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Sitting proudly at the top of the standings, H2K is hard at work as the playoffs loom just over a month away. After narrowly losing to Vitality and a clean victory against Origen in week 6, I spoke with support player Vander on the split so far, looking ahead, and playing through temporary roster trouble.

You recently finished playing against UoL, G2, Vitality, and Origen, and will face off against Fnatic this week. Having completed the perceived “harder” part of your schedule with most of the current top teams out of the way, is there as much focus on the season or is the team already looking towards playoffs?

It is still very important to us to win every consecutive game.  Our main goal now is to secure top two in the split. It gives us a free BYE to the semifinals, which is very helpful, especially if we want to win the whole split. Also we will be able to book our flights to Rotterdam a bit earlier and save some money.

 

You came up just short of a win against Vitality in a 60 minute game in week 6. What led to the game lasting as long as it did and what contributed most to the loss? What is your mindset in a game that plays out that long?

We played bad early game; after Graves TP top we had 3 losing lanes. On the other hand we had a better team-fighting composition, so the enemy team was scared to push our towers and we couldn’t really step out any further. It was a long stall until the fifth drake buff. At this point we had to stop farming and try to regain control of the map by catching targets with our ultimates. Sadly we failed the last and crucial fight and Vitality won the game.

 

You play a big part of your teams vision game, especially early on. Is there a specific emphasis on vision for you is it just in the nature of the role? What is your ideal way of playing the early game as a support?

My goal every game is to have lane control, which lets me to push out or move faster than enemy support to any skirmish on the map. If you can do it, warding becomes easier. I am also scared that Forgiven will get mad if we lose lane. Both me and Jankos try to cooperate a lot to setup good vision for our laners.

 

How is shotcalling handled in game and what is the team environment like on a typical day?

I think in the first few weeks Ryu was the main shotcaller, but when we lost him other people had to take on the responsibility. Right now it’s much more divided – the worst thing is when the game is really long and one mistake costs you the game – people become scared to make the aggressive call. I think we have good time with each other, everyone plays as much as possible, we definitely aim to win the split.

 

You have a lot of synergy with Jankos, who came with you to the team from Roccat. How strong is your bond inside and outside of the game? What makes you such a strong duo in your opinion?

I can definitely say that we are good friends and we really trust each other – both inside and outside of the game. I think we are A good duo, because we like to fight a lot and gain control of the game together. We lived through so many meta changes together, it allows us to understand what to do quickly. We are experienced players at this point.

 

How are you enjoying playing with Forg1ven so far and what bot lanes do you think stack up to you? Are you the strongest bot lane in EU? Which teams are the hardest to lane against?

I think we are a really good lane. Forgiven gets a lot of advantages by himself, so my main job is to make him safe and peel off the enemy support most of the time. It makes my life pretty easy. I wouldn’t say any lane is hard to play against. We have our own playstyle that just works most of the time. I think our main weakness that we do not play some champions that are currently really strong.

 

 

Due to visa issues, you played for several weeks without Ryu. How did the team operate with Selfie in his absence and what was the most noticeable difference between the two?

Selfie is way less experienced than Ryu. He often played way too aggressive and got caught in early game. It made games very different for us, because Ryu is probably the best at understanding the pressure game in our team. Mechanically they are very close, so it was all about knowledge and losing the backbone of our team.

 

Who is the strongest team in the LCS?

Hard to say right now, I think us and Vitality are the strongest. I am confident we will be better than them by playoffs. I am also a bit scared Origen will catch up and become really dangerous again, their players are both very experienced and skilled – if they tryhard.

 

Looking ahead, do you think G2 will continue to remain at the top of the standings? Who do you see in the finals of the playoffs and representing Europe at the Mid Season Invitational?

In my opinion G2 is the most likely team to drop off from the current top three. It is my 3rd season already and I have never played in the final. Our players are really good and smart, if everyone puts their 110% effort I am sure we can go to MSI.

 

You took down Origen pretty handedly, and they are currently struggling, especially when compared to their performance last year. Do you expect to see them back on top by the end of the season? Are other teams getting that much stronger or is it just growing pains?

This split a lot of powerful teams formed. Last year when I was on Team ROCCAT we almost took them down in the qualifiers to Worlds. They were a really good team, but not invincible. I think right now their biggest problem is their personal performance. Every game someone from Origen makes a huge mistake, which turns into a big lead or easy snowball for enemy team.

 

How are you enjoying the current meta so far and what is your favorite support champion?

I don’t really care about the meta; I always try to adapt and have my own opinion on strong champions and team comps. I try to follow everyone and see what they are doing, but blindly copying them is not the right way to go. I really like to play Alistar, he is very versatile champion.

 

Shoutouts?

I want to thank my team and coach for trying their best to improve each day. Big shoutout to H2k and people behind this organisation. And the most important ones – our fans.

 

 

 

photo credit: lolesports


Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about Esports.

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We last spoke in September, just after you requalified for the LCS with Gambit. A lot has changed since then, with you joining a brand new team as well as organization. What are your thoughts on the Gambit situation looking back, and what is it like being a part of the debut squad under a new banner?

A lot of things have changed indeed. I find it very refreshing to be playing with 4 new guys that have not played with each other aside from the bottom lane. On top of that, to play under a French organization with a really competent staff is great as well, though I do cherish some of the moments I spent with Gambit.

