Wednesday, April 30, 2014

LCS Central : Question of the Day :

We asked:
What was the first computer/video game you ever played? 

And here's what you had to say:

‏@TheRealTZT Mario Tennis for the Virtual Boy yet for some reason that didn't stop me frm playing games.
‏@SabrewoIf Tekken 2 I love Tekken to bits.
‏@FTG_Steve Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game
‏@KatieOhWrites  A thousand years ago...Below the Root. Great game. Still remember the dialog.

‏@Iollipoppy Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (Sega MegaDrive)
‏@Seraph1337 Doom. i was 7 years old.
‏@SFFpunk My first two memorable ones were Sim City 2000 and Civilization II, both classics.
‏@LoLTonelica I was super young but my first memory is of Pitfall for the Atari 2600. We has an NES at the time but I liked the joystick more.

‏@JessuehCosplay Some Donkey Kong Game! Was awesome!
‏@ChrisReeves600 It was definitely pinball lol
‏@Cthemetfan11 The first Sly Cooper game on the PS2, fell in love with the series.
‏@HHGilean There were probably a number of games I have mixed up, but first game that I extensively played, beat, owned was Super Mario World.
‏@ReverendBlair Probably Asteroids at the arcade. Intellivision baseball at home.

‏@iherdu Combat. Yup I'm a little dated :)
‏@DSherony  Super Mario Bros.
‏@marissamoodyLoL They were called arcade games way back when...;-)My first was probably PacMan. My first console game was Atari's Pong.(circa 1982)
‏@strawbrarie James Pond on Sega Megadrive! :D

‏@Narya1992 Tekken 2 :D Was lot of fun^^ Angel and Devil *.*
‏@Pheqes Prince of Persia
‏@RobMeyer7 first I ever played: Super Mario Bros on NES. First I ever made: Chip
‏@JasonAlanMcLain Joust, on the Atari, at 3 years old. I'm a dinosaur.

‏@kerrikwong Streetfighter on Sega Genesis :p.
‏@ArronDempers Sonic the Hedgehog I or II on I think a Sega Master System II.
‏@Gentleman_Joey Jordan v Bird on tbe atari
‏@Aayeela Beyond Good&Evil,if anyone knows that^-^

                                       What's the first game that you ever played, Summoner?     

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

SSG Blue vs SSG Ozone : Spring 2014 Semi-Finals Preview


The Samsung Galaxy organization has looked significantly improved this season. The swap of Pawn to Ozone and Dade to Blue in the mid lane seems to have benefited both teams, and both have demonstrated their strength in the group stages and quarterfinals.

Blue ended group stages by going 5-1, only dropping a single game to the KT Bullets. In the quarterfinals they defeated CJ Frost 3-1 after Frost took game 1 with a dominating performance by Swift and Coco. Dade showed off his favorite Ghost/Flash summoner combo, taking his team to 3-1 with impressive Ziggs play and some exceptional work on Twisted Fate.

Ozone ended the group stages by going undefeated across all six games, capping everything off with a 3-1 victory over the S3 World Champions, SKT T1 K. While defeating the previous world champs is certainly impressive, SKT T1 K had certainly fallen off as of late. The support for SKT, PoohManDu in particular looked sloppy having just returned to the line-up. He got picked off multiple times for being out of position, unsafe ward attempts and missing skillshots. These and other moves made SKT T1 K look like perhaps they were not prepared for the changes to the meta in the 4.15 patch. Despite SKT T1 K looking less dominant, Ozone played well and appeared ready to move on to the Semi-finals.

As for the match-up between Blue and Ozone itself, I believe Ozone has a distinct advantage for a couple of reasons: champion pools and Looper.

Champion Pools:

Ozone takes the cake pretty handily here. Ozone’s Pawn has shown the ability to excel at almost every midlaner he picks up, and he has picked up a lot of them. We consistently see bans against Pawn’s Nidalee, Leblanc, Lulu, Ziggs, and Yasuo. On Blue’s, Dade is well-known for his Ziggs and TF - everything else seems pretty mediocre besides his old Zed play, but Zed is not very good against the current change to Exhaust.

At support, Mata and Heart can play a large number of champions, I don’t expect this to be a big point of interest as far as bans go for either side, though I will definitely be watching how many Thresh bans go through. In the Jungle, Spirit and Dandy’s repertoire of junglers consist mainly of Lee Sin, Elise, Evelyn, and Kha’zix. (Nothing different here. Most Korean junglers play the same group of champions.)  

AD Carry (sorry Riot, Marksmen) has a very interesting dynamic to it. Both Imp and Deft have champions that can have a major impact on the game. Imp is of course known for his Vayne mechanics, and the duo of Imp and Mata make them scary even with a relatively passive carry. Also with the current number of invades into laneswaps, Vayne is a pretty safe pick that will scale incredibly well in the current state of the game, being able to peel for herself from dangerous melee top laners like Jax, Shyvana, Renekton. On Blue’s side is Deft with Ezreal. This season he has picked it 4 times and has a 100% win rate on it. He’s incredibly comfortable with it, even running his own style of Blade of the Ruined King first, and is known on the Korean Ladder as the best Ezreal player there. Keep your eye on the picks and bans from Ozone and see if they try to take Ezreal away from Deft to make him slightly less comfortable.

