Everything you need to know about the EU League Championship Series
10 Teams 1 Title | This is the Road to Worlds
First up we have Group A, and at the top of that table we have Misfits. Misfits performed above and beyond expectations in the challenger series, picking up numerous victories. With a smart decision to attend some boot camps in Korea, this team looks well on their way to success. Mixing both veterans and fresh faces, Misfits hope that this year is the one for them. If you’re looking for a player to watch look no further than mid-laner “PowerOfEvil” having spent most of his time with Origen, both he and Misfits will hope that his mechanical outplay and bizarre champion pool will push them ahead of the competition.
Secondly we have G2 Esports. With confidence, charisma and charm, these guys love to be hated. Walking onto the scene with their aggressive, no nonsense play style, they enjoy nothing more than showing teams why they are the best. After destroying the opposition in the 2016 LCS championships, they know what needs to be done to get to the top. While this whole team is a walking highlight reel, it is ADC “Zven” that we have our eyes on. Considered the ticking time-bomb of bot-lane due to his impressive late game play, it’s only a matter of time before he is able to pop off and destroy the enemy. While his early and mid-game leave something to be desired, will the enemy teams be able to take advantage in time?
Next we have Ninjas in Pyjamas. Easily my favourite name of all the teams this year. After four years away they are looking to make a big impact on the scene. With new players and new sights set, this team has got a long way to go before they are considered a top contender in Europe. If one person can rally the team behind him, its top-laner “Profit.” After spending time with “Huni” and SK telecom T1, “Profit” has learned a lot, and is more than willing to bring all that extra knowledge to the Ninjas team.
Fourth we have the team of Roccat. After a troubling 2016 and almost facing relegations into the challenger series, Roccat have got a long way to climb back to their former glory. With four brand new starters joining long time member ‘Betsy,’ a new identity and new playstyle might be just what they need. Support player ‘Wadid’ is the possible star in this line up, whilst still a rookie his try-outs were immensely impressive and we hear his communication in the team is second to none. Let’s hope he can build some synergy with ADC ‘Hjarnan’ in time for the big fights.
The final team of group A is Fnatic, a team with a long history in the LoL community being the Worlds first champions. Nowadays they are less of a threat, but with rookie “Caps” pairing up alongside veterans “Rekkles” and “sOAZ”, they hope to be building the foundations of a very strong team. It is the jungler “Broxah” that you need to keep an eye though, often overlooked in the shadows of his teammates, he is always looking to prove that he belongs with the best.
Now onto group B and H2K are top of the table. Having had an impressive showing at last year’s split, making it all the way to the semi-finals at Worlds, they showed what the EU region can do on the international stage. With an almost completely new roster for 2017, eyes fall heavily on “Jankos” to see if he can create synergy and style with the new line up. For us, the one (or two) to watch from this is team is the new bottom laners. Both “Chei” and “Nuclear” are new to the team and while both hail from the LCK, will their history together be enough against some of the best bot-lanes in Europe.
Second in the group is Splyce, who in contrast to H2K has had zero changes in terms of line up. Instead they have chosen to keep the tried and tested formulae that got them the victory last year, ensuring them a spot on the Worlds stage. Whilst anyone watching them at Worlds last year can agree that they struggled, now with more experience under their belts, will this team be able to go further than ever before? Our one to watch here is jungler “Trashy”, having a had a promising showing at Worlds, we believe once he gets control of the jungle, this young man can carry his team kicking and screaming to victory.
Next we get to Team Vitality, a team lacking in consistency. Last summer split they managed to achieve an impressive 9 match ties, however with new rules in place to avoid such situations, will this be the year they breakthrough to the top of the table? For a one to watch with Team Vitality, you need only to look at the new ADC with “Steelback”. While his commitment to past teams has always been in question, both he and Team Vitality hope to have found the perfect match here. Pairing him up with former duo partner “Vandor” could prove triumphant. Will they still have the chemistry they once had?
Fourth in the group is underdogs Mysterious Monkeys. This team is going to want to come out swinging (pun intended). Formally known as Misfits Academy, they have brought over with them all their previous members. While knowing your teammates so well can put you at an advantage, will it be enough to push Mysterious Monkeys to the win? They certainly shouldn’t be underestimated as all players are looking to prove that they belong in the split.
Last but by no means least, we have Unicorns of Love. Arguably the fan favourite they will certainly be looking to match up to their hype in the games to come. Galloping onto the scene in 2015 the UoL have used off-meta picks and splendid chemistry to ensure they are at the very least fun to watch. Despite a last-minute change to their ADC, it should be new jungler “Xerxe” that you keep an eye on. Having achieved success rapidly in such a short amount of time, this fresh blood could be just what the Unicorns of Love are looking for.