Showing posts with label Copenhagen Wolves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Copenhagen Wolves. Show all posts

Saturday, May 30, 2015

What We Learned from EU LCS Summer Week 1


by Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos


1. Origen are as good as they were made out to be.

Origen-ally I was sceptical about how xPeke's team would adapt to top tier competition that they haven’t yet been exposed to as a group. I thought that against some of the best EU has to offer, they might have some flaws exposed which they could later build upon. Instead what I received was a 2-0 trash of a week where Origen brushed away the likes of Giants Gaming and then proceeded to steamroll H2k - what I believed to be EU’s second best team and practically guaranteed worlds squad.

While Mithy is no Forgiven and opted against declaring himself as part of the best bottom lane in EU…by far, the duo pair of him and Niels has been crazily effective with the rookie marksman picking up the first MVP award of the summer split. But with so much attention on the oppressive dominance in the bottom lane duo, the good work and Peke, Soaz and Amazing are not to be overlooked. Aside from the occasional positional hiccup from Soaz, the top three members all held down their roles spectacularly showing that they’re still able to exhibit a top level of play. This will be especially warming to the top half trio as they all shouldered their fair share of doubt towards their ability to perform near the end of their last splits on Fnatic and TSM respectively.

I’m now excited to see how Origen fare up against some of the wilder teams in the LCS, as both H2k and Giants are quite tame and telegraphed in their style compared to the likes of UOL or Fnatic who aren’t afraid to shake the table.

2. The Copenhagen Wolves are still consistently inconsistent.

This team is about as consistent as my solo queue MMR, which by the way could be mistaken for an analogue radio wave. On their best days they can pool together a dominating performance and completely clean house against the best teams in EU, the next day or even literally half an hour later, they’re a mess of basic mistakes that can’t retain any control against a team that hardly looked like they knew why they were winning.

Although Freeze’s pure mechanical ability has been a shining point in lost moments along with areas of inspiration from Soren, the team needs heavy focus on regaining their flow and recovering from a loss of tempo if they want to be challenging for any of the spaces in the top half of the table this split.

3. Forgiven ruins the flow of any team he graces.

Although a tad bit harsh, there’s no way to express this without flat out saying it, Forgiven has proven to me that his playstyle appears to be unadaptable for everyone who tries to tame it. While the benefits of his presence are more than evident in having one of the best skilled ADC’s the west has to offer, it seemed like Gambit this week put themselves into a Piglet/Team Liquid situation where they tunneled on the acquisition of a world class talent and tried too hard to pool themselves around making it work. What Gambit need to avoid is the situation that has followed Forgiven like a dark cloud and it’s the internal collapse of teamwork, trust and synergy due to the clash in personalities. While SK Gaming held on for the best part of a split, it was too much for them as was with the Wolves. Personally with the history of how emotional Diamond and Edward can be, I’m a little worried as to how the team will recover if they don’t pull off a momentous upswing like last split.

4. The right Elements may have finally been blended together.

What an upgrade! This team looks to be with the right players in the mix alongside the right mentality. No joke, the KaBuM! incident obliterated the original lineup of Alliance and alongside the embarrassing worlds exit that followed, really tore apart the civil colleague relationship between the team. Only with the purging of the teams members and eventual rebuilding with the return of Tabzz, has the team finally begun to show the spark it showed in the summer of Season 4.

Dexter, Jwaow and PromisQ bring a new fresh feel and dynamic to the playstyle of the team and also seem to mesh with the rest of the team in a much better fashion than the previous trio of Wickd, Shook and Nyph who were simply Mission Impossible, Froggen’s waiter and some guy no one listened to. Rotations were good, the top laner actually looked like a member of the team and Froggen wasn’t giving off the vibe that he believed he was in elo hell.

As to how far this team can go, it’s still unknown as EL’s first game was a stomp over the currently broken Gambit and while they put up a good fight, they were ultimately taken down by the Unicorns. If EL wants to sneak in for a worlds spot, they need to overcome potential rivals for the spaces. Now it looks like they can, and not just on paper.

The question is, will they?

5. Roccat still have many problems that need to be addressed.

Woolite’s positioning has been the cause of many LCS face-desk moments for me and we’re only two games into the split. Whether or not he’s upped his poor positioning game to make up for the loss of his partner in crime, P1noy, is beyond me, but it’s hurting his team’s chances of being anything but relegation zone bound. It’s also apparent that every time Roccat change their top laner, it only seems to make the situation worse. Steve has yet to show why he was worth being selected as Roccat’s new top laner in place of Overpow, who went from the team’s shining star to a quickly ousted unmemorable top laner.

In fact, Steve’s biggest impact upon the LCS so far is the crowd chant of his name which follows a particular pattern of Roccat crowd memes when underperforming, one example being the ward chanting at LCS Wembley last season. On top of this, Jankos and Vander are mere shadows of their former selves and it’s been a very long time since I’ve heard anyone even try and call Jankos the “best jungler in the EU LCS”. Last but not least is Nukeduck, being the one returning Lemondog who isn’t a valuable asset to their new team. Out of the meta and completely out of his depth in most matchups, it’s a surprise Roccat chose only to make a change in the top lane, it’s even more surprising that it doesn’t seem like they’ve made any headway to addressing these issues which have carried on from the last split. In both management and player mentality, something is clearly wrong.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Preview of EU LCS Spring Split 2015 playoffs: H2k vs CW

By Anel “Musinlol” Musinovic




EU LCS playoffs begins at 17.00 tonight with H2k facing Copenhagen Wolves which will be followed by Gambit and Unicorns of Love.


H2k Gaming vs Copenhagen Wolves
Odoamne, loulex, Ryu, Hjarnan & KaSing vs Youngbuck, Airwaks, Soren, Freeze & Unlimited


The last time H2k and Copenhagen Wolves faced off in a Bo5, the Wolves sent H2k packing in a clean 3-0 sweep to keep their LCS spot. However since then they've lost their star player, Febiven, to Fnatic and acquired a new fresh support, mid laner and coach in KaSing, Ryu and Prolly. Needless to say, the change has worked amazingly for them. They've looked better and better as a team and the week that they've had is playing into their favor to develop even better strategies, etc.
     Finishing in 3rd with a 12-6 record and looking the stronger of the two, H2k will once again be going in as favorites against the 8-10 Copenhagen Wolves. Hopefully to a different outcome than the last time.