 

Is Vitality the strongest team you’ve been on? What sets them apart from your previous squads?

Yes definitely. Even if I’ve played in the past with talented and experienced people such as Diamond, Edward, Forg1ven, etc. I feel like this time we all have the same drive to become the best, and the tools to achieve that.

 

You play a carry oriented style and currently boast one of the highest KDA’s in the LCS. Is this your preferred way to play or is it just what fits into the team? What is the ideal way to play Top in your opinion?

At the moment you can basically play everything on top lane so if I had to say what ideal way there was to play top it would be to adapt properly and to be able to play some Kennen, right after some Poppy, followed by Fiora and you can even put a little Graves in the mix.  All of those champions have different purposes and way of being played. Even though we have mostly played with carry style champions in LCS we know we’re able to play with non-resource dependent champions in the top lane so that’s not really an issue.

 

You’ve always been an avid Kennen player, and this season you’ve already played him twice. Is he on par with other top liners, or is he still strictly a niche pick? What is the best situation to pick him in and do you expect him to be relevant for the foreseeable future?

Kennen is a decent pick since almost no one can bully him out of the lane. He also has really strong team fighting and is one of the best teleport flankers in the game. There are ways to play around it though; when you play against a Janna, a Poppy, a Lee Sin or an Alistar it becomes very hard to flank, since they can all push you away or put you out of the fight, and your champion in team fights rely entirely on you landing your ultimate on as many people as you can. He has a pretty good split-push for the early and midgame but when people start to get items it’s time to group. I find him interesting since he’s one of the few AP top laners still played alongside Ryze/ Lulu/ Lissandra despite them falling out of meta currently, however I wouldn’t consider him an S tier top laner but more like the most optimal pick in some situations.

 

On the meta, how are you enjoying Season 6 so far? What do you like or dislike most? If anything, what would you change? What has been your favorite competitive meta thus far?

I do enjoy the current meta since you need a lot of adaptability to play all those different picks. I think it came down to all the reworked champions being overpowered such as Quinn/Graves/Poppy/Fiora/Darius. Not sure I’d change anything, even if we still see TP played every game, it adds more strategy to the game. I very much liked the Jax/Irelia meta, when I felt even if the champions were pretty strong compared to the other lanes a lot of those matchups were purely based on skill, and quite snowbally. But right now I’m able to play some Graves or Lucian top so I won’t complain.

 

Would you define Vitality as a Top, Mid, or Bottom focused team? What are the team’s goals in game?

I don’t think if you strive to become the best you can, in the current meta, focus on a specific lane. I think it’s more dependent on champions picked after the draft and the situation in game, whether it be lane swapping, objective control, etc.

For example if I’m playing a Fiora top, it’s a pick that will require resources and therefore needs to be played around, with jungle pressure and lane assignment so you need to compensate and have a bottom lane that can play a bit more passively. Lucian and Janna for example.

On the other hand if we just want to have a composition with a Lulu mid and hyper carry bot like a Jinx, you’ll need for Jinx not to fall behind, so playing a pick like Poppy that can handle themselves and have a useful kit even if she doesn’t have the most resources will be the best in this situation. It’s obviously more complicated than that and a lot of it is down to applying pressure at the correct time.

 

Q:  There has been some commentary on teams being able to defend or turtle a game out long enough to just win a team fight and close the game from there, overriding poor play in earlier stages of the game. What are your thoughts on this and do you think better teams will prevail regardless?

I guess you can take our game vs UOL as an example of it, even if we didn’t manage to actually win the game there were some comebacks, but it mostly came down to us not respecting them early on and falling behind when we would out scale them regardless. They fought when they needed to, and we didn’t. In the current meta the game is very snowbally so it’s actually pretty hard to comeback if the enemy control objectives and apply pressure properly Lane assignment becomes really important with how the game is evolving.

 

What was the thought behind the Top lane Lucian pick and what situations does he work in? Have you practiced with him as a team? Do you expect to see more of it?

Lucian is a very strong lane bully and is pretty strong in lane swap scenarios as well due to his fast push and decent wave clear. I find the champion very mechanically rewarding, and he doesn’t necessarily require as much gold as when he is played as an ADC since you don’t build him around critical strike. We indeed practiced him as a team, on top of playing it quite a lot in solo queue.
How is the communication handled in game and what is the team environment like?

The bottom lane and especially KaSing will do most of the shot-calling and map rotations, with every player giving input about how’s their lane is going, how chunked the enemy is, dive possibility, teleport advantage, etc. The objective is to get to the point where once laning phase is over, every player knows exactly where he belongs in a certain situation to correctly apply pressure and control objectives.

 

Where do you expect to place at the end of the season? Predictions for Top 3?

At the end of the split we expect to be the best, I don’t really know who will be top 3 alongside us 😉

 

In week 5, you handed G2 their second loss and completely dismantled Origen. Is this the team ramping up and do you expect to keep getting better?

I think our improvement curve is going really well, I still remember us a few weeks ago being completely lost in some situations. Right now things looks better but we still have a lot of things to fix so we will definitely get better throughout the split and going into playoffs!

 

In your game against Origen, you ran a team comp with Zilean and Bard. What went into the draft for this game and what was your mindset heading in? Did things play out as expected?

