challenger series spot that was previously held by Team Imagine. They built a roster that was capable of earning an LCS spot from day 1 by adding veterans and talented pieces around them. Here’s a look at their roster for those that haven’t seen Apex play yet.

Top: Cris

Jungle: Shrimp / Eve

Mid: Keane

ADC: Police

Support: Xpecial

Coach: SaintVicious

As you can see, the roster was filled with stage experience from the start. Four players on Apex have either been in the LCS already or have qualified for the LCS at some point in their career. Long time veteran support player, Xpecial, has several LCS titles to his name and can now add a Challenger series title and promotion series victory to his name. Cris is a staple in the promotion series and may now be referred to as the “Promotion King.” He has qualified for the LCS 3 different times now and will be looking to have a longer stay this time around. I’m sure he will want a break from the promotion series.

Shrimp was with Cris when Team Coast qualified for the LCS last year, but the team was sold in the off-season and prevented Shrimp from playing his first split in the LCS. Apex earning an LCS spot will finally give him the chance he worked so hard for. Shrimp and Eve provided Apex with a great rotation in the jungle that could cause problems for LCS teams with their different styles. Teams will have to prepare for both junglers this upcoming split as the format shifts to a best-of-three format for the regular season and Apex can rotate junglers between each game. Eve competed in the LCK last season for Samsung and was a force in the Challenger series. Shrimp took over as the starter during the promotion series, but Eve will still be a threat if he is in the lineup.

Towards the end of the 2015 NA LCS summer split, Gravity was at the top of the standings and Keane was thriving as their starting mid laner with his wacky picks. However, the team crumbled down the stretch and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. This led to the team selling their LCS spot in the off-seaosn and leaving Keane jobless. Keane was given a fresh start on Apex and he has performed well. He earned his second chance at being an LCS pro, and just like his top laner Cris, will hope to stick around for a longer stay this time around.

Police came to Apex from the Korean Challenger Series team, Ever. He started for the Ever squad that won the KeSPA cup by defeating SK Telecom T1 and CJ Entus on their way to taking home the title. Police came to Apex at the start of the year and helped lead Apex to a first place finish in the Challenger Series this past season. He was able to outperform TDK’s star ADC, Ohq, and hit many clutch skill shots with Jihn in the final game of the series today to help clinch Apex’s LCS spot. He has the ability to play hard-carry champions as well as team-oriented utility champions from the ADC role. His versatility and talent will be fun to watch grow on the North American stage.

TDK upset Ember in the Challenger Series playoffs for a chance to earn a spot in the LCS, but just like in the Challenger Series final, Apex denied them by defeating them in a best-of-five series. Apex suffered a brutal defeat to Team Impulse yesterday, but rebounded in an impressive way and now find themselves in the LCS. Congratulations to Apex on becoming a professional team and everyone is excited to see how they will compete on the big stage week in and week out.

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By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin

Twitter: @BigBadGravy