Pick and bans:


H2k:
In pick and bans, H2k should focus on getting a winning match-up for Odoamne. Even though I think Odoamne could go even in a losing match-up against Youngbuck, it could work out well. I explain why in the “Player to Watch” section, so you'll have to wait for a minute to find out. 

If they want to go with a comp where they try to pick winning lanes they could also try to bring out the Nidalee, Rek’Sai or Lee Sin to have even more early game pressure. We know loulex is probably one of the biggest Lee Sin advocates and still prefers him in the changing jungle meta. The pick could work well vs a Kennen - who Copenhagen Wolves have previously played. 

They could also go with a scaling comp with the likes of a Kog’Maw and Lulu in the mid lane but I would like to see an aggressive early game comp because of their superior map play.

If H2k want to play the Sivir that they've brought out eight times, with seven of them being successful, they should try to ban out Freeze's signature Draven who has a good match-up vs Sivir. Even trying to ban out three adc’s could be a good great idea because Freeze hasn't found a single win on other champs besides Graves, Kalista & Draven.



Copenhagen Wolves:

For Copenhagen Wolves, I find it a bit more difficult because there's a lot you want to ban against H2k and the recent Jarvan nerfs might have hit them hard.

Airwaks has had eight games on Jarvan and managed five wins from them, but with the recent nerfs he has been trying out different picks such as Sejuani and Fizz - with the Sejuani being a bit better for the team in my opinion.


Getting the Sejuani pick will be important and if banned it doesn't mean that much because it leaves up other picks for his teammates. It's likely that he's practiced other tank junglers such as Nautilus, Zac & Gragas. Otherwise, he can fall back on more early game pressure junglers in Lee, Rek’Sai & Nidalee. Last time, in the promotion tournament vs H2k, he did play Gragas so he should have that as a pocket pick if needed.


The bans I would go for in Game 1 would be Leblanc, Ahri & Sivir. I’m unsure about the two mid lane bans because I feel like Ryu can shine on other champs as well but is really good on those two specifically. Also they could let the Sivir go through and pick up Draven if open. With those two assassins banned though they could go for their Cassiopeia, they’ve won three out of three games with her.


Player to watch from H2k Gaming: Odoamne


Even though the great addition of KaSing seems to be what has made them a better team I would like to go for Odoamne. Youngbuck has a lot to prove with the pressure he's been getting from the community.
     He leads the team with his shotcalling and is able to do pretty good calls when doing fine himself, but when getting behind I feel like Youngbuck can make Copenhagen Wolves’ shotcalling suffer. Also the extra pressure from community can make him believe that if he doesn't put up a great performance the wolves might be looking for other options. Therefore I would like to see a top lane pick from Odoamne that can bully Youngbuck into mistakes, deaths or just falling behind in experience.


They both have five games on Maokai despite Odoamne having way more success on it with a 100% rate while Youngbuck is sitting on a 20% win rate on him. H2k will know that could be a contested pick and might just give it over to Copenhagen Wolves and pick up the Gnar who they've played in two out of the last four games.


Gnar can be a difficult champ to play because of the rage but can be incredibly strong in teamfights and is a really good lane match-up against Maokai. Odoamne also has a 80% win rate in five games on Gnar so it is likely that he will try to pick that up.


Player to watch from Copenhagen Wolves: Soren


Soren has improved massively this season. He seems way more confident when he plays and it shows in his performance. He's been compared to other great danish midlaners and he will be one of the key players against H2k. He has had a strong Cassiopeia winning all three of his games on her.


If his main champs get target banned I'm guessing he would go for Xerath but it will be interesting to see if he has picked up recent champions such as Diana which could be great in teamfights which the Wolves have been favoring a lot this season.


Predicted score: H2k Gaming 3-1 Copenhagen Wolves

The game will be played April 4th at 11 PM EST & 17:00 CEST over at www.twitch.tv/riotgames

If you want to contact me or follow me on twitter -> www.twitter.com/musinlol

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

EU LCS Week 6 Preview


By Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos

The Spring Split is past its halfway point and now, more than ever, each game matters. Here are my picks for what to watch in the EU LCS Week 6.

Day 1- Roccat (4-6) vs H2k Gaming (6-4)

Since the introduction of KaSing, H2k have become a much more competitive team. They've gained the ability to make better calls, gained stronger map presence on a whole and now look much more decisive in closing out games and holding onto leads. This momentum is also helped by the slide some of the bigger teams have been having in terms of living up to their hype. One of those teams being Roccat. It’s been hard to predict Roccat this season as they have all the tools available to be a top tier team; they’re just not falling into place. Roccat can be the team to halt H2k’s KaWin streak but, considering the latter is coming into this off a win over SK, momentum is certainly in H2k’s favour.

Day 1- Gambit Gaming (5-5) vs Copenhagen Wolves (6-4)

Gambit fans finally have something to smile about, the team has been on a good reverse tilt ever since H2k turned themselves around as well. P1noy and Cabochard look great in their positions, Diamond and Edward seem like they've been revitalized and NiQ, prior to his side-lining, looked to be meshing well with the team. Luckily for Gambit fans, the swap in of Betsy didn't affect the team dynamic much and they should feel confident going up against what looks like the strongest Copenhagen Wolves squad in a very long time. Youngbuck, Airwaks and Unlimited are starting to show really good moments while Freeze and Soren have been instrumental in holding the team together in later phases and team fights. The special matchup of this game will certainly be in the bot lane. P1noy vs Freeze won’t disappoint.

Day 2- SK Gaming (8-2) vs Elements (4-6)

The battle of the two "should-be-top" teams in the EU LCS. While one team has lived up to its hype, the other has fallen prey to the same kind of weaknesses they displayed this time last season. Froggen’s super team are no strangers to really slow starts, but with the addition of Krepo in place of Nyph, maybe they have the right Elements to produce a winning formula. Krepo provides a strong analytical game sense, leadership and solid mechanics in a form that nRated brings to SK. If Elements have actually built upon their hardship and learnt the power of teamwork and friendship, this will be the perfect time to show it against a recently shocked SK. While an 0-2 week isn't necessarily a panic siren for them, poor momentum could easily make it a third consecutive loss.

