Worlds 2017: Five Questions for Misfits

The 2017 World Championship is fast approaching, and Misfits are preparing for their first games! Will they make Europe proud?

by Daniil Volkov

Misfits were never supposed to make it this far.

After finishing the regular season with a 6-7 record, they were written off as the worst team in the playoffs. At the time, it certainly seemed like that was the case. But Misfits weren’t keen on becoming everyone’s punching bag.

They entered the Bo5 against Unicorns of Love looking like a brand new team, and racking up a confident 3-0. The following victory against Fnatic got the Misfits hype train going again, and even though they eventually fell to G2, this team has proven itself as one of the best in the EU LCS.

Now Misfits are preparing to fight in Group D, the supposed easiest group of the 2017 World Championship. And yet, between themselves, TSM, and Flash Wolves, few people think of Misfits as a favorite.

Let’s see what questions the Misfits need to answer to rally the fans behind them.

1. Can Maxlore carry the early game?

The signing of Maxlore was met with mixed feelings.

On one hand, the newcomer had very big shoes to fill after the departure of the legendary Korean jungler, KaKAO. On the other, it spoke volumes about Misfits’ determination to improve team cohesion. Even so, if you looked at their first games where Maxlore struggled to show up, Misfits looked more disjointed than ever. it seemed the move was a disaster.

But the second half of the split brought a very different Maxlore to the table.

The English jungler stood at the helm of Misfits’ offensive style, routinely taking over games on tanks and carries alike. In fact, he’s become so dominant you could almost forget he hasn’t been around for very long.

This is only Maxlore’s third competitive split and—coincidentally—his first opportunity to play on the international stage. Considering how pivotal he is to Misfits’ success, there’s going to be a ton of pressure on his shoulders.

We’re not quite sure he can handle it.

2. Will PowerOfEvil pull off Rod of Ages?

PowerOfEvil has always been regarded as a good-but-not-great mid laner. But with his latest playoffs performance, it might be time for this narrative to change. Because not only did PowerOfEvil slaughter Caps on the way to the EU LCS finals, he did it in style.

We’re talking, of course, about his unique item builds—most notably the Rod of Ages/Nashor’s Tooth combo.

With this set of items, PowerOfEvil turns Orianna from a control mage into a sustained auto attacker, with a utility-based kit.

He doesn’t shy away from innovation on other champions either, and you can often see PowerOfEvil opting in for unconventional, yet well-thought-out builds.

Rest assured, he is going to leave his mark at the World Championship. The only question is, how big will it be?

3. How does Hans Sams match up to world-calls AD carries?

If there’s a weak link on the Misfits lineup, it’s the rookie AD carry Hans Sama.

We wouldn’t be doing him justice if we said that Hans Sama keeps getting outclassed—in fact, his performance on Draven and Tristana has been very impressive. But even in his own region, you can’t help thinking he’s not on par with marksmen like Zven or Rekkles. Or that he looks a lot better than he is, thanks to his support.

Naturally, Hans Sama is still in his first year of competitive League of Legends, so the future looks bright for him. But the World Championship isn’t the place to be taking things easy. Hans Sama needs to step up—here and now—if he hopes to challenge any international bot lanes on the World Championship stage.

4. Can Alphari take over?

If you’ve been following the Korean boot camp storyline, you know that the hype behind Alphari is at an all-time high. The reason for that is simple: Misfits’ top laner reached the Korean
Solo Queue Challenger league in record time (less than a single week). And while this is an obvious testament to his raw talent, not everything is sunshine and rainbows.

Misfits Alphari already about to get promoted to KR Challenger in less than a week from leagueoflegends

For one, this isn’t the first time Alphari was praised for his immaculate mechanics, only to become completely invisible in the LCS later on. Also, reaching Challenger requires a large number of Solo Queue games, which can be interpreted as proof of Alphari’s immense dedication, or of the fact that Misfits aren’t getting many quality scrims.

Whatever the case, it will be up to Alphari to make his individual skill work for the team.

5. Are Misfits the real deal?

No matter how hard they try, it seems impossible for Misfits to escape the looming shadow of their Summer Split.

They’re still regarded as one of the worst teams in the tournament, and it makes sense. After all, they looked drastically underwhelming coming into the EU LCS playoffs, and their victories in the playoffs could very well be dismissed as flukes.

But it’s hard to deny that Misfits are doing some things right, and the way they dismantled Fnatic speaks volumes of their ability to prepare for the opponent. Even still, the Group Stage is a completely different beast from the EU LCS.

And when it comes to playing consecutive Bo1’s against multiple adversaries, Misfits are very much untested.

Do you have other questions for Misfits at the 2017 League of Legends World Championship? Let us know in the comments below!


Daniil Volkov