The Looper Effect:

When Looper (Ozone) first came onto the scene taking over for Homme at the beginning of S3 World Championship Playoffs, everyone was a bit confused. Looper may not have had the greatest set of premier matches on the big stage, but at the time he showed one thing that has come to greater prevalence in the current meta; he was great at using teleport. Whether it was his Singed teleporting in to run amok and disrupt the other team, or his Shen ultimates, Looper always showed a great affinity for being prepared to jump in and give his team an advantage with a split push. In the current meta, this is probably one of the greatest tools as it’s almost required for every top laner to take teleport. Though Looper’s champion pool has had to progress with the meta, the same mindset has stayed with him moving on to champions like Jax, Shyvana and Mundo.

The main reason I think that Looper will have a significant impact on these games, though, is because Acorn isn’t quite the same type of player. Acorn is a dominating top laner and likes to punish his opponents. This can be seen through him only running Teleport (as opposed to ignite) two out of the four games he played top vs CJ Frost. He tried to punish Shy in lane, and did a good job. However, Looper is the kind of player that doesn’t mind playing the farm game, sitting under turret, and simply allowing his opponents to push his lane in; he plays for the late game. I will be watching two things here.

First, does Acorn try to play those punishing champs like Renekton? Or does he switch his style up and also try to scale harder to match Looper since Looper will likely play safe. Second, if Acorn does go for those aggressive early top laners, how well do Looper and Dandy ward to keep him safe from any types of dives that Spirit may try to pull off, since Spirit also plays a number of aggressive early junglers.

Featured Match-up: Dandy vs Pawn in the Midlane. Both players should draw a lot of attention in Picks & Bans. I expect Pawn to do better in the 1v1, while Dandy will roam more to help out his other lanes. It will be very interesting to see if Nidalee even gets banned, however, since both Samsung teams have been counter-picking her with Yasuo. I expect to see a number of picks and bans for Ziggs, Twisted Fate, Orianna, and maybe even an exciting game of Leblanc to try to blow one of these safer farmers up.

My prediction is that Samsung Galaxy Ozone will 3-1 their sister team Blue.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Today, We're All Sad Hamsters.

Xpecial's Benching Rocks the LCS Community.

by Jodi "PunkLit" McClure

Community isn't just a made-up word in eSports. It's part of what drives the scene. Fans have access to players streams, feeds, and vlogs and we're able to communicate with them on a very intimate level. We see them in videos and interviews and in Riot's game day features, and we learn of their struggles and dreams. In short, we don't just casually know the pros....we are given the opportunity to love them. And when we speak of our community, it includes them. They are family to us, and that's what makes it especially hard when we hear of one being cut or benched.

The summer promotion series made this weekend tough enough - losing two entire teams from the NA LCS - but the most difficult news came after the studio lights had been turned off. Late Sunday night, during TSM Xpecial's stream, he quietly mentioned he'd been benched from the team. Fans in his chat room immediately assumed their beloved hamster was joking. TSM had just finished the season in second place after a highly successful split. There was no way this could be possible. And yet something in Xpecial's weak voice and sad eyes insisted his words were all too real.

Within minutes of his announcement, a Reddit thread was started, repeating Xpecial's announcement, and worried fans swarmed his stream looking for confirmation. Twitter started to light with speculation, questions and doubts as more information trickled in.

"They're starting scrims tomorrow and I won't be playing in them, so, head's up. It's not for performance..." Xpecial said, addressing a question in this twitch chat. "It was mainly a management decision. The team didn't have much say in it... I'm not sure what's going to happen in the future. I don't want to speak on it more now."

Towards the end of his stream, Xpecial broke his silence to give further confirmation. "I'm pretty trolly, but I'm not trolling about this. People kept asking why I was home, and I don't like having to lie about it."

Word of the benching traveled fast among the LCS community, and even Chaox made a sudden guest appearance in his ex-teammates chat. Xpecial ended his stream saying, "I got benched because of attitude. It's not something I'm completely against, I would say. I'm not 100% for it, but yeah, I just think there should be an announcement."

Anger spread quickly among TSM's legion of fans, with Reginald being their main target. Known for his occasionally antagonistic manner, posters assumed TSM's manager had to be at the heart of this problem. Twitter chat virtually exploded with an outpouring of love for Xpecial and heart felt expressions of hurt and dismay. "Bench Xpecial? More like bench my fking heart and feelings," one anguished twitter fan wrote. "Xpecial is the sole reason I'm such a huge TSM fan. He's the reason I main support & he's been my favorite pro forever," wrote another.

As the evening progressed, additional tweeters weighed in with some plausible responses. "It's not the communities interest who the team will keep and bench as players. I'm sure that Reginald has his teams interest as #1 priority," CLG's Dexter suggested, and another writer agreed, "People seem to forget that Regi is 3 for 3 on roster swaps improving the team. If he thinks Xpecial needs to go, he probably does."

By 1:00 am, the shocking news had spread throughout the eSports world. Flooded with tweets from impassioned fans, #Xpecial started trending on twitter. "Just goes to show how big TeamSoloMid and lolesports has gotten," someone posted. "When Xpecial out trends Game of Thrones you know it's been a crazy day."

Reginald addressed the community on Facebook in the wee hours of the morning, stating, "Xpecial was benched because of his attitude. After hearing feedback from the entire team, I made the decision to bench him. In this period of time, I hope that he will refocus and review his actions. League of legends is a team game; just because you have the best players on a team does not mean you have the best team. I have always made my roster decisions based on the entire team's feedback and would never make a business decision because of personal reasons."  

While he gave a rational response to a frustrating situation, it doesn't change the fact that we, as a tight knit family of fans, strongly felt the repercussions. We're involved, and we care, and these stirring micro-dramas are part of what has always made eSports so incredibly compelling. Thankfully, with social media, we have the means with which to express our emotions. Xpecial might be going through a rough patch tonight, but at least he knows he's loved. The feels. They're for real. And we're all in this one together.