Fantasy Forecast:

H2k owners should feel very confident considering Giants and Roccat aren’t the toughest looking competition on paper right now. Unicorn owners should be wary of SK Gaming and Fnatic owners of the Wolves but generally those two remain solid picks. Be mindful that this is a week that could halt the Wolves' hype train but it could be a very profitable week for their carries. While it seems impossible for Elements to lose against MYM, it also seemed impossible that they’d be 4-6 this far into the season so never say never.


Reminder: Krepo is Elements’ starting support over Nyph and Betsy will continue to start over NiQ on Gambit.

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By Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos

Thursday, February 12, 2015

EU LCS Week 4 Preview- Games to Watch


by Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos 


Week 4 of the EU LCS is about to begin, these are my picks on what will be the games to watch:

Day 1- Giants Gaming (2-4) vs Gambit Gaming (1-5)
Coming out of their first win of the split against H2k, the seemingly tilting Gambit squad should be going into this game with renewed confidence and their heads held high. If they can sustain the momentum and avoid being put behind early they should be able to give a good game to Giants. The lane to watch will more than likely be top lane since both Cabochard and Werlyb are key components in their team’s victories. Jungler interaction with the top lane will definitely be a swinging point in this matchup

Day 1- Unicorns of Love (3-3) vs Roccat (3-3)
This match has a lot of weight in being the match that decides who is biggest challenge to the top three in Fnatic, SK and Elements. As it stands UOL are 1-2 against the top three taking a game off Fnatic while Roccat stand at 0-3 against the top competition. On the flip side however Roccat have yet to lose against any non-top three team while UOL slipped up to the Wolves last week. In terms of skill and potential I’d have these two at the same. Being arguably the two most hyped teams going into the split, this will surely be a hotly contested match.

Day 2- Copenhagen Wolves (3-3) vs Fnatic (5-1)
Of all the matches in day two I picked this one because the Wolves have recently shown a sturdy resilience and a refusal to be defeated early. Soren in particular has had a really good time in some of the Wolves’ games. The matchups of Freeze vs Steeelback will be interesting to watch as well as seeing who can leave a bigger map-wide impact between Reignover and Airwaks. This game can go the way of the Wolves if the right conditions come into play, a victory here could also really help turn some heads to them being a dark horse for the playoffs. But Fnatic will be looking to shut out any more surprises after their loss to the Unicorns last week.

Fantasy Forecast:
If you have any SK or Fnatic members it’s in your best interest to slot them into your team with high scoring games on the outlook for both. Elements owners should also be rather happy with what should be fairly easier games on the cards for them too. While a shock result for the Wolves against Fnatic could happen, their week also starts against SK so be mindful. Unicorn and Roccat owners will be hesitant as both heavily impact the other’s weeks. Giants owners should also be mindful as while SK seems like a sure loss, Gambit might go either way. Any H2K and MYM owners should avoid fielding those players/teams as it looks to be fantasy drought for them this week, hard games as well as lineup changes and internal conflict come to mind.

Reminder- KaSing is now H2k’s starting support over Voidle.


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by Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TOP FIVE EU FREE AGENTS



By Reece "SabrewoIf" Dos-Santos

Europe, for me, has always been a promised land of talent for the League of Legends pro scene. Whenever you think that there won’t be another rising star, three more pop up and burst onto the scene. However, with so much rising talent, sometimes shaky infrastructure, and a tendency to hold onto well-known names too long, EU has a habit of letting some great talent slide into the shadows. So let's take a look at the top five players currently listed as free agents.

In no special order:

Gillius

Gillius technically didn't qualify for Worlds 2014; he was only brought in to sub for Svenskeren due to his unfortunate racial incident in Taipei. Prior to this, Gillius had only garnered experience from playing on SK Prime and Unicorns of Love in the challenger scene. Despite this, Gillius still put up a pretty solid showing for a rookie, at times even looking better than some of the actual team veterans who struggled to adjust and compete at their best level. While one would think that Gillius would go back bringing a wealth of experience and growth for newly LCS bound Unicorns Of Love, the team made the rather shocking decision to bench him, leaving him in the unfortunate position of having played in Worlds...but not the LCS itself.

Best Team ChoiceCopenhagen Wolves

The Wolves have always been EU’s hub of promising talent, I believe they would greatly benefit from Gillius’ newly gained experience and solid playstyle.

Nukeduck
Nukeduck, in his prime, was arguably one of EU’s best mid laners and a real force to be reckoned with, especially at the height of the Season Three assassin meta, which greatly suited his playstyle. The whole of the Lemondogs' squad were some of EU’s best in their positions and the degradation of the team and the eventual suspension of Nukeduck and Mithy was a huge waste of talent. However, with his suspension over, Nukeduck now has another opportunity to explode onto the scene and every team should honestly give him a look. The recent rumours surrounding him and Woolite possibly moving to Roccat would be amazing for the team, as a Nukeduck/Jankos partnership has the raw potential to be one of the scariest if they gather good synergy to accompany their individual talent. With so much time off to work on his attitude, his work ethic and mechanics he should now be ready to take the EU LCS by storm.

Best Team Choice: Roccat

The more I think about it, the more I believe Nukeduck can take Roccat to higher levels. I’m really excited at the prospect of a huge playmaker and arguably EU’s best Season 3 mid laner paired with arguably the best jungler from EU Season 4. I also believe Overpow might be able to properly benefit from the more farm-centric style of the top lane, where there will be less expectation to hard carry Roccat games.

Forg1ven

After the Copenhagen Wolves had to give back Rekkles to Fnatic, many people doubted their ability to gather another AD carry who could have anywhere near the impact that Rekkles had. Then Forg1ven was picked up and all the doubt was silenced. Forg1ven was a monster AD Carry during his split with the Wolves, setting GPM, Total Gold, CS per min and Total CS records for EU and he was hailed by many as the best AD Carry in EU. Unfortunately, his fall out with the Wolves management left him unable to play during summer, but he is now free to be picked up and, in my opinion, is one of the biggest free agents EU currently has on the market to offer. His wealth of talent, fierce achievement-driven nature and prior LCS experience will get great assets to any team that take it with a pinch of salt.

