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LCS EU Season 4: The teams

By Daniel 'd1dx' Yordanov
Jan 13, 2014 23:31

ImageThe elite 8 have been determined, the battlefield is ready and the cameras are set. The action begins in just two days...

The Christmas holidays are on their way and the exciting start of the second installment of the LCS is about to begin. The best of the best in Europe have gathered and are eagerly awaiting to face each other once again. After an incredibly turbulent week not only for the qualified teams, but also for the organisations behind them, the dust has settled and all eyes are on the calendar as we count the hours to 14 January.

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 (EU fnatic, RU Gambit, EU Alliance)

2.) Chapter Two: In the Shadows (EU Copenhagen Wolves, PL Roccat, EU Millenium)

3.) Chapter Three: The Challengers (EU Supa Hot Crew, EU 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 EU SK have been set back by the departure of many key players, including the Spanish legend ES 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 EU 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 EU Supa Hot Crew. The mix of talented challengers benefited from the unfortunate disqualification of SE NiP and seized the moment, defeated PL 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 DK Svenskeren and UK Fredy122 with the purpose of reaching the LCS through the Challenger Ranked 5's. However, after their first attempt was unsuccessful, both joined EU SK as they were rebuilding their team after FR hyrqbot and DE Kev1n were transferred to SE NiP.

The team then brought in NO 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. UK Impaler, former jungler of UK Dignitas.UK stepped in to help SHC in their journey towards the precious spot.

On the big stage, FR Haydal and his lads faced their former teammates who were now playing for EU 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 DE CandyPanda and DE 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, EU SK Gaming won and made a full comeback to re-enter the LCS.

Trivia time!
- A large number of Challenger scene players who left for other teams have passed through SHC, namely SE Amin, FR Haydal, DK Svenskeren, UK Fredy122, NO 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 DE 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 EU Team Sypher.

Right after this, FR Haydal left the team only to be replaced by DK 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 PL MYM and SE NiP. As luck would have it, the heavy favourites were disqualified after SE 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 BE Moopz. They have accustomed well to the Season 4 changes, even housing the highest ranking Challenger support FR Migxaa. Aside from that, the solo queue machine SE Mimer will get his second chance in the LCS after his unfortunate departure from SE NiP. British pride UK Impaler and DK 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 RU Gambit and EU fnatic had a surprisingly turbulent start to their LCS affairs.

Impaler to the far right.

Player to watch: UK Impaler
Young British pride Matthew Taylor is in the shadows of more famous junglers such as SE Amin or NO 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 UK dignitas, Matt has an extensive LAN experience featuring multiple iSeries appearances. Definitely impressing during the series against PL MYM, the young jungler will play a key role once LCS is upon us.

SK Gaming

Our beloved SK LoL team has been going through tough times and with the departure of DE 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, DE 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 DE Kev1n and FR hyrqbot would leave the team and the future seemed uncertain for our talisman ES Ocelote. All was dealt with in time however, as our ranks were joined by two former LCS players - UK fredy122 and DK Svenskeren. The fresh blood stirred the spirits within the team and results quickly came in.

Trivia time!
- Former SK players are now part of five different EU LCS line-ups.
- fredy122 used to be in EU 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 SE 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 EU Supa Hot Crew as their opponents. With non-stop practice and solid theory crafting, the squad entered the arena heads high.

ImageLittle 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 FR Migxaa and FR 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!

Player to watch: DK Jesiz
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, Team Dignitas, Alliance, and GosuGamers and Leaguepedia.



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