*Screenshots from MachinimaVS - Chasing the Cup: Split Ends [Season Finale] 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

NA SUMMER PROMOTIONS : What to Expect this Weekend :

by Chase Wassenar

We learned a lot of lessons from watching the European Promotion tournaments these last couple of days. First, we learned that series that feature four games that are more than fifty minutes long only work if the teams we’re watching know how to rotate and close out games when opportunities arise. Next, we learned that maybe, just maybe, giving yourself only a couple of weeks to practice with your new jungler when you've only seen him in solo queue previously was a bad idea. And finally, we learned that if a Challenger team has never won a series against a good team at full strength, they’re unlikely to pull that feat off when facing the pressure of a LAN tournament and an actually solid sixth place team.

Will any of those lessons rear their heads once more as we look to North America to see which of the six teams participating will find their way into the LCS? I suppose we’ll know soon enough, but that’s not nearly as fun as making predictions about it. It’s time to go through these games one by one and test my burgeoning powers of clairvoyance (5-0 in my picks so far this week from this podcast that you should totally listen to like the wonderful person you are) once more.


The Challenger: LMQ is one of those teams that’s been dominant in the Challenger Scene for so long that people are already starting to root against them just to stop the hype train from completely consuming the League of Legends subreddit. Luckily for Team Lomo, the majority of the hype is warranted…as long as you put it into perspective. LMQ’s five game series against Cloud 9 Tempest made it clear that they are not invincible, but they are a talented group of players with a great top laner in Ackerman, a surprisingly underrated jungler in NoName, and a play-making mid laner in XiaoWeiXiao. Are they a perfect team? Far from it. Vasilli is still way too aggressive in the bot lane for this particular meta, and I get the feeling that LMQ tend to underestimate their opponents early in the series, as their worst losses have occurred in the opening games of a series. That said, they've got a lot of talent, and they know how to adjust on the fly. They’re a scary team, especially when compared to…

The Incumbent: While I think all the links I share are valuable and important enough to earn your attention, I really want anyone reading this to pay special attention to this one. That’s the best guy on XDG’s roster explaining the stress and fear he is facing just from the thought of having to play against LMQ with his job on the line. That’s…not a great sign. Sure, he’s the least experienced guy on the team, but given the train wreck that was XDG’s season this year, I doubt those who have been with the team from the beginning are feeling more optimistic right now. I stand by everything I wrote in that article on XDG’s mismanagement, and things have only gone downhill from there. Benny has been a nonfactor in the top lane, and mandatorycloud’s play has fallen off dramatically from where he was when he led the LCS in kills last summer. It would take a complete rejuvenation and a return to Team Vulcun form for XDG to win this series; I just don’t see it happening. Prediction: LMQ 3-1.

Cloud 9 Tempest v. Evil Geniuses

The Challenger: After hearing approximately five thousand different explanations as to how the age rule works for the Promotion matches, I believe Altec is going to be allowed to play in this series. Assuming that’s the case, this is probably the most improved Challenger team I’ve seen in North America, going from being knocked out in the first round by Skyline (now CompLexity Red) to being second only to LMQ in every series thereafter. While Altec deserves every ounce of the credit he gets, this is far from a one man squad. Yazuki has grown into this new meta to become a very solid top laner, and both Kez and Bischu have pocket champions that can be quite deadly when they get the chance to play them. My biggest concern is that Kez and Bischu’s champion pools appear quite small. Kez isn’t nearly as efficient when not playing Elise, and Bischu hasn’t consistently impressed me outside of his Nidalee play for a while now. If they get banned out, those lanes could struggle…but Altec would be free to choose what he wants. Which means…

The Incumbent: So much of this series is going to rely on the picks and bans phase. Luckily, the Evil Geniuses are a very experienced organization that has been in these high pressure situations before and tend to know exactly what to do. While his aggressive play doesn’t always work, one can’t deny Krepo has an incredible feel for the game, and his ability to strategize against Cloud 9 Tempest could be the difference here. Of course, there are big concerns with this team; they did finish seventh after all. Snoopeh has struggle to adjust to the new meta of jungle champions to the detriment of his team, and Yellowpete was probably the worst ADC in North America last split. For EG to win, InnoX and Pobelter need to carry their lanes to victory and hope that Krepo can keep the bot lane competitive enough to not burn them badly on team fights later in the game. Given one can’t expect too much from Snoopeh these days, that’s about one too many variables for me. Prediction: C9T 3-2.

CompLexity Black v. Team Coast

The Challenger: Man, remember when everyone was excited about CompLexity Black back when they were Determined Gaming last December? I certainly do. Everyone was so excited to see Westrice on a successful team that we all completely ignored the fact that he was struggling to keep up in the top lane and relying far too heavily on a streaky mid laner (Arthelon), a temperamental jungler (Brokenshard), and an above average bot lane that was hyped way beyond their actual means (ROBERTxLEE and Bubbadub). We all thought that loss to EG would be the best thing that happened to them, as Pr0lly was a sizeable upgrade on paper, but as the great Yahtzee Croshaw once told us, “Paper is a flimsy thing that turns clear when you rub grease on it,” and that’s certainly been the case this split. It took this team five games to beat a Curse Academy team that could adequately be described as ‘DontMashMe and four guys who would have been brought up to the LCS like Sheep months ago if they had that level of talent.’ I don’t think they stand much of a chance against…

The Incumbent: Call me a fanboy if you wish (I’ve been a fan since they were Team Dynamic back in early 2012), but this is pretty much the perfect match-up for this Coast team. ZionSpartan practically lives for the moment he can hard carry against a top laner that’s way out of his depth, and as arguably the second best mid laner in North America, Shiphtur shouldn’t have a problem against Pr0lly, who’s been CompLexity Black’s most consistent player. Coast isn’t perfect: Wizfuijin and Daydreamin haven’t lived up to their potential, and NintendudeX tends to do more damage than good nowadays. But hasn’t Coast’s path to success this split been based on the ability of their two best carries to, well, carry? In the long run, Coast will have to make some changes to the roster if they want to be relevant on the World Stage once more, but what they have already should be enough for now. Prediction: Coast 3-1.

