After almost a full month of no action, both the EU and the NA LCS are coming back this week with an action-packed thriller, the super-week. 32 games in 6 days across both regions starting tomorrow at 17:oo CET ( 8 am PDT). Too many games you say? A lot of people would argue that there are too few, especially when compared to Season 3’s super-weeks who had each team playing 5 games, instead of 4 and who can forget the never ending tie-breaker series over in EU? To paraphrase a famous NA shout-caster, tons of hours of excitement await us and in order to make sure we are ready for it, let’s take a closer look at what changed during the break and the schedule for the upcoming super-week.
EU LCS – What has changed?
One might argue that since all eight teams in the European LCS re-qualified for the Summer Split, not much has changed, but that is far from the truth. With the recent All-Star Invitational event still fresh in our minds, it is safe to assume, that Europe as a region, still has a lot to improve if they want to have a fair shot at the World Championships in September. Both Fnatic, who represented Europe at the All-Star Invitational and iconic players like Froggen or Diamondprox, who represented their continent in the All-Star Challenge have seen the competition first-hand and are well aware of the sacrifices that need to be done in order to have a successful showing at Worlds.
Fnatic: The reigning Spring Split champions have had a poor showing at the All-Star event, finishing 4th in the group stage and being demolished by SKT T1K in the semi-finals. Although they were playing on home soil and had a massive crowd behind them, Rekkles and crew did not live up to their potential and at the end of the competition they were determined to find some analysts to help them out and work harder as a team towards achieving their goals. They had no roster changes, but a mentality shift seems to have taken place. The games this week should be a first indication of that.
SK Gaming: Things have been pretty quiet for the winners of the regular spring season, they all enjoyed a long break and came back to practice one week ago. No roster changes for them either, but a lot of confidence going into the Summer split, as they strive to secure one of the three tickets for the World Championships and finally showcase their arsenal on the international scene.
Alliance: After getting a much needed and well-deserved taste of the international scene, Froggen is determined to rally the troops and do whatever is necessary to qualify for this year’s World Championships. To that end, he enlisted the help of Locodoco, the former Korean ADC of Quantic Gaming, who will advise the team from an analyst’s point of view. The only official statement at the time is that he is helping out the team, he has no official role inside the organisation. ALL has also made no roster changes (Nyph is hoping to get his picture updated on the lolesports site until the summer split begins) and is relying on the same five guys to bring home the gold.
Roccat: Forever the Dark Horse during the Spring Split, Overpow and crew are looking for some huge upsets in the second part of the season. Having stated multiple times, that their goal for the first split was to avoid relegation and for the second to make it to Worlds, it is now time for the Polish team to make good on their word. No roster changes for ROC either, which should strengthen them as a team going forward into the Summer Split.
Gambit Gaming: The Russian Overlords have received a crushing blow at the end of the Spring Split play-off when their mid-laner, Alex Ich decided to quit the team and join Challenger team NiP as their new top-laner. This caught Gambit off-guard and the new permanent mid-laner has yet to be announced, but at least for the first week, Sebastian “niQ” Robak will be in their starting five. Depending on his performance, GMB will make a decision if he will stay with the team permanently or they need to keep searching for a CiS mid-laner.
Copenhagen Wolves: The Wolves had everything but a relaxed spring break and have suffered many roster changes. First off, their super-star AD Carry, Forg1ven initially left the team to join Alex Ich at NiP, but did not make it in the team and his former team-mates would not have him back. A few days later, their two times MVP jungler, Amazing, has received an offer he could not refuse from the NA power-house, Team SoloMid and packed his bags shortly after. The CW, who are known for launching many talented youngsters in the League of Legends Pro scene, did not waste any time and recruited Karim “Airwaks” Benghalia and Pawel “Woolite” Pruski for their Jungler and AD-Carry positions. It will be a rough split for the Wolves, but they are confident they can pull it together and remain a top team in Europe.
Supa Hot Crew: Having barely avoided relegation last split, SHC is looking forward to solidify their position in the EU LCS and to that end, they have made two important roster changes dropping their former mid-laner, Moopz and their support, Migxa and recruiting Marcin “Selfie” Wolski and Bram “wewillfailer” De Winter for the respective positions. The team is hoping that the changes will have a big impact and that they can surprise everyone coming into the Summer Split.
Millenium: MIL has barely avoided relegation in both the 2013 Summer Split and the 2014 Spring Split and have a long road ahead of them to climb back up in the upcoming split. There were no roster changes during the break, but towards the end of the spring split, Markus “Kottenx” Tingvall was called in to replace Araneae, who felt like he was under-performing and dragging the team down and decided to step down. With Kottenx in the jungle, MIL managed to defeat NiP, keep their spot in the LCS and are looking forward toward the next split.
EU LCS – The Schedule
The action starts at 17:00 CET with the “El Classico” between Fnatic and SK Gaming, a chance for both teams to start off on the right foot. After that, 15 other games will ensure that everyone has gotten their weekly doze of the EU LCS. On Friday, we move on to the NA LCS.
