Franchising cuts has struck again in the EU LCS, this time taking some longtime veterans, and one of Europe's most loved orgs.
In this round of franchising reports, Giants Gaming, ROCCAT, and Unicorns of Love didn't earn franchise slots for the league's 2019 move.
Let's take a look at the history of these three teams who happen to have quite a lot of it behind them. History that ends here.
Giants Gaming formed in 2012, and their first times in the EU LCS came all the way back in 2013.
In a disappointing debut, they eventually fell out of the league's relegation system in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss. But this wouldn't be the last we saw of the Giants.
In 2015, with an entirely new roster and after impressing in the amateur/challenger scene, Giants Gaming returned to the EU LCS in the summer. Similar to their 2013 failures, the team saw little success, eventually having to fight for their EU LCS lives once again. This time, however, they clawed back in.
In 2016, Giants Gaming continued a run of little success, though they had flashes of greatness from rookie Night.
After more and more roster changes, Giants Gaming finished their EU LCS tenure with equally forgettable seasons in a game of musical gaming chairs.
Giants Gaming overall might have the longest history of disappointment in the EU LCS. While they always managed to keep their spot in the league, they never accomplished much with the opportunities.
Team ROCCAT formed in 2014, and they've played a significant role in the league ever since. Not always the one they wanted to, though.
ROCCAT's first year in the EU LCS saw them just miss a spot at Worlds 2-3 to Fnatic. They immediately showed up on the rift and proved themselves a threat in the league. During this time, the team can be credited for discovering/growing big names talents of today like Jankos, Vander, and NukeDuck.
2015 saw ROCCAT maintain a similar spot just outside of the big 3 of the league, again falling just short of qualifying for Worlds, but still able to handle most of the other teams.
In 2016, the identity of ROCCAT changed. They lost head coach YamatoCannon, and every single player including stars Jankos and Vander. Suddenly all that was left was the logo and the infrastructure, ROCCAT would become something new entirely.
ROCCAT would continue to shed its rosters like a golden retriever chasing the success it lost in its 2016 debacle. Only Betsy was a consistent face through this period.
ROCCAT left off on yet another weak split in 2018, finishing 7th in the spring.
The team that would be more known for being a gatekeeper that somehow beat some of the best teams while losing to the lower table teams, and for having a never-ending rotating roster, should still receive its credit for being a presence throughout EU LCS history. The team's legacy will live on in the talent that fought under its banner, names like Jankos, NukeDuck, and VandeR.
Names that are still wreaking havoc today.
Unicorns of Love
Unicorns of Love have been an EU presence since 2014, but they qualified for the EU LCS in 2015. They were an immediately competitive roster coming up just short of winning their very first split.
But while the team would continue to have success in their next years, it never reached the peak they had early on. At least in on the rift results, though they did come close with a roster featuring Xerxe and Vizicsacsi.
Their fan support, however, boomed much higher.
With Romaine Bigeard as a team mascot that brought some of the best costumes we've ever seen in the EU LCS, and a team of unique-style players that found success in big teamfights behind him, UOL grew exponentially in the eyes of the fans. This would probably be what many consider to be the peak of this org.
After some continued success with this lineup, eventually, things came to a halt and players ended up under different banners. The Unicorns that took the rift in 2018 had only Exileh and Samux as returning players, with stars Xerxe, Hylissang, and Vizicsacsi moving on to greener pastures.
They finished their final split going 10th in the summer and 7th in the spring.
Out with the old, in with the new
The EU LCS has continued to make clear what the NA LCS showed as the focus of franchising for Riot Games, and largely, that's financial stability and potential for growth.
While these three teams had long histories of EU LCS experience, that didn't beat out the resumes of fresh orgs with bigger names or bigger financial backing.
We'll soon see whether that's a good or bad thing for the league and its fanbase.
What do you think about these EU LCS veterans not returning to the league in 2019? Who do you think will replace them? Let us know in the comments below, and stay up to date with RealSport on all things EU LCS franchising.