Best Team Choice: Roccat

AD Carry-wise, most EU LCS teams are in a good spot. Every team expect Roccat, who currently doesn't have one. If the rumoured acquisition of Nukeduck is any kind of upgrade, the further acquisition of Forg1ven would catapult them into godly levels of potential. It would also likely leave Woolite on the Wolves allowing for Unlimited to actually play more than one split with a particular ADC.

Mithy

Mithy, like Nukeduck was a member of the overnight sensation team, LemonDogs, and was one of the three who transferred to NIP only to lose their slot in the LCS, eventually leading to Mithy’s suspension with Nukeduck and Zorozero’s retirement. Regardless Mithy’s suspension time is also nearing its end and with his eligibility for the 2015 LCS spring split, he should be a big consideration for teams in need of a solid support. It should be remembered that Tabzz and Mithy were one of the best, if not the best bottom lane in Europe by the end of Season 3.

Best Choice: Supa Hot Crew (now Meet Your Makers) or Millenium 

It would just so happen that Supa Hot Meet Your Makers are missing a support player following the teams rebranding and its release of Impaler and Kasing. It has also been heavily rumoured that Amin and Mithy will be the ones to fill in the newly freed up roles. Personally, I’m not too sure whether Mithy will gel well with the rest of the team, especially Amin, but MrRallez has shown himself to be the ADC equivalent to Unlimited, putting up good performances and easily building synergy with any duo lane partner he’s presented with. Alternatively, if MYM doesn’t work out another good destination for Mithy would be Millenium. With the departure of Kerp, Millenium is a team in dire need of a leader and a fresh start. Kev1n, Kottenx and Creaton are all top class players on the right day and I feel on most days, Jree just doesn’t allow them to perform to a peak of their (especially creaton’s) potential.

Kerp

As briefly mentioned, Kerp has now left Millenium in search of a fresh start. If he doesn't find a new team to settle down with, LCS casters and broadcast producers will surely be fuming at the loss of all the script they have to discuss his famous use of a trackball mouse. Despite how attractive it is to discuss, it isn't Kerp’s only asset. His raw talent is absolutely amazing and his ability to hard carry on assassin type champions is next to the best in EU. On top of this, his careful play on champions like Ziggs also provides a healthy switch between mid lane playstyles, which is impressive considering he was a top laner one season ago. Its also worth noting that Kerp was a Fantasy LCS superstar - bringing huge numbers (on his good days) for anyone who played him

Best Choice: SK Gaming or Copenhagen Wolves

If there was a better way to say I think Kerp is better than Soren and Jesiz, I would say it - but I can’t really find one. All three look the same in terms of being rather inconsistent, but generally Kerp can do a lot more a lot better and I think both teams would do well to consider how serious they are to be competing for the top spots with their current mid lane choices.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

European LCS Week 10 Power Rankings



by Matt “It’s Pure Luck” Lee


Welcome to my European LCS power rankings! While it’s perhaps a bit late in the season to start doing this as we head into our final week, it’s one of the most enjoyable debates that can be had when talking about the LCS.  First let’s take a look at the criteria teams will be judged on:

It’s not just your record that determines your ranking. Just because you have a better record than another team does NOT necessarily mean you are better in my eyes.  The proverbial “eye test” is incredibly important. Are you winning games narrowly or convincingly? Did you go 2-0 in a week where you trailed in both games but the other team made massive mistakes and it allowed you to come back? How a team looks is very important.
Results from the past few weeks.
General trends of a team’s performance vs upper-echelon opponents in the league. Playing well vs the top tier teams is obviously more impressive than crushing the bottom three constantly.
A team’s performance historically. This will weight a bit less, but a team like Fnatic will get more of a pass when they are struggling a bit than someone like the Copenhagen Wolves will.

With that defined, let’s take a look at the rankings!


1) Alliance (18-6) – This one really won’t come as any surprise. After a minor setback in losing four straight during Weeks Seven and Eight, Alliance has come back very strong and won four in a row. The win over red-hot Fnatic was particularly impressive as Rekkles and friends had been destroying everything in their path on the back of an eight game win streak. It wasn't the cleanest of wins as it took fifty-two minutes, but they played it safe, knowing a win all but guaranteed them the top spot in the final standings.


2) Fnatic (16-8) – Fnatic saw their eight game win streak snapped vs Alliance on day one last week. It didn't faze them much, though, as they took down a good Millenium team on the second day. One could make a case for Fnatic being in the top spot and they might have a point. They sit at 9-1 in their last ten games and they weren't narrowly winning these for the most part. Fnatic had been decimating their opposition ever since Week Seven. Ultimately, Fnatic posting a 1-3 record vs Alliance gives Alliance the slight nod.

3) Millenium (13-11) – Millenium have been playing fairly well lately, picking up four wins in their last six games after scuffling a bit during Super Week.  As usual for them, the catalysts continue to be Kerp and Creaton. Creaton has been outstanding the last three weeks, posting a KDA of 10.25. Kerp has continued to show his Twisted Fate pick is to be feared, and he even managed to pull out a surprise pick in Zilean last week and played it very well.  If Millenium continues to progress their style and show they can play more than a pick based team at a high level, they have a very high ceiling with the talent that is on the team.

4) Supa Hot Crew (14-10) – Much like Millenium, Supa Hot Crew sits here with an outside chance at possibly grabbing that two seed and getting a bye in the playoffs. More than likely though, they will end up fighting it out for the three seed. The upcoming game between SHC and Millenium on Thursday could very well decide who does grab that spot; a loss by the Crew there would drop them to 1-3 vs Millenium on the split. While MrRalleZ tends to be considered the best player on this team, you could make a case that the most important is Selfie in the mid lane. We saw it this past week as he had a terrific KDA of 13.5 in playing Ahri both games. Consistent play from him should see positive results for SHC in the future and at the least a shot at Worlds in the third place game.