We practiced this mid/support duo in scrims and they’ve got quite good synergy. Being able to put the double bomb damage + free stun on top of the golden bard ultimate is deadly. On top of that it’s not like the trade-off is bad while picking them, because in those matchups they were good during the laning phase as well. At the end of the draft we had a scenario we expected, plus the supportive mid pick allowed me to pick a more damage oriented top laner that could do some AD damage too because we basically had 3 AP champions.

 

Shoutouts?

Thanks for everyone supporting me and my team, much love and Cabane 123!

 

 

 

photo credit: lolesports


Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about Esports.

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Putting up impressive numbers in the first few weeks of the 2016 season, I caught up with Unicorns of Love AD Carry Pierre “Steelback” Mejaldi to talk about his return to Europe, playing on a new team, the current meta, and more.

 

Q: You spent some time playing in North America on Team Imagine before joining Unicorns of Love. Did you enjoy your time there? Do you prefer playing in Europe?

Yes I enjoyed playing there. It was something totally new and a different mindset than EU players. I felt happy when I was in NA because I met really nice people and it gave me the opportunity to grow as a player.

 

Q: What was your mindset like heading into the season? Was there any difficulty in adjusting to a new team?

My mindset was to perform to my own expectations. I knew that I improved a lot but I didn’t want to fail to adapt properly on stage. There wasn’t really any difficulty because everyone is really experienced which make things way easier.

 

Q: What is it like playing with Hylissang and what is the biggest difference between him and BIG/Baby or Yellowstar?

Well the biggest difference is in the laning phase aggression. Hylissang is very aggressive in lane which I like. Baby was kind of the same too. Yellowstar was more control and roamed way more which was also good, it’s just two different playstyles.

 

Q: What type of role do you feel fits you best and do you feel it meshes well with the team?

I feel that I can play way more aggressive in this team and play more how I feel.  I felt that I wasn’t playing my own playstyle before, and I really didn’t like playing passively so now I’m quite happy that I can just play natural and that everyone has the possibility to be a carry.

 

Q: What is the team environment like? What is communication like in game and how is shotcalling handled?

The team environment is pretty good. Everyone is willing to improve and plays the game a lot. We talk way more than my previous team and I think it’s really nice. You always needs to say what’s on your mind with shotcalling, and everyone is doing it pretty much which I think is the best cause everyone should be able to understand what would be the best move possible at what time.

 

Q: You played week with Djoko due to visa issues with Diamondprox. How much has this affected the team? What is the most noticeable difference in his absence?

Djoko played better than everyone expected, I’m sure he had confidence on stage to make plays. The absence of Diamondprox affected us obviously because he was a top tier jungler and had a lot of experience, he was helping the shotcalling a lot. I’d say the most noticeable difference is the experience and the knowledge that he has with every match up which is really huge.

 

Q: Last year, you said you wanted to see more Ezreal in the LCS. In 2016, he rounds out the top 10 most played champions in the EU LCS. Do you still enjoy playing him?

Yes I really enjoy Ezreal even though his laning phase is not the best at the moment due to his tear build. I still like him because you’re able to poke and make plays with him.

 

What in your eyes makes him so strong?

I feel his strongest point is his poke and his ability to peel for yourself and I think that people forget a lot about how to use his ult efficiently. For example clearing waves and harassing the enemy.

 

Q: How would you rate your performance so far? Who do you feel is the biggest competition among AD Carries in EU?

I’m happy that people noticed that I improved but I still think that I can do way more. People shouldn’t forget that my team is really good, which is a huge reason why I’ve looked good at the beginning of the season. I think there are a lot of good AD carries that I can learn from and we will see how it goes during the season.

 

Q: Of the teams you’ve played, who was most difficult to play against?

Well I think Fnatic was the most difficult cause they managed to stall the game for super long even though they were really behind. I feel that we lost to G2 and Origen because mostly because of draft.

 

Q: How do you feel about the state of the current meta? Specifically AD Carries? Are there any changes you’d like to see in the game?

I feel that the current meta is pretty good because it’s more about aggressive plays all over the map and there are way less tanks. Also, on AD carries you can build differently depending on which ADC you pick. Same for masteries, before there was one only way to take masteries and build AD carries.

 

Q: Shoutouts?

I just want to thank every fan that support us. It helps a lot, you guys are awesome keep it up!

 

 

photo credit: lolesports


Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about Esports.

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Top scorers points earned for week 1

  1. Shiphtur – Dignitas: 60.27 points
  2. Piglet – Liquid: 58.89 points
  3. Freeze – Renegades: 48.31 points
  4. WildTurtle – Immortals: 48.29 points
  5. Fenix – Liquid: 47.84 points
  6. Trick – G2: 47.09 points
  7. Kiwikid – Dignitas: 45.69 points
  8. Altec – NRG: 45.65 points
  9. FORG1VENGRE – H2K: 45.45 points
  10. Stixxay – CLG: 44.17 points

 