Chase Wassenar is the Lead Editor and Founder of the Red Shirt Crew Blog and Podcast Network. He’s excited to find out if all of his Challenger Series scouting has paid off. You can read his other work at Less Than Legends, subscribe to his weekly podcast, and contact him by email at, on Twitter at @RedShirtKing or in the comments below.

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    
From our friends at You Can't Milk Those

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 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Nien leaves CLG and Toxicity against Pros

(An emotional Nien during his interview with Ongamers.)

by Jeremy Heimann

     The big news of the day is Zach ”Nien" Malhas stepping down from CLG. In an interview with Travis Gafford, Nien included under performance to his own standards, toxicity towards him on forums and social media, and undisclosed family issues as his reasons. What percentage each of these reasons play in his choice is unknown. Nien is the type of person that will put others before himself, and he wants to see his team succeed.
     He also doesn’t plan on playing this split, although the possibility of his return to CLG was left open if they couldn't find someone that could fill his shoes. This was his own decision and not forced upon him by the CLG empire.
    The involvement of the community and its passionate fans does concern me. We lack the ability to control others actions, but we can improve on our own.The power of one has been proven to be a working method. The method is started by one not spreading hate - then another joins in and change begins. Change has to start somewhere and that somewhere is inside of all of us. Nein is just an example. If we don’t want to lose other pros to similar reasons then we need to squash that parasite now.

What do other pros think?

Josh Atkins ‏@NintendudeX
I hope the community learns a valuable lesson about how devastating hate toward a player can be to a persons mental health after this.

Mitch Voorspoels ‏@SkumbagKrepo
You will never be able to teach moron's/douchebags to give proper/constructive criticism so don't even try. At the same time there is no point in taking their comments seriously. It's very hard sometimes but the only way to keep going with a sane head.

Marcus ‏@LoLDyrus
@CLG_Nien this community is a double edged sword I disagree with you stepping down but if it's for the better I wish you the best of luck

Hai Lam ‏@Hai_L9
I think this is a pretty big case of where the community sucks ass, trashing on a player until he retires is pretty rough. I think the general opinion of the community towards players is wrong, aka hating on Nien and or praising players that I disagree with.

Søren Bjerg ‏@Bjergsen
Really sad to hear about Nien. Unfortunately I think the community played a big part in crushing his confidence. Stay strong man!

**Travis Gafford's original interview for Ongamers can be found here: CLG Nien announces his decision to step down from starting roster.

Potential Replacements for Nien:

By Joshua Kon 

#1. Link moves to top, Shiphtur becomes new mid for CLG - this is the one option that will have CLG fans drooling, as Shiphtur (at some points in this split) has shown he is the best mid NA.

#2. IkennyU - from the Blue Caster Minions that won the Riot Collegiate Championships from UW.  A top challenger rank and no real team, he may find his way to CLG.

#3. ZionSpartan - a strong top laner from Coast, he may be offered the position.

#4. Innox - if EG loses to C9 Tempest, you may see Innox be offered a position from CLG.

#5. Ackerman - this is a potentially a great pick up if XDG pulls off a miracle off against LMQ! Doubtful, but if not on an LCS roster after this weekend, the opening with CLG may fit perfectly for the top laner from Royal Club's 2nd place team.

#6. Maknoon - way out in left field - he has been streaming non stop and could easily make a transition to a good CLG team. Very doubtful though!


There is only one match Today and it's LCS-relegated MILLENIUM vs challenger NINJA IN PYJAMAS. Currently, NiP is favored by over 70% of the voters at lolesports. This particular incarnation of NiP...(Lemondogs in Pyjamas)...has a lot of familiar talent, including Zorozero, Mithy, Nukeduck and Freeze. (You may not have known this, but NiP's symbol is not a ninja shuriken - it's a picture of a revolving door.) Stealing back a slot in the LCS from the ailing Millenium is possible, but whether their roster can stay in one piece after the post-relegation shuffle remains to be seen. However, no matter their shirt color, these guys are all LCS worthy.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

LCS Fans - Get pumped up for Braum, the Heart of the Freljord!

Braum is 'The Interceptor,' putting himself between his teammates and danger and taking the blows for them. He has an interesting skill set with some slow and stun capabilities, but his biggest advantage seems to be his shield. This sounds like the kind of champion who will produce #BIGPLAYS with clutch saves and he should be a lot of fun to watch. 

LCS eSports Question of the Day:

Curse Voice is a third-party add-on to League that allows for team voice chat, but its overlay also includes Champion Ultimate and Jungle timers. Some players love the idea while others feel this is an unfair advantage over people who don't install it. So our Question of the Day, LCS Fans, is: 

Curse Voice...Good or Bad?

And here's what you had to say:

‏@ArronDempers wrote: Bad. Curse seem intent on monopolizing the league scene as far as they can, even in comms. Not a good thing for growing scenes.