5) Roccat (11-13) – Roccat continue to be one of the most (if not the most) puzzling teams in the European LCS. They managed to pull their record back to .500 after they had an impressive run between Weeks Four and Eight, where they won nine of their twelve games.  And then in Week Ten, they promptly managed to go 0-2, and it was to two teams very close to them in the standings, Millenium and the Supa Hot Crew.  Celaver and Xaxus in particular have had a difficult time this split. Celaver currently has the sixth best KDA among AD carries in Europe, while Xaxus is seventh among top laners. Jankos has been a bright spot for the team, and as he goes the team tends to go. His teammates will need to step up if they wish to avoid facing relegation in the promotion tournament.

6) SK Gaming (12-12) – SK finally ended the free fall they had been in by defeating Roccat last week, though it wasn't easy for them to close that game out. That game itself showed where the confidence level of SK is right now; they had a massive lead early on and gave Roccat every shot to get back into it. They simply have not looked like the same team from the first six weeks of this split, or the one from all of spring. They sit at 3-7 in their last ten games; many of them decisive victories for their opponents. Looking even further into it, two of those three wins came in Super Week vs Gambit and the Copenhagen Wolves, both of whom are a mess. Many claims around SK the last split and even early on in this one were that they didn’t have great individual talent and mechanics, but great teamwork through the mid and late game. It might be the time where the lack of mechanical ability in comparison to their opponents is catching up to them.


7) Copenhagen Wolves (7-17) – The Wolves are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but the chances are minimal, as one win by Roccat or one loss by the Wolves puts Roccat in the playoffs and sends the Wolves to the promotion tournament.  They had managed to put two decent weeks back to back in Weeks Eight and Nine, going 3-1 in their four games. Last week however, the wheels fell off the wagon. They were dispatched fairly quickly by Millenium in a game that only took 31:23, and then were defeated by Alliance in what was possibly the most lopsided game in the EU LCS this year.  The Wolves can avoid the dreaded eighth place finish if they beat Gambit this week, or if they win one game and Gambit lose at least two.


8) Gambit Gaming (5-19) – While Gambit was definitely on a downward trend toward the end of the spring split, it would be hard for many people to say they saw this coming. They sit two games behind the Wolves for the seventh place spot with only four games left, so it’s likely Gambit end the season in last place. The twist of fate there would be the possible date vs Ninjas in Pyjamas and Alex Ich in the promotion tournament. The team as a whole simply does not look to be LCS caliber at this moment. The benching of Darien hasn't helped at all, and Diamond looks even worse since he was put back into the starting lineup. In fact, Diamond has a line of 3/17/7 since he was reinstated as a starter. At this point in time, it’s hard to imagine Gambit will retain their spot in the LCS with the way they are playing.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

EU LCS W3D1 PREVIEW


Alliance 5W - 1L vs Roccat 1W - 5L

Alliance is unstoppable. Roccat is in so bad a slump that replacing its bot lane with potatoes might help. Generally, in the bizarro world of the LCS, this means we can expect Roccat to surprise win.

SK Gaming 4W - 2L vs Millenium 3W - 3L

SK is showing consistant play. Mellenium is still wavering. If Week 1 Kerp shows up, Millenium will have a shot. If Week 2 Kerp shows up, Mellenium will lose. It's a Tale of Two Kerps.


Copenhagen Wolves 2W - 4L vs Gambit 2W - 4L

Both teams are trying to find synergy with their new players. Both teams are slowly improving. However, niQ is still finding his stride with Gambit, while the Wolves' new players are at the heart of their progress. Based on this observation alone, I expect the Wolves to really come together and make a strong showing in this game.   

Supa Hot Crew 4W-2L vs Fnatic 3W - 3L

Fnatic lost to Gambit. Lost...to...Gambit. Meanwhile, Supa Hot Crew are on a Supa Hot Streak. Once again, this should mean a Fnatic surprise win, but Fnatic like riding roller coasters and I expect them to beat Roccat on Friday, so, unfortunately, today will have to be the down side of 'up and down.'  


Monday, May 26, 2014

Amazing is Awesome Sauce (Puns be Damned!)

by Jodi "PunkLit" McClure


Maurice "Amazing" St├╝ckenschneider could not have picked a better in-game name. The twenty-year-old German jungler who recently joined TSM has left some impressive numbers in his wake. During his time with the Copenhagen Wolves, he registered some of the highest weekly KDAs, despite his team's sluggish performance. Since arriving in America, Amazing has streamed a few times. Relaxed and humorous, he exudes a good attitude along with a healthy dose of bravado. But while he's patently confident of his own skills, the two time EU MVP is very careful when making predictions about his performance with his new team.  READ MORE..

Friday, May 23, 2014

EU LCS Roster Swaps: What’s the Impact?

by Reece "Sabrewolf" Dos-Santos


Millenium - Kottenx

While Kottenx may have been picked up in the dying weeks of the Spring Split, I feel the true display of his impact to the team started with the qualifier against NiP. His ganks are impactful, the team responds better in tough situations, and overall their rotations and shot-calling have gotten miles better. Millenium now have depth to their game-flow that wasn't present last split. Their play-style isn't as predictable and their synergy with each other is stronger. It’s like Kottenx was the long lost key to unlock the chest of riches that is Millenium’s hidden potential.

Every other member of the team has seen a huge rise in both confidence and overall performance. Creaton is returning to the form he showed before he broke his hand and Kev1n is showing why he is one of the best top laners in EU. Kerp, in particular, now completely shines in the mid lane and rightfully deserved MVP for week one. If he wasn't on fantasy teams before Super Week, he definitely will be now.

Millenium already have a third of the wins they achieved last split in this first week. Last split, they faced Roccat in the opening Super Week and only managed two kills. This split, the tables were turned as Roccat were dominated and could only manage three kills. Being 3-1 and tied top with SK and Alliance is undoubtedly a better position than anyone could have imagined and clearly a position they deserve to be in.


Supa Hot Crew - wewillfailer (and the addition of Nick "LastShadow" De Cesare as an analyst.)

The difference to Supa Hot Crew this split is amazing. With the addition of wewillfailer and analyst Nick De Cesare from Korea, the crew, like Millenium, look like they've found a new lease on life. Suddenly, the mid to late game weariness is gone and replaced with structured objective rotations. Their leadership seems more solid and you can see it in their shot-calling. They still retain their explosive play-style but there is now an element of confidence and tactical awareness behind it. Other obvious differences are that this time they are in the split with the belief they'll go far, rather than just hoping to win one game. Also, wewillfailer doesn't give up as many free deaths as Migxa did. 

