Boy did I pick a week to take off. I figured with the World Championships and the DreamHack major coming to a conclusion two weeks ago, that last week would be a good time for a short vacation. BUT I WAS WRONG. Little did I know that the wildest LCS off-season in years would kickoff just hours after the world champions were crowned. We’ll be talking about all the League of Legends news, including who won the Summoners’ Cup, what players went where, and all the various dramas unfolding in this week’s edition. All this and more in this week’s eSports Weekly.
LoL: World Champions Crowned, Immediately Overshadowed by Massive LCS Roster Shakeup
An eventful, sometimes unpredictable World Championships came to a close with a far less than surprising result. It would’ve been an ending for the storybooks if the underdog KOO Tigers upset the heavily favored SK Telecom T1, but SK would emerge victorious with a 3-1 victory to secure the Summoners’ Cup and the title of World Champions. After KOO avoided the sweep with a game three victory, SK poached the Tigers in game four, holding KOO to just one kill in the championship clinching game.
But the KOO Tigers’ bodies weren’t even cold on the ground before they and the champions were both swept under the news rug by what might be the most massive roster change in LCS history. Redditors trying to explain it to newcomers and onlookers equated the change to Kobe Bryant joining the Celtics, to Derek Jeter joining the Red Sox, to Lionel Messi joining Real Madrid. Grown men cried, and mothers held their newborn babes tightly out of sheer confusion. The unthinkable had happened: Counter Logic Gaming had released Doublelift, and just hours later, he was announced as the new starting AD Carry for Team SoloMid.
It goes without saying that the news came as a shock to both CLG and TSM fans. Doublelift had been a massive part of the most successful split in CLG history, that culminated in a 3-0 sweep over their rivals TSM in the NA LCS finals, and an appearance at Worlds. In his first stream after the acquisition, Doublelift expressed that he was caught off guard by the release, which he says CLG did because of performance and attitude. In his vlog, Doublelift also states that CLG’s support Aphromoo went to the organization with the “him or me” ultimatum, which prompted the release. Since the transition, Doublelift has said many times on stream that he is very happy with the TSM organization, and has high hopes for the team going forward. And with arguably two of the best players at their positions in the region, Bjergsen and Doublelift, hopes and expectations are indeed high for TSM’s upcoming split. I’m very excited to see them play together on the LCS stage.
**More about TSM’ offseason acquisitions, and other LCS roster changes down below in the Radar Blips.**
CS:GO: EnVy Claim First Major, and Major Changes to Game Sound and a Premier Roster
When we last left off two weeks ago, eight teams remained in the DreamHack Cluj-Napoca playoffs, and the quarterfinals produced some interesting results. EnVyUs defeated Fnatic in a 2-1 series, highlighted by a 16-2 blowout on Cache in the third game. No individual player on Fnatic notched at least ten kills on map three. G2 stunned Virtus.Pro in the second quarterfinal, defeating the Polish powerhouse 2-0, including an overtime victory on Train in game two. In the third quarterfinal, the Ninjas in Pyjamas looked like the NiP of old, upsetting TSM in 2-0 fashion on Train and Dust II. friberg, who has been in a slump for most of the year, was the MVP of that series, picking up 46 kills across the two maps. Finally, Na’Vi defeated Luminosity 2-0 in their quarterfinal match-up, but LG made them work for it, as the two games on Dust II and Overpass were won just 16-14 and 16-13, respectively. Humbled by the close games from LG, and well aware that NiP were rolling, Na’Vi closed the curtains on the NiP magic in the semifinals, defeating the Ninjas 16-3 and 16-6 on Train and Dust II to push forward into the grand finals, and end the NiP resurgence. The second semifinals were far more competitive, and turned into a classic series. After G2 won game one on Dust II, EnVyUs held strong on game two on Inferno, claiming the map through triple overtime. With their confidence high and G2’s spirit broken, EnVy won map three on Cache convincingly to make it to the grand finals.
In the grand finals, EnVy won the first game 16-14 on Train, and with momentum on their side, steamrolled Na’Vi on Cobblestone (16-5) to win the series and the major championship. For EnVyUs, it’s their first major championship as an organization, and the first ever for players kennyS and apEX. For the rest of the roster: NBK, Happy, and kioShiMa, it’s their second as players, having previously won last year’s DreamHack Winter as members of LDLC.
Just less than two weeks after EnVyUs claimed victory, some major roster changes occurred in the European scene. Fnatic announced that pronax would be stepping down from the roster, and is taking a break from competitive CS:GO. Fnatic quickly filled the opening, signing dennis to their roster from G2. G2 quickly filled their opening as well, signing aizy from Team Dignitas. With aizy leaving, and pimp stepping down, Dignitas signed two players, k0nfig and RUBINO from the Copenhagen Wolves. k0nfig joined the Wolves after jkaem departed for G2, but registered no official games under Copenhagen.
Finally, CS:GO community, you know that new sound you were looking for? Well listen to this! The sounds of CS:GO, mostly the movement sounds, have been updated. There are sounds relevant to what surface players are walking on, and there are more changes you can read about in detail here.
- LCS: TSM announced the signing of jungler Svenskeren, formerly of SK Gaming. There has yet to be an official statement due to a public “tug-of-war” over Svenskeren between H2k and TSM. H2k’s ownership believed that they and Svenskeren had a deal for him to come to H2k, but both Svenskeren and TSM owner Reginald dispute the supposed deal as a valid agreement. There has yet to be an official position taken by Riot, and the dispute may make its way to court before it’s resolved. As far as I can tell, Svenskeren will compete with TSM in a few weeks at IEM San Jose.
- LCS: Two big coaching changes this week. CLG Head Analyst Zikzlol has been upgraded to the head coaching position. The Daily Dot also reported that Origen coach Hermit will be leaving the team in the next week, to possibly pursue work with a North American organization. Hey, isn’t there a TSM head coaching position open? The assumed soon-to-be departed coach isn’t the only Origen change, as they added PowerOfEvil, former midlaner of Unicorns of Love, to their roster. He was added amidst rumors of xPeke’s retirement, but xPeke confirmed that he was not retiring, but rather that Origen would move forward with a six-man roster, allowing PowerOfEvil to sub in for xPeke if needed. And finally, as this came across the grapevine as I was writing this section, Team Liquid has announced that former TSM coach Locodoco is joining Liquid as a content creator, and Loco says he will help out with the team whether it’s coaching or translating for their Korean players if and when the need arises.
- Blizzcon: Lots of news and results out of Blizzcon last weekend. Na’Vi’s Ostkaka defeated Hotform 3-0 in the grand finals of the Hearthstone World Championship, the second world champion after American player Firebat. Additionally, Blizzard announced the League of Explorers expansion, which is now live. Cloud 9 won the Heroes of the Storm World Championship, defeating Dignitas 3-0 in the grand finals. C9 only lost one game throughout the group stages and playoffs. Before C9 were crowned champions, Blizzard announced how the Heroes scene would expand, with a massive global circuit planned for 2016, focused on scene sustainability and centered on three global championships, one in the spring, summer, and fall. Qualifiers and other events will be used to determine participants in these global championships.