‏@ste_coolname123 wrote: I don't need a client to tell me ultimates cd as long as I can follow the action/simply ask teammates, and I think lol is one of those games which should be chat-less so, not even a bit interested in oral communication.

‏@D3nn0s wrote: I don't know.. I like the ult timer of allies but that's it. But I agree with people who say Riot must implement it so either everybody has it or nobody has it. The automatic timer (even tho you have vision) is a terrible thing imo..

‏@Chef_Lu_Bu wrote: haven't used it. I'm not a fan of, as I understand, it keeping track of things like camp spawns and such. I think that memorization of spawn timers is something indicative of a skill-cap. Not every player can FADC in street fighter, and the game doesn't do it for you, because you're supposed to learn it on your own.

‏@Konman81 wrote: I think its good because it is forcing players to get better about timers... Watching diamond games players already time everything.

‏@the_grimmia wrote: It's not like timers are hard to remember. Buffs are five, drake is six, and baron is seven. It's math. Use a calculator rofl.

‏@DungOhBeetle wrote: Jungling since start of season 3, getting the timers wasn't hard for me, people complaining about static timers is moot. I think the only problem is it third party software, if riot patched in auto timers people would still bitch and moan, but at least it would promote some strategy around objectives for those who don't strategize at all in the game.

‏@JamesConnor wrote: I think in the sense of pushing Riot to integrate systems like this into the game, it's good. Dota does fine with voice in game

‏@SearchThisCity wrote: Regardless of the whole spawn timer debate, its a very solid and reliable communication system, its better than skype!

‏@Gregorok wrote: Curse voice is good, doesn't really give unfair advantage. One could only wish that Riot would have done it themselves.

‏@PyunTaeFoo  wrote: I think the idea is great, but not releasing it in full limits teams, if you have it you have an advantage and if you don't, well..Knowing timers is just gonna tell you when dragon or baron respawns, it still won't save bad players from bad rotations. Koreans play in windowed mode and keep timers in a wordpad, this is basically the same except you don't have to manually enter it.

‏@Fighter9363 wrote: Its good with all the timers and stuff and the chat thing when you can talk with your teamates is awesome!

‏@spdivr1122 wrote: Good. All it does is give you ult timers and baron/dragon time if you had vision. Nothing else.

@GoonLvOver9000 wrote:  the voice comms part is golden, the timers are broken and bad for the game

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.


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.

Cloud 9 Reigns over the NA LCS

Celebrating their win beneath a shower of glittering confetti, Cloud 9 looked happy. Not ecstatic. Not Overjoyed. Just...happy. Because long before the third game of their NA Championship series vs TSM ended, they knew they had it in the bag. The raucous jubilation that usually comes with a hard fought victory will have to wait for the teams in relegation. Having eyed the throne all season with an assortment of swords and poisons in their bags, Cloud 9 quietly disposed of all fake kings and seized the NA Kingdom, undaunted by the chants of the masses - and now, all TSM fans can do is bow to them and recognize their serfdom.

Grats Cloud 9...and hail to the kings, baby!


Wild Turtle enjoys a beverage backstage before their match vs Cloud 9.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fnatic: Taking the Erratic Road to Victory

EU Spring Split Champions, Fnatic, could be the poster boys for those cheesy inspiration photos you find hanging in cubicle-laden offices, with words like 'Dedication,' 'Determination,' and 'Perseverance' peppered beneath their faces. During Season Four, the teen idol team was like a runaway mine cart, careening wildly along a track that ran from soaring peaks to hellish pits in the span of just two months. But they had seen the sunrise from the top of the mountain, and they knew it was where they belonged.

Fighting their despair, the diligent young men of Fnatic dug deep into their souls - refusing to buckle under pressure or fight and blame each other. They attacked and climbed the sheer cliff ahead of them first with their fingertips, then with their hands, then with their iron fists, taking back what they knew was theirs. And when the dust cleared, it was almost inappropriate that they regained their crown with a surrender - because as this split of the EU Spring series showed, surrender was the one thing Fnatic refused to do.   

Congratulations Fnatic! You earned your win in every sense of the word. 


EU LCS Finals Prediction by Jeremy “Ne0 Jets” Heimann

Fnatic (17-11) vs SK Gaming (18-10) 
                                                                 Season series won 3-1 by SK Gaming

     Fnatic is LCS Royalty. Winners of both the Spring and Summer Playoffs in 2013 and close runners-up at IEM Katowice 2014, Fnatic started the split going 7-0 and looked like the team to beat. Then they lost eight in a row and their place among the top contenders was in serious jeopardy. The team was able to recover and finished strong with a  record of 10-3 coming down the stretch. The team is very experienced in the playoffs save for Rekkles, the boy wonder.
     Rekkles, at the age of 16, was a huge part of Fnatic defeating CLG EU and winning Winter Dreamhack 2012. Rekkles is fearless out on the rift  - making plays that are usually setup by his support Yellowstar. The bottom lane combo has been deadly this season. Former ADC Yellowstar knows the ins and outs of the role and has great  synergy with Rekkles. Mid lane doesn't require much introduction. It is Fnatic's own Xpeke, famous for his back door Kassadin play. He doesn't run teleport mid much anymore, but teams still strive or fail based on how the center of  the map is going. Xpeke led the whole of EU LCS in kills this split with 125 total kills. Patch 4.5 hasn’t been so kind to Xpeke having his most played champion Gragas nerfed hard. Champions I see him aiming to get in champ select are Leblanc, Nidalee and Orianna.
     Top lane Soaz has one of the deeper champion pools and he isn't afraid of anyone. He does his job time and again. His top lane Lulu came up huge in the semifinals and he isn't scared to play anything top. He also likes playing Trundle against tanky tops so whatever Freddy122 comes up with he will have an answer for. In the jungle is Cyanide. He has a lot of games on Elise this season. He also plays Lee Sin and Vi. I don’t expect any target bans thrown his way. He has been a very solid jungler for some time, but he needs to be a play maker more.