First impressions from Week 1

  • Immortals look amazing. I’m happy to give especially Reignover and Turtle higher priority. I get the feeling Fnatic’s early game shotcalling last season was heavily directed by Reignover, although I can’t prove it, but that usually means a lot of fights. Turtle’s back to his aggresive self too so he’ll be awesome.
  • We have yet to see Dignitas fight upper tier teams (NRG had subs, so it didn’t count), but their point gain versus middle pack teams is amazing. Pay attention to their matchups, and Shiphtur may very well get you 50+ points in a week.
  • NRG’s question marks to me at the moment are KonKwon and Moon. Their other players look great though. They did very well this week, but it would be great to see how much Moon influences the tide of their games.
  • CLG is looking alright. Heavy rotations still in play, but lots of diving and teamfighting as well. I still have questions about Huhi, but I think Stixxay deserves a spot on the map.
  • Liquid‘s members are looking to be very good fantasy point generators, even though they’re 0-2. I don’t know if I should include Matt on the list yet, however, and the whole sub squad thing does not help their case. Be careful about running them, because if they’re subbed out midweek you’re in trouble.
  • TSM and Origen I think had off weeks… I’d have to see their week 2 play to decisively lower any of their positions, since apparently neither team had much practice coming into this week. Also Doublelift randomly got high points, so he’s working that + status well.
  • Renegades seem to have a pretty rotation heavy style (ode to MonteCristo I suppose). Their teamfighting seems alright though, so I’m happy to give small boosts to some of their members.
  • Consider fielding players who get to play against TiP. TiP is looking very weak, and that’s exploitable.
  • UoL looks pretty good. Diamond and Viziscasci have decent synergy, and their new bot lane have been performing acceptably. They’ll put up a good fight regardless of their opponent, so I expect good things to come from them. However, I’m still not convinced about the nature of their aggression. Their points seem to be above average, so I’m keeping an eye on them.
  • I’m still unsure about Echo Fox, Fnatic, G2, and Roccat. Fnatic moreso because they had one decent game against an out-of-form Origen, and because they had one terrible game against Vitality.
  • H2K is looking fantastic as well, but they seemed to play more rotationally as opposed to aggressively. I feel like they’ll get consistently high points, but absurd maximums will be rare.
  • Vitality’s performance looks to be about whether or not Shook wakes up right that day. I’ve lowered Kasing and Hjarnan temporarily for now, but there’s a good chance I might bump them back up again.
  • Elements, Giants, and Splyce did not impress me at all last week.

Based on these impressions, I have slightly adjusted the Drafting Priority for Week 2. Notice the tonne of new additions. Below the list, I’ve done a small run down for notable Week 2 matches that might be worth setting up your roster for.


 

W2-Recommended-Picks

 

Notable Week 2 Matches

Average points per game ~= 20 per player. The games I note are ones I expect to be higher than average or lower than average in certain ways. If I don’t note something, it’s because I either don’t think it’s worth mentioning, or I think it’ll give average points.

Team Impulse vs. Cloud9

  • Probably a convincing C9 win. Rush, Sneaky, and Jensen expected to do exceedingly well here.

TSM vs. Immortals

  • Slanted in favour of Immortals, probably 65-35 odds from TSM’s poor showing this week.
  • TSM looks to be good at putting up fights, so they (Doublelift and Bjergsen especially) should be able to net decent scores.
  • IMT has a very aggressive style that has been successful so far. Unless TSM has found a way to completely shut them out, they should score quite well too.

Liquid vs. Counter Logic Gaming

  • Probably a bloodbath.
  • Liquid has a good record vs CLG in season games.
  • Pay attention to which players Liquid fields.
    • If Piglet, Dardoch, and Fenix are in, I think they’re bound to get lots of points.
  • Also, if Liquid beats CLG like they have in the past, expect it to be a stomp (low CLG points).

NRG vs. Immortals

  • I expect a lot of kills to go both ways in this matchup.
    • Impact vs Huni, Pob vs GBM, Turtle vs Altec are all going to be crazy.
  • The question mark here will be Moon, and his performance will determine which way the points slant.
    • If he does well, NRG and Immortals should go even on points, but if he does poorly, Reignover’s going to take over.

Counter Logic Gaming vs. Cloud9

  • If C9 run hai, expect a lot of rotations, and an average to above average game for points.
  • This shouldn’t be a stalled out game. I expect a lot of proactive diving and skirmishing.
  • Whichever team wins this game will likely have a tonne of points from objectives.

Giants vs. G2 Esports

  • If both teams have the same showing at last week, I expect Trick, Emperor, and Perkz to have nutty points from this game.

Origen vs. Unicorns of Love

  • This game will probably have quite a bit of action going on, so I think points should be higher than average.
  • There might be a bit of a mid and bot lane mismatch in favour of Origen, but if Diamondprox plays well he can probably balance it out.
  • The key question is if Origen was able to get meaningful practice this week, as opposed to the last one.
    • If they are in practice, they’ll score amazingly
    • Running Origen & their members will be a high risk high reward decision for this week

Fnatic vs. H2K

  • H2K seems to play a very rotational style game.
    • Even though they convincingly won both their games in week 1, they didn’t have absurd amounts of points.
  • Fnatic also looks really shaky.
  • I expect H2K to have average-above average points for this game.
    • However, if they sweep the game, Fnatic will do extremely poorly on points.

