The European LCS has had quite a rough road especially with the teams that are competing in the region. After the Promotional Tournament and Battle of the Atlantic, it was sure that Lemondogs were to participate in the Spring Split of the EU LCS. But after a huge deliberation on the team, Lemondogs had to drop out of the LCS. The team's failure to compete opened up an opportunities for teams that fought in the promotional tournament to come back and get a spot in the LCS. (Read more about Team Lemondogs not in the LCS here) Now, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Supa Hot Crew XD, and Meet Your Makers had a second chance at landing themselves a spot in the European LCS. The promotional tournament for these three teams were met with problems as well when NiP failed to complete their roster on time hence they were disqualified. MYM and SHC played a best of three series in which Supa Hot Crew XD won a sweeping victory over the more experienced pros.
Finally, after weeks and weeks of speculation and drama, the EU LCS has finally been completed and now they can begin to compete. Let's take a look at all the teams that are playing on the EU LCS and see how they fare against each other.
The eight teams in the EU LCS Spring Split 2014 are:
- Alliance (ALL)
- Copenhagen Wolves (CW)
- Fnatic (FNC)
- Gambit Gaming (GMB)
- Millenium (MIL)
- SK Gaming (SK)
- SUPA HOT CREW XD (SHC)
Alliance has acquired much of the roster from Evil Geniuses with Froggen and Wickd in their team. Alliance can fully take advantage of the slower pace of the new patches in Season 4. Much of Froggen's pick such as Anivia might come into play later in the season as AP Mages are now the pick in mid lane. This can become quite a powerful move for Alliance knowing that Froggen is a beast with Anivia. Tabzz and their former support player Kazmitch has played substantially well during the Battle of the Atlantic especially with Kazmitch on his Zilean support. Now, Alliance has got Nyph as their support player which further solidify their status as one of the new team's to beat.
The Wolves have always been in the pro scene. They have played in the Season 3 LCS during the Spring Split only to be dropped down during the Summer Split Promotional Tournament. During the Season 4 Spring Promotion Tournament, the Wolves were the tournament favorite to get back in to the LCS and beat the teams that have dominated the league for quite some time. It has always been known that the Wolves have got what it takes to be successful at high level competitive gaming but they have also been quite inconsistent especially if they were in the LCS before and dropped out only get back into the league again. This time, with a lineup more furbished than ever, the Wolves will finally get the top spot.
One of the most consistent teams in League of Legends. Fnatic has been the dominant team since the first season. After winning Season One, they have been on fire. Fnatic was able to define their strategy basing around xPeke's Kassadin when he was able to win the game by backdooring SK's nexus at a very close match. The game itself will go down in League of Legends history as one of the most exciting game. At Season 3 World's, they have proven that they can beat any team but unfortunately, they lost the game that would have sent them back to the Finals and finished third. Rekkles have returned to their roster but had a disappointing showing during the Battle of the Atlantic. It may seem that Fnatic is down on their luck after that but they are known to surge back up when they are down making them one of the most feared teams in Europe.
The former Moscow 5 team lost Edward during the Summer Split of Season 3 when he decided to go the NA LCS and played for Curse. The team had several problems during that season. They needed to travel every week from their gaming house in Russia to Cologne, Germany where they would play. It also cost them a lot of time to scrim and practice. Now, the team has solved the problem by moving to a closer location. Edward finally got back into their team and showed them that Gambit is a force to be reckoned with with their outing in the Battle of the Atlantic. With the original roster back in place, Gambit Gaming is back in full force as well and this can be deadly to those who cross them. Gambit Gaming is one of the oldest teams to play League of Legends and they are there for a reason so other teams should watch out for them.
Millenium acquired the roster from Team Alternate after they sold the spot. Millenium as Alternate has had a good run in the Summer Split of the EU LCS during Season 3 but they had their ups and downs especially during the middle of the split. They were able to dominate the first few weeks of the Summer Split and remained at the top for a couple more but it was until the last few weeks that they suffered devastating losses that led them to a tie breaker with Ninjas in Pyjamas. Ultimately, they dodged the bullet when they won the game against Ninjas in Pyjamas and got retained in the LCS. Having been the dominant force in the LCS for quite some time and getting nearly flushed out of the tournament goes to show that the team was not able to ride the momentum. Will Millenium be able to learn from their mistake and be able to ride out their advantage or will history repeat itself?
Roccat has acquired the roster from Kiedys Mialem Team or KMT. The team has suffered a lot of roster changes in the past but it was not until December 2013 when they were able to win their match against TCM-Gaming in the group stage of the Spring Promotion Tournament for Season 4. KMT was able to pull off a victory during the promotion tournament against Ninjas in Pyjamas who had three of its players playing in the Season 3 World Championships. It goes to show that even with world class players a team needs to have a solid playstyle in order to defeat more experienced players. Roccat's slow and methodical playstyle led them to victory and secured a spot in the LCS for the Spring Split. But, they are now playing against tougher opponents like Gambit Gaming, Fnatic, and Alliance all of which have been exposed to multiple tournaments including World Championships. They will have a tough competition this split.
SK Gaming is also one of the oldest teams to be in the LCS. Ocelote, Nyph, Candypanda and Kev1n are just a few of the players that have played for SK Gaming. During the Summer Split of Season 3, SK Gaming was in turmoil. A lot of their usual playstyles were not the same with the meta and they started falling behind. They fell to eighth place during the entire split and was forced out into relegation during the playoffs. Eventually, kev1n and hyrqbot left the team to join Ninjas in Pyjamas and one of their star players ocelote stepped down from the current roster and then left the team. During their promotional match against Supa Hot Crew XD, they were able to sweep the game and will be returning for the spring split in season 4. But, right before the team could play in the Spring Split, their team captain Nyph left the team but was replaced by a former member nRated.
SHC had an ambition during the preseason. The team wanted to be in the Season 4 LCS Promotion Tournament for a chance to be with the pros. They grinded through the Ranked 5v5 Challenger qualifiers and was able to reach the promotion tournament on their own. But, it was not meant to be when during the tournament, SK Gaming beat them in a 3-2 record. Fortunately for them, the Lemondogs were out of contention and dropped out of the tournament hence opening a new door for them to get into the LCS. It would have been a tough match for them as they face against NiP and MYM during the play-ins but NiP was disqualified in the play-ins and a best of three match was on their way against MYM. They defeated MYM and proved that all they needed was a second chance in order to reach their dreams – a spot in the European LCS. A true underdog story for the team who deserve to be in the LCS.