2016 Summer Split EU Roster Changes
The offseason leading up to the 2016 Summer split has so far been very interesting. With few teams (even the most successful) sticking together completely, and even a few LCS spots going up for grabs in new organizations.
Fnatic One of the most high profile (albeit expected) roster changes this Midseason has been Yellowstar’s return to Fnatic. Fnatic have had an up and down season thus far, characterized by occasional sparks of brilliance, but also by inconsistent play,shaky shotcalling and a weakness in the support role. Both Klaj and Noxiak came under heavy criticism during their time in Fnatic, which is unsurprising, considering the shoes they were attempting to fill. Yellowstar left the organization for NA’s TSM joining stars such as Bjergsen and Doublelift to form a super-team of sorts, although all did not go to plan. Despite the team coming together during playoffs, and coming in second place, they did not become the dominant force they expected to. Yellowstar in particular was identified as a weak link. He has poor stats in terms of KDA and warding, the stark contrast to his performance in Fnatic the previous year. Yellowstar’s return will hopefully signal a second (or third) coming for Fnatic, as his leadership is the thing the team needs most, if they are to succeed. G2 G2 eSports have had a strange season. After sweeping the competition aside in Spring, G2 esports were expected to perform well at the Riot Mid-Season Invitational, however their performance was disappointing to say the least. Whether a lack of practice, or internal issues were to blame, something wasn’t sitting right in the organization. Coming into Summer, they have decided to replace their botlane, Emperor and Hybrid, with Origen’s Zven and Mithy. Zven and Mithy have been praised as one of the West’s strongest botlanes since they first entered the LCS a little under a year ago, and went from strength to strength last season, culminating in a 4th place finish at the 2015 World Championship, and a first place finish at the IEM Cologne. Mithy has been credited with a lot of the shotcalling duties, and is also a very good 2v2 and roaming player. Zven is one of the most talented AD carries in the West, and his synergy with Mithy should mean that the botlane should “plug in and play” with the rest of G2, and make the team even stronger than it already was. Origen How do you replace the irreplaceable? Zven and Mithy’s departure has definitely left a void in Origen, as the two were the shining light of the team, even when the rest of the squad was under-performing. At their best, Origen were a botlane focused team, putting a lot of faith in Zven to carry, and Mithy to guide them to victory via shotcalling and roams. Finding replacements was never going to be an easy task, especially as Mithy and Zven cited a lack of motivation within the team as a major reason for leaving. To begin with the obvious choice, they have essentially swapped support players with G2, picking up Hybrid. Hybrid was a quietly solid performer in G2, often overshadowed by Trick and Perkz, he actually has the highest KDA of all players in the 2016 Spring Split (7.92). Although he is a downgrade from Mithy in terms of experience, Hybrid is a talented player, and given time could prove to be a worthy successor. Joining him in the botlane is Greek AD carry FORG1VEN. A few months ago, it was uncertain whether he would even be playing this split, as he was called up to fufill his Army duties, which would take him away from his LCS career for 9 months. Fortunately, he was able to defer his national service, and comes into Origen with a drive to succeed like never before. With a career rife with controversy, he is a real talent and some say he might even be the best AD carry in the West. He has the second highest KDA for the spring split, and is known for his aggressive lane phase, where he aims to overpower his opponents on early game bullies like Lucian, and take over the game. He rarely makes positional mistakes, and epitomizes everything an AD carry should be. One concern is that he might clash with the other volatile personalities in the team, namely Soaz and Amazing, both of whom have high ceilings as players, but are prone to tilt. FORG1VEN and Soaz in particular are known as two of the most emotional and passionate players in the game. The road will be bumpy from here on out, but it’s one which could well end in success if they are able to click internally. Misfits Qualifying under the name “Renegades: Banditos” through the challenger series and boasting a new squad, Misfits have a mixture of old and new talent, and look to be a dark horse coming into the Summer Split. Their roster is comprised of Rookie toplaner Alphari, Korean jungler formerly of the Koo Tigers member, Wisdom, EU LCS veteran, Selfie, challenger series regular, Yukki60 and Rookie Korean support, Dreams. Truly on paper, this team embodies the word “Misfit”, and they may be dark horses coming into the split, but as G2 proved this year, dark horses can only ever surprise. FC Schalke 04 Becoming the second football team to branch out into eSports, and the first of it’s kind in Europe, FC Schalke have taken over the Elements roster, and made one single change in the process. They have picked up former UOL and SK gaming midlaner, Fox. Fox was once considered one of the best midlaners in the region, but hasn’t looked like his old self in a while. We saw glimmers last split, where UOL were at their best, and he was on his Zed, but he is a player who needs a fresh start, which is hopefully what Schalke 04 can offer him. He joins a roster of mostly misfits, who had glimmers of brilliance early last split, but struggled to keep up with other teams. A highlight is toplaner Steve, who is in my opinion one of the most underrated players in the EU LCS, showing a wide variety of styles and a particularly menacing Fiora. Roccat Roccat had a very disappointing split in Spring, and hope to bounce back with the addition of AD carry Steelback. Steelback started his career as a rookie on the now famous 2015 Fnatic squad. However, many fans identified him as a weak link, and he was replaced with Rekkless for the Summer split. After a brief stint in the NA Challenger series, he returned to Europe as a member of UoL, where he silenced the critics. Steelback played like a man with something to prove, and was one of the sole reasons UoL even made it into playoffs. However, League of Legends is a team game,. And Steelback’s backpack was not big enough to carry a struggling team of Unicorns. Hopefully, he brings the same fire into Roccat, and can boost the team up the standings.