In this preview we will present the participants of Europe's highest competitive League of Legends echelon and highlight their strengths and point out possible interesting story lines which may develop during the course of the spring split. Of course, what is a preview without just a pinch of trivia? In addition, the piece is split in three parts as each is centered around a different group of teams.
Without further ado, let us dive right in and see what awaits us once the summoners enter the Fields of Justice...
Table of contents:
1.) Chapter One: Top Dogs ( fnatic, Gambit, Alliance)
2.) Chapter Two: In the Shadows ( Copenhagen Wolves, Roccat, Millenium)
3.) Chapter Three: The Challengers ( Supa Hot Crew, SK Gaming)
Chapter III: The Challengers
The last two teams, at least on paper, are expected to have the toughest time this Spring. For good or bad, our very own SK have been set back by the departure of many key players, including the Spanish legend Ocelote. Despite this, we bounced back, regrouped and as any other elite team found our way into the LCS after a very, very well fought battle with Supa Hot Crew. Needless to say, the hard part is just beginning. A lot of questions stand in front of SK and only time will tell whether all the answers given were right.
On the other hand, we have the surprise of Supa Hot Crew. The mix of talented challengers benefited from the unfortunate disqualification of NiP and seized the moment, defeated MYM in a dominating fashion and entered the most competitive circuit in style. Rumours say that the line-up has what it takes to even siege the top 4, others however, claim that we have a new team for the last spot. Yay or nay? Let's see!
Supa Hot Crew
The infamous mix team was created by Svenskeren and Fredy122 with the purpose of reaching the LCS through the Challenger Ranked 5's. However, after their first attempt was unsuccessful, both joined SK as they were rebuilding their team after hyrqbot and Kev1n were transferred to NiP.
The team then brought in k0u, a Norwegian jungler ace who helped them qualify in their second attempt, but unfortunately, due to being too young, he was not allowed to participate in the LAN finals. Impaler, former jungler of Dignitas.UK stepped in to help SHC in their journey towards the precious spot.
On the big stage, Haydal and his lads faced their former teammates who were now playing for SK Gaming and represented quite the threat. Two games later, SHC were on match point while SK fans were in despair. It took SK a miraculous effort and a number of brilliant plays from CandyPanda and Nyph to equalise the score. However, there was nothing SHC could do. Their opponents held the psychological advantage in their pockets, while they themselves looked visibly shaken and scared going into map five. Just as any great story, SK Gaming won and made a full comeback to re-enter the LCS.
- A large number of Challenger scene players who left for other teams have passed through SHC, namely Amin, Haydal, Svenskeren, Fredy122, k0u and others.
- MrRallez and Mimer were both substitutes for NiP.
- Impaler used to be a high level chess player in middle school.
- Migxaa, along with Nyph are the highest ranking Solo Queue support players in Season 3.
- Moopz was a substitute player for SK Gaming during Season 3. Also, his career spans all the way to 2011, where he was a part of the legendary Team Sypher.
Right after this, Haydal left the team only to be replaced by MrRallez. Due to the bizarre events that followed, SHC were once again given the opportunity to fight for a place in Europe's elite, this time in a tiebreaker with MYM and NiP. As luck would have it, the heavy favourites were disqualified after ZoroZero forgot to update his Tournament Client. What followed was a clean 2-0 sweep (the rules stated that a Best-of-three was to take place) over the seemingly tired Polish squad.
Just as in last season, we have a team of challengers with a hunger to win, lead by a seasoned player such as Moopz. They have accustomed well to the Season 4 changes, even housing the highest ranking Challenger support Migxaa. Aside from that, the solo queue machine Mimer will get his second chance in the LCS after his unfortunate departure from NiP. British pride Impaler and MrRallez are to make their official debut in less than a day and many fans in their home countries are very excited to see them play.
Some people claim that SHC can safely siege the top 4 spots, but I do believe that at such an early stage, that statement is a bit far fetched. While the team is full of talent, adjusting to the LCS environment has proven hard to even the best as we all remember how both Gambit and fnatic had a surprisingly turbulent start to their LCS affairs.
Impaler to the far right.
Young British pride Matthew Taylor is in the shadows of more famous junglers such as Amin or k0u, but this lad has shown on more than one occasion that he is not afraid to demonstrate what he's capable of on the big stage. Being a part of the UK division of dignitas, Matt has an extensive LAN experience featuring multiple iSeries appearances. Definitely impressing during the series against MYM, the young jungler will play a key role once LCS is upon us.
Our beloved SK LoL team has been going through tough times and with the departure of Nyph, things did seem a bit grim for the players. A bright Leona master, however, stepped forth and put on the SK jersey once more - one of the most experienced and feared supports out there, nRated, joined our ranks. This was a breath of fresh air for the line-up as the German's experience as an analyst will greatly contribute and enrich the current strategic repertoire.
Our Lord and saviour.
The SK team had a very unfortunate end to their Summer split as they, along with MYM and NiP were forced to enter relegation after a thriller of a finish in the EU LCS. Right after came the announcement that Kev1n and hyrqbot would leave the team and the future seemed uncertain for our talisman Ocelote. All was dealt with in time however, as our ranks were joined by two former LCS players - fredy122 and Svenskeren. The fresh blood stirred the spirits within the team and results quickly came in.
- Former SK players are now part of five different EU LCS line-ups.
- fredy122 used to be in La GG with Yellowpete and Krepo earlier in their careers.