NA LCS – What has changed?
The NA LCS has opened it’s doors to two new teams this summer, Complexity Black and LMQ, who squeezed their way past Team Coast and XDG in the Summer promotion tournament and earned their spot in the Summer Split. With the addition of the two teams, especially the newest embodiment of the “American Dream”, LMQ, the NA scene is looking to get stronger and fitter for the upcoming World Championships in Korea. Towards that end, many teams have made significant roster changes, hoping to be one of the three North American representatives in Korea. Let’s go through the changes for every team.
Cloud 9: The NA back-to-back champions were looking as strong as ever at the All-Star Invitational event in Paris, finishing 2nd in the group stage, behind SKT T1K. A tough loss in the semi-finals against China’s OMG represented a minor set-back for Meteos and crew, who had already shown a solid performance, despite playing without their captain and mid-laner, Hai. Being back in North America and reunited with their captain, Cloud 9 is looking to dominate the domestic scene for a third split in a row.
Team SoloMid: The spring break marked the end of an era for TSM, as their long-time support player Xpecial, got benched and then removed from the team and their iconic jungler, TheOddOne stepped down from the starting line-up and assumed a coaching position alongside Reginald. To replace the two departing super-stars, TSM brought in Nicholas “Gleebglarbu” Haddad and Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider. Gleeb has been chosen over Xpecial by the entire team and has already formed a synergy with Wildturtle, through their many games of duo-queue prior to Xpecial’s benching, while Amazing is a renowned European jungler, who was two times MVP in the Spring Split over in Europe, where he played for the Copenhagen Wolves. With the two new additions TSM hope to get a spot at the World Championships and finally achieve some good results on the international scene, something that their fans are longing for quite some time.
Counter Logic Gaming: Being forced to look for a new top-laner, after Nien’s decision to step down from the main-roster, CLG turned their attention to the Korean scene for some young talent and found Seraph, a former sub for Najin White Shield. Seraph demonstrated his skill by reaching Challenger in NA very fast and although many feared his English would be a problem, in fact his English is pretty good and improving day by day. With this solid new addition to an already very strong CLG, Doublelift and crew are looking to steal the crown from under C9’s nose and claim the top spot in North America.
Curse: CRS already did a couple of changes to their roster at the beginning of the Spring Split and towards the end of it they looked pretty solid, giving Cloud 9 a run for their money in the play-off semifinal, getting an early lead over the NA champions, but being unable to hold it. With the addition of Alex “Xpecial” Chu to their starting line-up, a seasoned veteran, Curse are looking to finally break their “forever forth curse” and snatch a spot to the World Championships. It seems like a long-shot at the moment, but it can quite possibly be that Xpecial’s leadership and shot-calling abilities were the only thing that Curse was missing to finally step up their game.
Team Dignitas: With Team Coast relegating, their two most valuable players, Zion Spartan and Shiphtur became very attractive for the entire NA scene and DIG jumped at the opportunity to sign the two players. Two strong solo-laners was one of the things that DIG was missing in the Spring Split, along with good shot-calling and decision making in the late-game. The first part of the problem was solved with bringing in the pair from CST, while the second part, they will have to figure out together, as a team, under Scarra’s guidance and coaching. Both Darshan “Zion Spartan” Upadhyaya and Danny “Shiphtur” Le are thrilled with their new accommodation and are working very hard to help DIG become one of the top-tier North American teams.
Evil Geniuses: Despite big announcements at the end of the Spring Split that the team would organize try-outs for the jungler, ad-carry and support spots, the five amigos are staying together at least for the beginning of the Summer Split and are looking to review their tactics, their strengths and their weaknesses in order to slowly climb their way through the NA rankings.
LMQ: The former Royal Club training team, who came to North America and took the NACS by storm have made it in the LCS and have no plans of stopping here. They are practicing every day to be able to compete with the biggest names that North America has to offer. Despite rumored roster changes, LMQ’s starting line-up will remain the same: Ackerman in the top-lane, NoName in the jungle, XiaoWeiXiao in the mid-lane, Vasilii as their ad-carry and Mor the support. Being generally regarded as the dark horse of the competition, LMQ is looking to upset quite a few names on their way to Korea.
Complexity: With so much hype around other teams, coL is looking to fly under the radar and make their mark on the NA LCS. After defeating Team Coast in the Summer Promotion Tournament and finally making it on the big stage, pr0lly and crew have no intentions of leaving after only one split. With that in mind and the recent additions to the other teams, they will need to work twice as hard to achieve their goals. The starting roster for Complexity will be the same: Westrice in the top-lane, Brokenshard in the jungle, pr0lly in the mid-lane, RobertxLee and Bubbadub, the duo in the bot-lane.
NA LCS – The Schedule
The action starts on Friday at 12:oo AM PDT (21:00 CET) with the clash between Cloud 9 and TSM, the only two teams to ever win an LCS split in North America and continues with another 15 action-packed encounters, to keep you glued to your monitors through-out the entire week-end. Don’t forget to stack up on supplies before it begins!
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