Fnatic vs. Unicorns of Love

  • Last season, I would run all my Fnatic and UoL members regardless of their other matchups whenever I saw this was going to happen.
    • It just got the most insane points for no reason whatsoever.
  • Fnatic and UoL now have really different lineups, and I find that their playstyles are have yet to be solidified.
  • If you feel like a gamble, this game might explode and possibly win you the week.

 


Graphics by Ling Gu: @SixSonatas

Writing by Kevin ‘SoullessFire’ Lee: Tweet any questions you may have to @SoullessFyr

Special thanks to Chefo

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The 2016 season has arrived. With one of the most tumultuous offseasons we’ve seen so far behind us, it’s only fitting that we kick off the Spring Split with the most storied rivalry in the region: Team SoloMid vs. Counter Logic Gaming. While CLG holds the edge in more recent history, a matchup between these two teams almost never disappoints. Let’s see how the first day of competition played out for the reshaped North America.

 

TSM CLG

 

TSM vs. CLG: Finding Ground

 

In the first and most anticipated game of the day, CLG showcased the power of coordination with superior objective control and map play, especially in the early game. With a failed lane swap from TSM to start the match, CLG managed to jump ahead and stayed in the drivers seat, secured by a baron around the 23 minute mark which would set the pace for the rest of the game. In staggered moves around the Dragon and Baron, CLG would eventually close the game out  after 44 minutes, five Dragons, and an impressive debut from CLG’s newest addition Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes. Participating in 19 of CLG’s 22 kills, the recently recruited AD Carry came into this game with some big shoes to fill, replacing his lane counter and longtime CLG AD Carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. CLG looks to a much easier game 2 against the 0-1 Team Dignitas, and Team SoloMid hopes to recover for an even week in a vital game against Team Liquid.

 

IMT

 

Cloud9 vs. Immortals: Reignover Me

 

Living up to the preseason hype, Immortals delivered a clean performance against Cloud 9, with Jungler Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin putting the team ahead from the beginning and never letting go. Though the first outer tower would fall rather late at 16 minutes and 50 seconds into the game, once it was down, Immortals continued pressing into C9 and methodically closed the game out at the 27 minute mark. With a creative Cho’Gath pick from the teams coaching staff and Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, the top laner was able to shut down the Cloud 9 carries and deliver kill after kill onto AD Carry Jason “WildTurtle” Tran. WildTurtle put up 11  kills and 4 assists in his season opener, closing the game with a quadra kill and silencing the critics that he was past his prime or less than ideal for the newly minted Immortals team. While Immortals look to be a contender for a top spot in the league, Cloud9 once again looked to be in disarray without shotcaller Hai “Hai” Du Lam, who is looking to transition out of the starting position for the team as support player Michael “Bunny FuFuu” Kurylo steps into the role.

 

NRG

 

Team Dignitas vs. NRG: The Color Purple

 

In the third matchup of the day, we saw a handicapped NRG using substitutes Cristian “Cris” Rosales and Lee “Shrimp” dispatch of Team Dignitas after falling behind to a mid lane push after an early gank  onto Lee “GBM” Chang-seok. Marked by an impressive opening performance culimating in two baron steals by the former Jin Air mid laner, a back and forth battle between the two teams would eventually find NRG coming out with a 40 minute win. Despite a strong performance from mid laner Danny “Shiphtur” Le with an 8 kill Anivia, Team Dignitas was lacking in synergy and never quite managed to execute despite an early lead. Performing solidly, NRG is in decent shape heading into their match against the Renegades. Dignitas on the other hand has a lot of work to do if they expect to put up a fight against the very-in-sync CLG.

 

REN

 

LA Renegades vs. Team Liquid: Ice Ice Baby

 

Patch 6.1 may be regarded for having faster games, but that didn’t stop the Renegades from taking a full hour before closing this one out in an important victory over Team Liquid. Qualifying into the Spring Split by winning the Challenger Series last season, the Renegades showcased the advantages of team synergy starting the game off with advantages coming from both the top and bottom lanes. AleÅ¡ “Freeze” Kněžínek and Maria “Remi” Creveling proved to be a force in the bot lane, with a huge 11-2-7 score and 100% kill participation from Freeze. Playing around the initiation of Remilia’s Alistar and Freeze’s Kalista, Renegades made good use of strong teamfighting assisted by the tankiness of Mundo and Alistar and shielding power of Alex Ich’s Orianna. In the final fight of the game, Team Captain Alberto “Crumbzz” Rengifo managed to steal the Baron and finally close out the game. Team Liquid will utilize it’s 10 man roster with substitutions in the support and jungle positions in their match against TSM. Renegades should look to continue playing around their bottom lane and using their superior team play to gain advantages in their game against NRG.

 

EF

 

Echo Fox vs. Team Impulse: Old and New

 

Before this match started, there was an air of caution around the recently formed Echo Fox squad as it has several unproven and otherwise unheard of players. With star player Henrik “Froggen” Hansen at the center of the team and AD Carry Yuri “KEITH” Jew finally getting his chance at a starting role, it was up to Froggen’s veteran leadership to bring this squad of mixed experience together. With a 37 minute victory over Team Impulse and a stellar 7-0-5 performance from Keith, Echo Fox looked promising in their LCS debut. Team Impulse however is a team playing with substitutes and Support Austin “Gate” Yu in the mid lane for the first time in months, so I wouldn’t put too much stock into this match. The first litmus test for Echo Fox will be against Cloud 9, who will be out for blood after a one sided loss to Immortals. Speaking of the Immortals, they should have no problem handling Team Impulse when they meet in their second game.