     SK Gaming wasn't expected to finish at the top of the spring season. Many predicted them to be near the bottom of the league. They were also pushed to their limits during regulations by Supa Hot Crew. N-rated has been on fire lately in the support role - setting up most of what SK does in lane and in team fights. SK is team-oriented, living or dying with what the team does as a whole and not individually. A weakness I could see is in mid lane, Jesiz. Twelve of his eighteen wins are on three champs: Ziggs, Nidalee and Orianna. He has tried to learn new champs such as LeBlanc, but has had mixed results when he is forced off his comfort picks. A strategy could be to ban those three champs and force him onto something he isn't comfortable with.
     Freddy122 has been a beast with the tanky top meta. He has an impressive five out of five wins on Trundle. Svenskeren has impressive win rates with Eve, Pantheon and Elise. With the recent Pantheon nerfs, I don’t see him looking that way. Eve and Elise will be high priority. I don’t think he would care which one he got as long as it was one of the two. Candypanda’s Vayne gets banned out a lot, but he has nearly identical win rates on Lucian and Jinx. He laughs at the Vayne bans because it does not hurt him or his team at all.

Prediction: Fnatic wins a close series 3-2. Experience in the playoffs will tilt the series.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NA LCS Playoff Predictions

NA LCS Playoff Predictions by antdrioite.

I’ll try and explain why I believe each team will win. Note that I add percentages to some matches. I believe those have more chance for an upset.

1.  Quarterfinals

CLG – Coast H2H (4-0) Expectations (2-0)

Even when CLG didn’t have Dexter on the team they had no problems with Team Coast. CLG has shown they can adapt quickly to new patches and clearly have a better mid/late game than Coast. If ZionSpartan or Shiphtur don’t get too big in the early game, CLG will just walk over them with good rotations and objective control. Dexter just has to control the pace of the game, and lane swapping can lessen the impact Zion has early in the game. Link can definitely handle himself against Shiphtur and the rush hour botlane has not shown fear of to many other botlanes. If both teams get evenly strong team comps then CLG should have no problems closing out the series in two quick games.

Dignitas – Curse H2H (1-3) Expectations (2-1) 60-40%

Curse has been in a weak spot the last couple of weeks and will need to prove themselves during the playoffs. A win against CLG (who were obviously not taking the game seriously and had problems with the Shen bug) doesn’t convince me that Curse is back. Even though Curse has a lead in the head to head, Dig won the last game and has shown much improvement since Scarra stepped down as mid and became the full-time coach of Dignitas. Both teams have some unorthodox picks and might surprise each other with that, but Dig has shown that they can adapt quickly. Curse could definitely take a game off Dignitas with some strong picks or early snowballing but Dig shouldn't be surprised twice and I give them a good chance of winning the series 2-1 or even 2-0. Curse can’t be underestimated and will definitely show a good match, I give them a 40% chance of actually making an upset and winning the series but I do not expect them to actually win it.

2.  Semifinals

TSM – CLG H2H (3-1) Expectations (1-2) 35-65%

Fans will hate me for this but I just think TSM is a bit weaker these days. They also admitted to having problems adjusting to new patches. With patch 4.5 being such a big one, CLG will have a clear advantage in that point. TSM got a few blows during Super Week, losing to last place XDG and getting (sorry for my words) crushed by C9. CLG had a much better game against C9 and were on a mission the last day of Super Week. CLG has admitted that TSM is a strong (maybe even stronger) opponent, and much will be decided in the pick and ban phase. TSM can choose which side they start on, so they have a small edge in that if they want to counterpick mid twice or just have the strong first pick jungle/adc. TSM wins most of their games by having strong lanes and forcing team fights in the mid game so they can take an objective after they win that fight.
     Dexter is a bit stronger in the jungle than OddOne. If CLG can have even lane match-ups, they should have the edge transitioning into the mid/late game. They have stronger rotations and are clearly better in lane swapping. If Bjergsen and Dyrus don’t get too big, Dexter should be able to control the pace of the game until his team's rotations help them close out the game. Much will be decided in the botlane since both botlanes have shown they can carry the game. Wildturtle’s Twitch can’t be underestimated and neither supports should be given Thresh for free. Dyrus might not be the shining star of TSM, but he's been their rock for a long time and will have to be at his best if TSM wants a chance to win this series. I believe CLG can win this series 2-1, but TSM will not just roll over and die. I do fear their slow adjustments to new patches and worse objective control/jungle early will cost them. Whatever the outcome may be, this should be one hell of a series to watch for all the fans.

Cloud 9 – Dignitas H2H (3-1) Expectations (2-0)

Cloud 9 has been on fire. They evened their win streak record and after being in TSM’s shadow for most of the split, they want to show they are still the number one team in NA. Dignitas beat them once in the start of the split but these aren’t the same teams anymore. C9’s rotations are almost perfect and even if the lanes falter, Meteos can step up and solo the game.  
     Dignitas will not surprise Cloud 9 with special picks. All lanes are solid and if one gets behind, the rest will step up to carry the game. Dignitas fans might hope on a miracle but a focused C9 is almost unbeatable. Dropping only seven games in two splits and ending number one in both those splits tells enough, in my opinion. The team also has the biggest KDA and much better synergy than the new Dignitas with Goldenglue. This will probably be the most one-sided series of the playoffs and is mostly just preparation for C9 to win the playoffs. Dignitas should just try and show they can perform and take lessons for the third place match against TSM.