These changes have seen them give hard-fought battles against the top three teams in the league at the moment, coming away with a win off Alliance and what could have been wins off Millenium and SK Gaming. Considering that they finished this week 2-2 with what was probably the hardest Super Week draw of any team, it’s hard to deny the fact that the Supa Hot Crew are building up to become a real force to be reckoned with and could be a challenger for Worlds at this rate.


Copenhagen Wolves - Woolite and Airwaks

To have to come into a split replacing arguably the best ADC and jungler of spring is no easy task. The real success behind the Wolves last split was driven by Forg1ven and Amazing, the latter picking up a back-to-back MVP awards. 

While Woolite and Airwaks have shown that they are ready to debut upon the LCS stage, it's still glaringly obvious that they don’t have the relentless carrying capabilities of Forg1ven and Amazing. They have talent. Airwaks was essential in the Wolves’ only win of the Super Week against Millenium, and Woolite held his own in kills and cs, but they haven’t yet gained the experience needed to consistently pull the team through, and until they do, the Wolves will struggle with their upcoming games. 

YoungBuck, Unlimited and cowTard simply do not showcase hard-carrying potential; they come across as players who cement the success of the team rather than the players who create that success. Either cowTard or YoungBuck needs to start individually shining or the new blood needs to adjust quickly to the demands of the LCS and their team if they want a shot at playoffs.


Gambit Gaming- niQ

Many had expressed fears that Gambit wouldn't be the same after the departure of Alex, and indeed, in the Super Week, there were worrying signs. Genja put up some good stats but couldn't carry. Darien’s performance was less than helpful. EDward and Diamond seemed unable to make much impact across the games, and niQ doesn't seem to have the natural synergy with the team that Alex had. While niQ is clearly a mechanically-strong player, off the laning-phase he appeared to dwindle in relevance. It doesn't really seem as if niQ’s introduction to the team has changed any of the problems that were arising at the end of the Spring Split. 

Gambit hasn't truly replaced their leader role and the lack confidence among them is evident. Diamond, in particular, doesn't appear to be the jungle king he once was. Alliance had absolutely no regard for dragons in their game against Gambit and simply chased kills all the way to the end like a solo queue team - and they still won. Despite having the whole off-season to work on their issues after almost ending up in relegation, it appears they still haven’t filled all the cracks in their team. Every dynasty has to come to an end. Is this the split were Gambit’s does?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Moms' Support Carries Wolves


Copenhagen Wolves' Top Laner, Joey "YoungBuck" Steltenpool admits he was depressed after his team failed to avoid relegation. In fact, he felt physically ill. Needing a little old-fashioned comfort, Joey reached out to his mother and invited her to join him in Cologne.

"She just gave me a hug and a kiss and made me some good dutch food," Joey told interviewers after surviving the summer promotions. His glossy eyes spoke the rest of his sentence. Her presence had lifted his spirits, and that extra boost of confidence was just what the Copenhagen Wolves needed. After a hard fought victory against Denial eSports, YoungBuck and his teammate Amazing embraced their families, doing what every great team should do - thanking their supports. The touching picture quickly went viral among the LCS watching fans on twitter, because we all know...the feels! <3    

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dreams can come true : EU Promotion Tournament


NIP vs Millenium NIP is a team with three players who were on the Season 3 Worlds' stage with expectations to do well from the start, and up to this point they have failed to meet those expectations. Once again they are heavy favorites to win a series for a chance to play in the LCS. They tend to play very safe in laning phase and prefer to stay in lanes as long as possible. Zorozero will usually split top while Nukeduck goes bot. This strategy is called 1-3-1 and is the plan they almost always go with. This style was used very much in the EU LCS spring split to mixed success.

Millenium is just one split removed from being a playoff team and this last split has to be a major disappointment for them. Creaton was able to keep a 4.0 KDA even though his team lost the most games. Kottenx has helped the team play better towards the end of the split. He also seems to like the early gank junglers that should be used against a team like NIP. Lane swaps would favor Millenium and if they can make the game about rotations and taking objectives instead of farming for the first twenty minutes I like their chances.  Prediction Millenium 3-2 over NIP


Cloud 9 Eclipse vs Supa Hot Crew - Cloud 9 Eclipse, the winners of the Coke League playoffs, should be considered the strongest challenger team. Supa Hot Crew don't care how they finished and decided that C9E was a better match-up for them then NIP, and that decision will either be great or a bad call on their end. C9E is without their star jungler, Kou, because of the age requirement.

The match-up to watch is in the mid lane. Febiven versus Selfie - a mid laner that joined the SHC late in the season and came out on fire, but since then he hasn't made many sparks. Febiven could really control the mid lane and that spells bad news for the SHC. I expect bot lane to go even - with the edge going to the SHC. Prediction C9E 3-1 over Supa Hot Crew


Denial Esports vs Copenhagen Wolves-Denial Esports, formerly known as Departed, is among the better teams in Europe and should be considered one of the best. The Polish comparison with Roccat has to be made which won their way in defeating the best of the worst LCS teams. Denial had trouble defeating NIP or C9E so it's hard to give them much chance against the Wolves. Prediction 3-0 Wolves over Denial 


Monday, April 21, 2014

An Interview with Joey "YoungBuck" Steltenpool


Interview and Foreword by Andy L. Bloodvayne

   The age old adage, "third time's a charm," definitely holds true for Dutch professional League of Legends pro, Joey "YoungBuck" Steltenpool. After flirting with the LCS on his previous teams, Mousesports and Samurai in Jeans, the charismatic top-laner finally acquired a roster that made it into the 2014 spring season of the EU LCS with the Copenhagen Wolves.  
   YoungBuck's team, PrideFC, was picked up by the Wolves with current teammates Unlimited and cowTard, as well as familiar EU LCS faces Shook and Rekkles. For the lack of a better word, their roster shred through the amateur scene, taking first in tournaments such as DreamHack, Gamescom, and the amateur tournament for IEM Cologne. When the team lost both Rekkles (to Fnatic) and Shook (to Alliance,) they acquired Amazing and FORG1VEN, two members who would later be considered breakout stars in the most recent season of the EU LCS.
   Though finishing with a 13-15 record at the end of the season, the standings were incredibly close - with first through sixth place being separated by just a handful of games. YoungBuck delivered an impressive performance during the Spring Playoffs, including an extremely tight series with both Alliance and Gambit, but ultimately the Wolves fell into the sixth place slot, becoming the final team to enter into the Summer Promotions (to be held later this week.)
   While his team's LCS slot is on the line, YoungBuck has tasted the big leagues, and he's determined to train harder than ever to preserve his seat and prove that his team is more than capable of taking on the EU LCS juggernauts.