 

 

 

photo(s) credit: lolesports


Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about Esports.

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Fantasy LCS isn’t about picking up the best players historically. For example, a good player last season who didn’t get top tier fantasy points is Froggen. Consider that Elements was in shambles, and though he’s still arguably a top mid laner in EU, it was hard to consistently perform for him. Fantasy LCS is about being able to pick players that are able to consistently achieve a high amount of kills, assists, and multi-kills.

 


Explanation:

Quality 1

As mentioned above, all that matters in Fantasy LCS is high kills and assists. You want extremely aggressive players who will always try to get kills instead of farming safely. Having a high number of deaths is not a detriment as long as the player is getting kills. This is pretty simple math:

  • A player who trades a kill for a death nets 1.5 points.
  • A player who dies but gets an assist nets 1 point

Trading for an assist is already the same as getting 100 CS. A passive player who aims to only farm is going to lose out big time on fantasy points. Farm should be seen as a bonus extra 3-6 points.

Quality 2

Multi-kills play a large factor in getting bonus points. In my experience, you should aim for about 20-30 points per player per game on your fantasy team. If a player gets on average 25 points a game, you’d get 50 points in a week per player, leading to an average of 300 points, which is very difficult to beat.

  • Pentas mean a bonus 10 points, Quadras 5, Triples 2
  • This is on top of the kill points. So technically, a Penta is worth 17.5 points, Quadras 16, Triples 6.5

If a player gets a pentakill, already get near the 20 point floor you’re aiming for. This is key, and how players like Niels or Doublelift can get 40-50 points in a single game. Of course, a player won’t be getting pentakills every game, but players who consistently mop up team fights are more likely to get these bonuses (mostly AD Carries and Mid Laners)

Quality 3

Think about a fantasy team player as a car. Having a fantasy player that are incarnations of qualities 1 and 2 is like having a pretty shiny lamborghini. However, that lambo is only going to go as far as it has fuel for. The fuel in this analogy is going to be their team, and how well it works together. Case in point: Froggen/Forgiven last split.

A top fantasy team is one with excellent teamfighting and macro play. These usually lead to wins, and the math is pretty self-explanatory.

With that being said, here’s my top picks for fantasy. The players were divided based off how well their prior performances (stats from previous Fantasy LCS splits) fit the aforementioned criteria:

 

Recommended-Picks

 

Two Notes:

  •  Be wary of slumps. A fantasy team that does well on week 1 will not necessarily do well all split.
  • Try to draft a fantasy team where you are able to substitute players out in order to avoid your team playing against each other (in the worst case, the game is a shut out, and one of your players gets like no points)

 

Disclaimer: I am not personally responsible for whatever happens if you follow this guide. 


 

Graphics by Ling Gu: @SixSonatas

Writing by Kevin ‘SoullessFire’ Lee: @SoullessFyr

 

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With the offseason nearly behind us, 2016 looms ahead, with a completely changed landscape and a slew of unrecognizable teams. We’re back with our final recap of the offseason to kick off the new year and keep you in the loop.

 

North America

 

  • Rick Fox, 3 Time NBA Champion and NBA Analyst, purchased Team Gravity’s LCS spot. The team will compete under newly formed organization Echo Fox.
  • Red Bull has made it’s foray into LCS team sponsorship, announcing official partnerships with with both TSM and Cloud 9.
  • Team Dignitas has parted ways with Brokenshard, and Raz will be stepping in as Head Coach.
  • Team Liquid announced Choi “Locodoco” Yoon-sub as their Head Coach, in addition to a 10 man roster that will be used interchangeably in the 2016 season.
  • Cloud 9 Mid Laner Nicolaj Jensen has changed his name from “Incarnati0n” to Jensen”.
  • TDK Owner Chris Shim, Geon-Woo “Ninja” Noh, & Jin-Yong “Fury” Lee were punished for poaching and breaching contract rules.

 

Europe

 

 

China

 

 

 

Korea

 

 

 

LMS

 

 

 

 

Turkey

 

 

 

 

BR

 

 

 

Events

 

  • IEM Cologne saw Ever take home their second international event win. Infograph.
  • All-Star 2015 has concluded, with Team Fire coming out ahead of Team Ice.

 

 

Season 6 regional start dates

 

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With a roster built on the experience of veteran players and upcoming Challenger talent, startup organization HUMA has their eyes set on the LCS. At the teams core, Jungler Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen, formerly of Team SoloMid, and former Giants Gaming Top Laner Jorge “Werylb” Casanovas spoke with NoL on competing under a new banner, qualifying for the LCS, and more.

 

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Santorin

After leaving TSM, did you immediately decide to return to Europe, or did you consider staying in NA? What led to you joining HUMA?

After TSM, I wasn´t sure what I was going to do. I spent a lot of time considering all my options. Despite many teams making offers, I decided to go with HUMA. One of the main reasons being I saw a lineup that could make it into the LCS.

 

How confident are you in your chances of qualifying for the EU CS and eventually the LCS?