3.  5th and 3rd place match.

Coast – Curse H2H (1-3) Expectations (2-1) 50-50%

Both teams are at the bottom of the table and have problems being consistent. Coast has shown some improvement in the last few weeks and I always have the feeling they can win the game they are playing. Like Scarra said, up until they lose the game, they're winning. Shiphtur and Zion are incredible sololaners and show time and again that they can take control of a game. But winning is a team effort and league is a five man game, so the rest of Coast will need to step up to help get themselves out of relegations.
     Curse shows some life now and then but they lack consistency and a solid plan when going into pick and ban phase. If Coast can pick up LeBlanc or Nidalee for Shiphtur, then Curse will have a lot of problems dealing with both him and the always strong Zionspartan in the top lane. I feel those two might be just enough for Coast and they can avoid relegations if the rest of the team just doesn’t fall behind in this match. Curse has the advantage in the head to head standings and might take that to the playoffs but will not have it easy. I believe both teams are evenly matched but Coast will take the series on the backs of Shiphtur and mostly Zionspartan.

Dignitas – TSM H2H (0-4) Expectations (0-2) 30-70%

TSM will be hungry for the victory after their most likely close loss to CLG and will not give Dignitas an easy time. The head to head record shows that TSM have had no problems with Dignitas this split and I think that will continue into the playoffs. Bjergsen will have little issues with Goldenglue and the superior laning should give TSM the match quite convincingly. Dignitas should definitely show some strength after their games against C9, but I believe TSM will win this match without many issues.

4.  The Finals

Cloud 9 – CLG H2H (3-1) Expectations (3-1) 60-40%

Cloud 9 proved to be the superior team in their last two meetings with CLG and, with near flawless rotations, they deserve the number one seed they earned this split. But they showed some weakness in their last game against Coast, and CLG will exploit any weakness that they can find. The pick and ban phase of every game will be very important for the outcome of the match. Both Cloud 9 and CLG have great rotations and the small skirmishes around objectives like dragon will probably decide the outcome of every game.
Dexter and Meteos will watch each other, and the team that wins the jungle battle will most likely come out victorious. If their latest match in Super Week was a taste, then this will definitely be the best series of the weekend. I expect both teams to show everything they have, but C9 will have a clear edge because they are the older and a more consistent team. Dexter has made big impacts for CLG and they will keep growing, but C9 has proven and should prove that they are still the number one team in NA.

5.  Persons to watch

Zionspartan is the strongest player from Coast and is also their voice. If the team gets into late game, he will be the man that gives the commands and will lead Coast to victory. Not just through skill but through leadership. If he has a good game and the team doesn’t fall behind, anything can happen for Coast.

Bjergsen is maybe new to the shot caller role but he'll need to be at the top of his game if TSM wants to end in the top three and maybe even win the playoffs. TSM is solid and will fight for every game, and Bjergsen will definitely not be easy on his opponents. Watch out for TSM when they get to the midgame with a good teamfighting comp or with Bjergsen on LeBlanc in a strong pickcomp. Even his Syndra should spread fear to his opponents and not to be underestimated. TSM won’t win or break with Bjergsen but he will have a big part in their victory.

Meteos and Dexter: Both junglers help their team immensely during the early game and their control around dragons and buffs will determine the success of their matches. Both junglers should be feared, but note that without their team they can be punished for aggressive behavior. Meteos might opt more to farm and Dexter to roam but if they get a small lead, they will be aggressive and dominating throughout every game.

These are my predictions for the NA LCS playoffs. Whatever you might believe or agree too, just support your team and enjoy the matches. They should be amazing!

EU LCS Spring Playoffs - Semifinals

Today's Matches (Bo3s): 

1. Fnatic vs Alliance 
2. SK Gaming vs Roccat 

3. Fifth Place Match = Gambit vs Copenhagen Wolves

(The popular boy band Fnatic)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

An Interview with Eefje "Sjokz" Depoortere

Foreword by Jodi McClure

Belgium-born Eefje "Sjokz" Depoortere is a paradox in a world of contradictions. Neither overtly sexy nor overtly a nerd, the LCS's alluring hostess still manages to be both of those things with the effortless ease of person who has been born into their position. She is EU LCS royalty, the queen of the court. But she is also the lone female in a heavily male dominated world - a world that probably would have been just as fine had the microphone been thrust into the hands of some busty airhead in hot pants and six-inch spiked heels. 

Surviving and thriving in that potentially hostile environment is a testament to Eefje's intelligence and resourcefulness. This is no airhead they've stuck on the stage. This is a platinum level player with a Masters degree in both History and Journalism, and she knows the game inside and out. Her smile is warm and welcoming, her voice confident and demure, but with a single flash of her dangerous eyes, she can put a barrier around herself, warning any fool who dares to cross it. Delicate in appearance but tough as nails, the stage is her hood and she's got street smarts.  

At once both dignified and playfully coy, reticent and outgoing, she is a living Schrodinger's Cat, managing to exist in two different states while tying them both together, and the fact that she is revered by both male and female fans alike speaks volumes to her success. Standing on a pedestal in the middle of an infamously toxic crowd, nary a condescending word is hurled in her direction. She is loved and cherished across the board, and we are honored to have her as our first LCS Central interview.  


Interview with Eefje "Sjokz" Depoortere

by Andy L. Bloodvayne

First off, 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. So the spring split of the EU LCS is closing out. How do you see your progression as a host since its start?