LCS CENTRAL PRESENTS:
AN INTERVIEW WITH JOEY "YOUNGBUCK" STELTENPOOL



Hi YoungBuck. I'd like to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to do this interview. Everyone at LCS Central is a big fan of yours. I want to start off by congratulating you on finishing up the Spring Split of the EU LCS. Regardless of how you finished, you and your team made it to the end and looked impressive against favorites like Alliance and Gambit Gaming.

Before entering the LCS, it's almost an understatement to say that you and your team dominated the amateur scene, taking first at DreamHack Summer, Gamescom, and IEM Cologne; how has the transition from the amateur circuit to the LCS been like? Did a part of you expect your dominating performances to transfer over against the professional teams?

- We did expect to be a top tier team and especially to be the best new team in LCS but we ended up being a mid-tier team, which wasn't bad but was far from what we expected. The transition wasn't easy and I think the biggest part was that playing tournaments in challenger scene allowed us to peak at the right moment whereas LCS is all about consistency, which we definitely lacked.

What's been the hardest thing to overcome (as a team/as an individual) in these past few months?

- We had a lot of problems with throwing games even though we had huge leads in the early game, it took us several weeks to plug the holes but even now they still happen from time to time.

How does your role as captain come into play and how does it affect you? I know you mentioned that you take care of things like scheduling, but is there more? Do you feel any extra pressure to be a guiding light for your team when morale is low? Do you play a part in shot calling?

- I'm just the guy who schedules scrims and has the final say in important decisions outside the game. I do a lot of champion select work but I don't do much shot calling inside the actual game, which is mostly done by Unlimited.

Considering that being a professional League of Legends player is stressful (with scrims, spamming solo queue, theory crafting, etc.), is there anything you like to do in your free time to unwind and relax? What makes Joey Steltenpool happy when Youngbuck has exhausted himself?

- Working out in the gym makes me happy and it's my number one way to clear my mind. It also helps that it's one of the rare moments in a week where I'm on my own just doing my thing and not having to put much thought into the game.

Let's get back to the LCS. While you could say that you were a “middle of the pack” team, as per usual, the final score between the teams was relatively close. Why do you think the adage, “Every team in the EU LCS can beat each other,” rings true? Do you think the margin of strength between teams was really that close or do you think inconsistency plagues the EU teams?

- For the first time in EU LCS history the LCS actually has the top 8 teams in it, that means that the level of play is a lot higher and that anyone has a chance to win any match at any given time.

In a recent episode of Summoning Insight, Montecristo mentioned that the top NA teams (C9, TSM, and CLG) are stronger than the top EU teams (without knowing for sure who they are exactly) because they seem to have a better grasp of the meta/strategy and EU's tendency for oddball picks (e.g. your Heimerdinger), do you agree?

- I think the top 3 teams of NA can compete with the top 6 in Europe but only C9 could break the top 3. Individual levels on EU teams are all around very solid whereas most teams, even CLG and TSM have individual weaknesses.

How has the 4.5 patch treated you? Did the various changes make a dent in the tanky top lane meta? Ryze has had a resurgence and Soaz's Lulu has seen better success, do you see any other possible AP champs that may pop up in competitive play?

- I like the new meta and the variety in picks for top lane a lot, the one champ we might see a comeback from is Vladimir, I love playing him and will play him every game in which the match-up is favorable.

Returning to the last few weeks, how were preparations going into the playoffs? You mentioned that you were all confident going into your match against Alliance (took the first game and had a sizeable lead in game two), what particularly were you confident about?

- We knew everything about them since they weren't hiding their picks or strategies and it showed off in the first map, we just allowed ourselves to make stupid mistakes in the heat of the moment that lost us the other two maps.

What about Gambit? Did you foresee them dropping into the 5th place match considering they normally place top 4 at online events? How was it preparing for them?

- It was very unexpected. We went through a lot of playoff scenarios to start scouting our opponents but not a single scenario had us facing Gambit in the 5th/6th place decider match. Being number five in Europe doesn't say that much since the top teams are just too close to each other in skill level to really call one team better than the other with the exception of Fnatic being the best.

The EU Spring season is now officially over and your team placed sixth, which means you will play in the Summer Promotion tournament against Denial eSports. Have you guys started thinking about that match yet? Any particular reason you picked Denial?

- They had a very weak performance on LAN which suggests that they are inexperienced and might crumble under the pressure. On top of that they also have individual weaknesses that we can exploit and lack the team-play that challenger teams like NiP and C9 do have.

In your opinion, what was the most important thing you learned after your first season in the LCS?

- The most important thing is to have a team that works as a unit especially outside of the game. If five people are on good terms then any problem can be solved easily. Individual skill levels are so close that they often aren't a deciding factor in wins. Teamwork and synergy is almost everything.

To close out this interview, do you have any advice to the aspiring amateur teams that are hoping to make it into the LCS?

- Train hard and consistently and be ready to make sacrifices because the LCS comes with a lot of them.

Again, I'd like to thank you for the interview and congratulate you on a job well done. I'm sure you'll prove to everyone that the Copenhagen Wolves deserve to keep their LCS spot in the upcoming Summer Season.

Victorious YoungBuck hugs ex-teammate Rekkles after a win against Fnatic.