Right now I think our chances of getting into the EUCS are high, and if we make it into the EUCS I think our chances of getting into the LCS are even higher. After working with this team for a little while now I see us improving steadily and everyone truly trying their hardest. A huge upside to this team is the fact that we receive criticism really well together and individually. No one feels hurt or threatened if they are being approached with a problem, which really helps us grow a lot.

 

You’ve played in the Challenger series before. Do you have a different mindset going in this time now that you’ve gone as far as the world stage?

I definitely have a different mindset going into Challenger series once again. I have so far failed twice getting into the LCS with challenger teams, but this time I feel like I not only have more knowledge and experience behind me, but the right team to finally make it to LCS with.

 

You’re taking on more of a shot caller role in the team. What makes you suited for this role and have you already started to transition?

I have decided to take a leadership role in the team because I think my worlds experience, and playing with TSM, gave me a lot of helpful experiences to make the transition into being the shot caller easier. I am still getting used to the shot calling aspect of our games, but I believe that with time I can become more comfortable with it.

 

You have been criticized in the past for being passive. Do you believe you have played too safe of a style and do you think we can expect a more aggressive Santorin, or is this more of a product of the function of the team?

I think my style on TSM was too passive, it was a mix of a lot of different things. I do not really know why it all started where I became super passive, but back on Coast I was a really aggressive jungler and I always went for skirmishes and tried to outplay my opponent. The style I had on coast was the style where I was able to carry games and lead my team to victory and that´s the style I will be using with my new team, HUMA.

 

How have you been spending the offseason?

In the offseason I decided to visit my girlfriend, Kelsie, in Canada for a month and outside of that I, I have been playing solo queue, streamed and visted my family and obviously going to the gym too.

 

Are you enjoying the state of the jungle right now? What do you love/hate most about the preseason?

I really enjoy the state of the jungle right now, it allows me to play all the aggressive junglers which is what I love playing and it also puts me in a position where I can carry games. The thing I love the most about the preseason is the rift herald, I really like that they added that to the game, it makes the game more interesting. A thing I hate about the preseason is the fact that thunder lords is stronger than every other keystone which makes the choices of masteries very one sided.

 

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Werlyb

 

What led to your decision to leave Giants and how did you end up on HUMA?

Well about leaving giants, it was more about how I was not comfortable in general and that I wanted to try finding better options. At the same time they were not comfortable playing with me so I think it was better for everyone if I left. Huma came to me with a great offer and a roster that was really good, so I decided it was the best possible option and took it.

 

You’ve already qualified for the LCS through promotion in the past. What makes it different this time, and are your goals different after having played in the LCS before?

The difference is that now I have a lot of experience, I know more about how everything works, and I know how much we have to train as a team to really make it to the top. Also individually I’m a much better player than when I qualified before. My goals are different since I got into LCS. Before just staying in was good enough, but now I want to be one of the top teams

 

You’ve been playing a lot of duo queue with Santorin. How has that been and has the rest of the team been practicing together?

I get along very well with Santorin, I like his attitude and I think he’s really skilled. About the team, we haven’t played that much, but at the moment I think we are a really strong team and we are going to get better and better.

 

With the preseason in full swing, what type of role do you see yourself filling in the team for 2016? What is your favorite way to play top?

I don’t think I’m going to have a specific role in the team. I prefer the carry-role, but I’m also playing more non-carry champs so my team can just carry me.

 

What are your impressions of Illaoi? Have you had time to play her and do you think she has a place in competitive play?

I still haven’t played Illaoi because I don’t think she’s a good champ overall, so right now I don’t think we are going to see her in competitive play.

 

Shoutouts?

I would like to say thanks to HUMA, my fans, and my team mates for trusting in me, you won’t regret it.

 

image credit: Ciqret, lolesports, HUMA


Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

 

Joining LGD in early December, Top Laner Jang “MaRin” Gyeong-Hwan and Jungler Xie “Eimy” Dan spoke with NoL on their transition into LGD, team synergy, the upcoming season, and more.

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MaRin

 

What was going through your head after you won the World Championship and the MVP of the event?

I was very happy over the fact that we had won, but I was even happier to have received MVP. I think that the KOO Tigers, who handed us a loss at the World Championship Final, were our most difficult opponents.

 

What is your biggest goal on LGD and what do you feel is your strongest attribute?

I left SK Telecom to experience new challenges. As long as I call pro gaming my profession, my constant goal is to win the World Championship. A “strength” would be that because I am living in a new environment, it’s more fun.

 

Are you already learning Chinese? What are you doing to overcome the language barrier, and do you plan to continue shotcalling in LGD alongside PYL?

I did buy a Chinese language book, but I didn’t have time so I couldn’t really learn much beforehand. I must now begin to learn, so I think I’ll be busy.

 

As for shotcalling, because we have to all play scrims and give/receive feedback to set our teamwork, I’m not quite sure yet.

 

Who do you consider your biggest rivals in the top lane?

I haven’t been able to scrim in China yet, so the only players that I’ve met are the ones that I’ve met while in tournaments or official matches. Therefore, I can’t choose a rival. Right now, I want to work hard with the mindset that everyone is a rival.

 

Who are you most looking forward to playing against in China? Why?

I’m looking forward to all of the teams, but Vici Gaming is a team I’m looking forward to playing the most. I think it’ll be fun because I was on the same team with Lee “Easyhoon” Ji-hoon, and now we’re facing each other as opponents.