- I definitely feel like I have grown a lot since the start of Season 3 - so last year. As time went on I've moved a way a little from the pure 'Hosting' role and been able to do things like anchor the Analysis desk at the Battle of the Atlantic - I'm very happy that I am able to grow in that role.

Do you feel your understanding of the game and its dynamics has deepened since becoming host and therefore become a more integral part of the show?

- Absolutely - although I still need to learn a lot more. The LCS environment is so great to learn about the game. First off you work in a team of casters that do nothing but talk about the game most of the time, and with analyst's like Quickshot, Deficio and Jatt who I very much look up to. Besides that, talking to pros during LCS and watching all the game most certainly improves the game knowledge. That and playing, of course!

How far in advance do you start prepping for each LCS week?

- When LCS is on Thursday and Friday we prep Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then of course additional script read-throughs and rehearsals the day of the show itself. Monday we set out the storylines for that week and start fleshing out the script, to finalize it on Wednesday. The other time is spent looking back at VODs of games both to look at teams playstyles and to review our own performance, watch games from other Leagues like OGN or NA LCS, play ourselves and other forms of preparation.

What's been your favorite part about your job? Any fond memories come to mind?

- The coolest part for me is getting to live these grand moments together with the fans who also live and love League of Legends. It always touches me when someone comes up to thank us for what we are doing because they enjoy the shows - when we should also be thanking them :)

What's your opinion on the several YouTube videos that have gone somewhat viral in the league community (Fnatic Cyanide checks out Sjokz,, Peke flirts with Sjokz, etc.)? Do you see them as harmless fun or is there a small part of you that finds them irritating?

- I think that most of it is harmless fun and we often sit around and laugh at the videos people make of us as well. It's part of being in the public eye that people make these things and if its funny, why not! I have a good sense of humor but there are limits of course. If I was dating everyone I am rumored to be dating I would have a very busy life! ;)

Do you have any long term goals in the e-sports industry? Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

- That is something I actually think about a lot myself - where is this leading, where am I going, the good old questions of life. But I recently realized that I wanna be where I am right now and grow as much as possible in this role. I adore League of Legends and I love this job and everything that comes with it, and I want to make the best of it for the longest time possible. And after? The sky is the limit!

Getting back to the LCS, NA seems to lack a host, opting for “analyst desk” interviews. Do you think it would benefit for them to find their own Sjokz figure or do you think that each region provides a unique flavor in its formats?

- We actually don't have a host per se on stage anymore as we did last year either. Both NA and EU LCS now have two people conducting interviews or analysis, a very similar setup. I feel like this is the best way as well. I certainly feel like people sometimes say 'NA needs a Sjokz' and just mean 'NA needs a girl!' and that is not the right approach!

How involved do you get in player drama? Since Riot's videos makes player's (and teams) personal dramas part of the show, do you keep up on what's going on in the team's lives?

- I don't feel like we ever delve deep into 'drama' that players themselves don't want to portray. The things we talk about are relevant to the storylines of the #LCS or have been brought up by the pros themselves on social media. Backstage or after shows I of course pick things up here and there, but that is not for publication! :)

To wrap things up, what are your predictions for the EU play-offs? Is there a team that stands out to you that will win and represent Europe in this year's All-Stars?

- It's going to be so incredibly close, especially on the new patch! I feel like Gambit is a team that can do very well pulling out new strats and they thrive in these tournament environments. Fnatic and Alliance have also shown that if they're on point, they are razor sharp. And then what about the first seed SK-Gaming? What can CW and Roccat show after a week of intense training? I can't predict anything, and isn't that the best thing? :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

LCS eSports Question of the Day:

Question of the Day:

How long do you think the LCS can conceivably last on its present map?
Here were some of your responses:

‏@TheRealTZT wrote: Until the internet dies and explodes #LCS

‏@AverageGuyNA wrote: I give it 3 more years, just like anything, everything has to end.

‏@nuggetsauce wrote: I think they're already expanding the map with NACS. They need to open up LCS size though, and perhaps double the number of games.

@Joe_Sorci wrote: I think for LoL to be relevant in the future They need to make the bad champs good You see the same champs every game #GetsOld

‏@SFFpunk wrote: StarCraft is still relevant today and it went competitive long ago. I think LOL is more popular, so I don't see it going away soon. I can see Riot making minor tweaks to Rift, but sports don't change fields, and I view LoL as more sport than game.

‏@CheetahBotVeLoL wrote: Considering competitive Tetris is still around...League will be alive & an e-sport for quite a long time if Rito plays this right.

‏@Matheson_Allen wrote: 2 more seasons

‏@Prof_Random wrote: Depends on how many champions are going to have getaways that let them go through terrain. Thresh is broken for that in a way

@CoC_Pepitas wrote: Truthfully it's hard to say. Starcraft had a 10 year cycle and was never this ingrained in the culture. I'm saying 5+.

‏@Zeke640 wrote: No other pro sport changes it's field, I don't see why LCS needs to. New champs, players, and strategies are what keep it alive.

‏@RobMeyer7 wrote: Seems the history of MOBAs + LoL presents different maps as diversions or alternates to the *main* 5v5 map. Obviously MOBAs =/= RTSs when it comes to map rotations. Has any MOBA ever switched its main focus map? So I guess my answer is: how long the present map lasts is equal to how long the LCS will last & since that itself is a non-answer to your original question, I say LCS will last another 5 years, all on its current map. :)

@SabrewoIf wrote: A S-Rift Upgrade will come at the right time and bring a whole new feel to the game, thats why SR hasnt gotten any skins recently


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