Monday, April 14, 2014

EU PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE

Tuesday April 15
EU LCS Spring Playoffs - Quarterfinals

11:00am est Alliance vs Copenhagen Wolves
1:00pm est Roccat vs Gambit

Best of 3 Series

----

Wednesday April 16
EU LCS Spring Playoffs - Semifinals

11:00am est Fnatic vs Alliance
1:00pm est SK Gaming vs Roccat
4:00pm est for fifth place - Gambit vs Copenhagen Wolves

Best of 3 Series

---

Thursday, April 17
EU LCS Spring Playoffs - 3rd Place
11:00 am TBA v TBA
Best of 3 Series

EU LCS Spring Playoffs - Finals
1:00pm TBA v TBA
Best of 5 Series

*All times are Eastern Standard Zone  GMT -5

Sunday, April 13, 2014

EU LCS SEMIFINALS : PREDICTIONS


BY Jeremy “Ne0 Jets” Heimann

1. COPENHAGEN WOLVES VS ALLIANCE
    Season series 3-1 in favor of ALLIANCE

COPENHAGEN WOLVES last beat Alliance January 14th, all the way back at the start of the spring split. During the split, the Wolves were led by Amazing in the jungle with a 4.1 KDA and their ADC, Forg1ven, with a 3.7 KDA ratio. While the two of them led the team by stats, they really need to get their Mid, Cowtard, and Top Lane, Youngbuck, off to better starts. Each of them averaged only around 2.5 KDA. Youngbuck has shown that his Heimerdinger Top is scary and I expect it to be banned out. I also expect him to fall back to Renekton whenever possible.

ALLIANCE, the Superteam, failed to live up to the media hype that surrounded their name early on. Lack of synergy, poor positioning, weak champion pools and individual egos all contributed to their inconsistency, but eventually they learned to work as a unit and managed to finish the spring split just short of First Place. Froggen has a 72.9% kill participation, probably because of his Karthus play. Even when he isnt on Karthus, he is always around when the team fights break out, and he's not someone you can ban out easily. ADC Tabzz is third in average KDA, sitting at a solid 5.5 (higher then anyone on the Wolves.) Tabzz and Nyph have really grown as a Bot Lane team and should be feared. Shook and Wickd both averaged around 3.0 KDA and are the key reasons why Alliance finished 3rd this split. Shook likes early game Junglers while Wickd tries to counter the meta with Trundle or Irelia.

Prediction ALLIANCE 2-1 win. 


2. GAMBIT GAMING VS ROCCAT 
      Season series 3-1 in favor of ROCCAT

GAMBIT may have lost three games to ROCCAT but they won the most recent and they still have a chance to get the last laugh in this playoff series. Gambit is a playoff machine and they play better when they've had some boot camp time. They finished fourth at IEM Katowice when just before that they were looking shaky. You cant base what Gambit will do on the regular season. This team comes ready to play and goes up a notch when its elimination time. Gambits Mid Laner, Alex Ich, is fourth in total kills with 116, and he loves to play high mobility champs with strong kill potential. Genja has an impressive 6.0 KDA, but he'll really need to have a good showing in the playoffs for Gambit to win. His lane mate, Edward, has a team low 2.1 KDA. Diamond in the jungle hasnt had a great year, but he is still a very dangerous Jungler. I expect to see some bans thrown at him: Eve, Kha'Zix and Xin (yes, Xin) are all strong in patch 4.5. If one gets through, it will be banned the next game. Darien plays a solid Top. He just needs to just go tanky and stay away from the Ryze pick.

ROCCAT had some serious ups and downs (including moments of freefall) and they needed to stop the bleeding. They went an average 2-2 in Super Week right before playoffs and havent been so dominant since early in season when they were challenging the meta. Teams have caught grown accustomed to their play style, and they are facing a team that has toyed with the meta a few times themselves. Individually, their stats dont really stand out but, as a team, they are solid across the board. Their Support, Vander, actually leads the team in KDA at 4.1, followed closely behind by Celavar with a 4.0 KDA. Overpower has a huge champion pool and can seemingly play whatever. Xaxus in the Top Lane is a solid, all-around player. Jankos has good synergy with Bot and works hard on getting them going.

Prediction GAMBIT 2-1 win. 



Friday, April 11, 2014

LCS CENTRAL POWER RANKINGS : PLAYOFFS EDITION

LCS Central Rankings : Playoffs : by Joshua Kon

1. Cloud 9 - Their undefeated Super Week ended with an intense backdoor of Coast's base by Meteos. Wins against top 2 NA Teams gives them #1 seed.
2. SK Gaming - Having the best EU Super Week, SK Gaming takes the #1 seed in Europe and looks to surprise a region.
3. Fnatic - They have found their stride once again and now are the #2 seed in EU. Favorites for the playoffs? I'd say so, as Fnatic has not lost a series in the EU LCS playoffs yet.

4. Team SoloMid - Fans for this team are now worried with their less than stellar adjustment to the 4.4 patch. With only two weeks to adjust to 4.5, can Team SoloMid change their losing ways?

5. Alliance - Having a chance to be #1 in Europe led to them going 2-2 and taking the #3 seed. A match-up with Fnatic in the semis is in their future.

6. Roccat - Going 2-2 in Super Week is not what Roccat wanted but they looked impressive in some of the games. They'll have the opportunity to stun the pro scene again against Gambit next week!

7. Counter Logic Gaming - Two bad loses against Curse and C9 puts them lower on the list than they should be. Though their dominating performance against Dig reminds us all just how good this roster can be!

8. Gambit Gaming - 14-14 is unimpressive for this organization. Maybe they tried different builds and champions but they are not looking great and could lose their opening series vs Roccat.

9. Copenhagen Wolves - They won and lost to some of the top teams in Europe this past week. I don't see an upset for these guys but they're miles ahead of any team in NA that's not Top 3.

10. Dignitas - Beating Curse and having some EG help has kept them at the #4 seed. They should have a great series vs Curse but I would not be surprised if they are in 6th place after the playoffs.

11. Curse Gaming - A huge win vs CLG lead to dud loses to Dig and EG. Curse should be a Top 4 team, but their team comps have been subpar.

12. Coast - This team has the potential to upset anyone at anytime! Zion and Shiphtur may actually be the best solo laners together on any team, but the weight of Nintendudex really holds them down!

Joshua's Predictions for playoffs:

EU - 1. Fnatic 2. SK gaming 3. Alliance 4. Gambit 5. Roccat 6. Wolves
NA - 1. CLG 2. C9 3. TSM 4. Curse 5. Coast 6. Dignitas