- Candy's pet hamster's name is Teemo.
- CandyPanda is the only remaining member of the original Season 2 roster.
- Svenskeren's nickname actually means "The Swede" in Danish.
Facing Team Roccat (ex-KMT) in the grand final of DreamHack Winter 2013, SK managed to miraculously come back after being down one game to turn the series and take the trophy of Europe's biggest LAN event. As the LCS qualification was drawing near, the SK team chose Supa Hot Crew as their opponents. With non-stop practice and solid theory crafting, the squad entered the arena heads high.
Little did they know that 2 games later, their opponents would be on match point. Few believed that a comeback was possible, but I am glad no one told our German bot lane that. Locking Leona and Jinx, CandyPanda and Nyph wanted to tango with Migxaa and Haydal. In the next tree games, the German efficiency was key to outsmarting and outplaying a momentum-robbed SHC. With the help of Svenskeren's aggressive approach and fredy122's stable top play, SK Gaming re-entered the LCS in the most impressive manner.
The only concerning thing about the team would be their inconsistency during the series. Even at DreamHack, a piece of brilliance by CandyPanda was needed to turn the tables around. Here, once again, a rather spectacular play by our bot lane secured the LCS spot. One has to wonder, what will happen if no one is there to step up once the time comes? Other than that, the team is filled with people who are more than familiar with the format of the competition so no real surprises should be in store. Join me in wishing the SK team best of luck for the upcoming Season 4!
The young Dane has had a string of inconsistency under his belt. One game he is a young prodigy who absolutely dominates his opponents. The other... Let's just say that he could do much better than that! Regardless, Jessie will be the key during this split as every successful team needs a strong, all-around mid laner who can be a threat all over the map. The sooner he blossoms into a deadly force, the sooner SK will be climbing ranks. Go Jesiz!
Images are copyright of lolesports.com, Team Dignitas, Alliance, and GosuGamers and Leaguepedia.
Former lead editor and interviewer for SK Gaming
Follow me on twitter - @Adddler or LINK
iNNERFiRE - multi-game journalist and Editor-in-Chief: 2012
onGamers - League of Legends Feature Producer: 01.2014 - 02.2015
SK-Gaming - League of Legends Lead Editor: 11.2012 - 08.2015
My journey into eSports started in 2004 when I accidentally caught a small video on TV from the WarCraft 3 WCG 2004 final. I opened up the SK Gaming website from my father's laptop and never stopped reading to this day. In early 2010 I started writing at a Bulgarian news website simply because I disliked how the current editor was handling his job and with time, I got to be Editor-In-Chief. My main writing interests back then were StarCraft 2, QuakeLive and League of Legends.
Fast-forward to 2012, after a small hiatus and moving to England to attend university, I decided to start writing news posts again, inspired by a couple of industry figures who have taken their turns taking eSports writing to a new level. With the beginning of IPL5, I was given a trial with SK Gaming which was successful and I never looked back.
In early 2014, onGamers presented me with an incredible opportunity to join their ranks which I took. Although I believe my 2014 was rather poor (in terms of work ethic and results), I have made changes during the winter break to ensure that sufficient effort will be made to repair that. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of the team, the project was at a stand still which marked the end of my stint with the oG crew.
I continued producing 1 on 1 interviews with SK members until July 2015. After that, other commitments arose and I figured I could not provide the flow of content I promised my superiors and took a step back, leaving SK.
If you are an eSports fan who is looking to get into writing or simply want to chat about eSports across the years, you can always find me on my twitter - @Adddler . Below you can find some trivia about me.
BroodWar / StarCraft 2
BW pro: sAvi0r and Flash (for different reasons)
BW race: Terran
BW series: Hana Daetoo MSL
SC2 pro: Creator and Stephano (different reasons)
SC2 race: Terran
SC2 series: ThorZain vs Polt at DreamHack Open 2012 and any big final played by King MvP
StarCraft related article: God of the Battlefield
Pro: Alexey 'Cypher' Yanushevski
Map: Aerowalk, BloodRun (100% Eastern European choices)
Series: Cooller vs Cypher. Especially the brilliant defensive Cypher game on Aero (game 4).
Rivalry: Rapha vs Cypher
Quake related articled: The Quadra Interview and the one and only Cypher PoV
League of Legends
Pro(s): FORG1VEN, Faker, WeiXiao, NaMei and Mata.
Position: AD Carry
Series: All the World Elite games at IPL5, KT Bullets versus SK Telecom T1 K OGN Summer 2013 Final and LPL Summer Final between StarHorn Royal Club and EDG (The perfect Jinx game by Namei).
League related article: Most of TeamLiquid.net's takes on the 2012 and 2013 OGN tournaments.
Team: Fnatic (2008-2009)
Series: AGAiN vs Fnatic at WCG 2009. Literally broke a cup after the game. One of the most emotional series for me as a spectator.
Gfinity League of Legends - August 2013 (SK Gaming)
EU LCS Week 5 London - June 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
GamesCom 2014 Cologne - August 2014 (SK Gaming / onGamers)
EU LCS 2015 Week 7 Spring Split - March 2015 (SK Gaming)
Intel Extreme Masters Season IX Katowice - March 2015 (SK-Gaming)
LCS EU Season 4: The teams
LCS EU Season 4: The teams
LCS Spring promotion qualifier preview
THE NEW JERSEY