 

What are your thoughts on Illaoi? Do you think we’ll see her played competitively?

I haven’t played Illaoi all that much, but I feel that she’s unable to use her strengths against ranged champions, and isn’t able to make all that much of an impact during team fights. I do think that if the player has researched and practiced Illaoi a lot, it can definitely be used in tournaments.

 

Anything else?

I don’t know Chinese all that much yet and haven’t had much practice, so the spring season opening is a bit of a worry. Regardless, I will try my hardest. I would be very thankful if you’d cheer for me and be patient, even if I show a lacking performance.

 

 

 

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 Eimy

 

You’ve qualified for the LPL on two separate occasions. Is there a bit of relief not having to qualify to compete this time?

I feel really lucky that I don’t need to qualify this time around, and I’m very grateful to LGD for giving me this chance to play with them in the LPL.

 

How did you get in contact with LGD and what led to your decision to join?

During the offseason I told my team Unlimited Potential that I was interested in changing team, so they told L.Ace I was available and interested in other clubs. That was how LGD knew I could be contacted. I chose to join LGD because I thought that I would fit well with the members of the team.

 

What do you hope to bring to LGD and accomplish in the season?

Right now I’m not yet sure what I can bring to LGD, but I’ll have a better idea once we start practicing. I hope that we can be the champions this spring season.

 

You have played with Heart and pAinEvil in the past. Does it feel good to play with former teammates and do you believe it will help the team to mesh faster?

I think that we’ll mesh together quickly again this time. Last time when I played with them we had good chemistry.

 

What is your take on the jungle in the preseason so far, and are you enjoying the faster pace of the game? Are there any specific changes you want to see to the jungle in Season 6?

I think that personally I can adapt well to any meta, no matter how much the pace of the game changes. As a jungler I’m also very team-focused, so I will adapt to my team. Personally for Season 6 I would maybe like to see some stronger jungle items, or some new jungle items.


Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

Translations by: @LGDReira and @xoprestige

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In December, multigaming organization Natus Vincere, or Na’vi, made their official return to the competitive League of Legends scene with the announcement of their challenger roster, and their intent to climb their way through the Challenger Series into the LCS. NoL spoke with their starting Jungler, Amin “Amin” Mezher, on playing in the Challenger Series, the development of the amateur scene, how he ended up on Na’Vi, and more.

You’ve spent quite some time in the Challenger series. What has kept you motivated to continue playing? Has there ever been a time you considered giving up?

I just enjoy playing the game in an amateur scene where I can have a real life and also some competitive gaming. Giving up? No. I could have played in the LCS if I wanted to, I had offers.

 

What are your thoughts on the development of the Challenger scene over the past year and where is it still lacking the most? What needs to change to make being an amateur player more viable?

I think the challenger series has improved a lot since I played in it with NiP. It’s a lot more structured now, with better money.

 

With so many teams receiving backing, both new and old alike, are you concerned with organizations who have a higher spending power potentially limiting the growth of upstarts and those with less money?

With so many new organizations coming in, with an entire bank in the pocket it definitely makes it harder for Solo queue players to get into the scene. Why would you tryout a random solo queue player when you can just buy one of the best players in that role?

 

You sometimes get a bad rep for your attitude. Do you think it is deserved and are you doing anything to change this perception?

I would say it’s deserved, but a bit exaggerated by the community, reddit etc. I think I was way more toxic back in the day when I was a lot younger. Now I’m trying to be more mature and I think I’m on the road to incarnation.

 

How did you end up on Na’Vi? What led to your decision in joining the team? What was the trial process like?

I wanted to join an amateur team this year and I heard Na’Vi was looking for players so yeah, the org is very big in esports and it made my decision easier. I saw that they took it very serious with the staff etc. which was important. To be honest I just scrimmed two games and after that it was a done deal pretty much.

 

What are your immediate goals now that you are officially competing again?

My first goal is to qualify for CS and play good every game and prove myself a bit more to the community.

 

Does Na’Vi have a gaming house, or plans to get one?

I do believe Na’Vi are going to buy a gaming house soon in Berlin, so yes.

 

Are you already practicing as a team? Results?

We haven’t played a lot of tournaments or barely any official games, but we’re practicing. Results are pretty good since we’re a new team.

 

How confident are you that this team will perform in Challenger Series and potentially make the LCS? Is there an expectation to qualify by the organization?

I believe if we stick together and if everyone takes it serious, we can go a long way, including in the LCS. Na’Vi believes in us.

 

What is the team atmosphere like? Is it strictly business, or do you guys do things together outside of the game as well?

I like the team atmosphere because it’s not strictly business, we’re friends too. So after scrims we can just keep hanging out.

 

How is shot calling handled in-game?

We’re still a new team so we’re trying stuff out pretty much but it’s mostly me, mid, and top shot calling.

 

How are you enjoying the preseason? What do you hope to see changed before competition starts?

I like the preseason, I like the fact that more aggressive junglers are played. It fits me.

 

Who do you see as the biggest threats in Challenger right now? Who are you most looking forward to play against?

I would say Millenium are one of the best challenger teams right now. They’ve played together for a long time and have great teamwork.

 

Shoutouts?

Just a big shoutout to Na`Vi and all the sponsors


 

Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.