Saturday, November 29, 2014

LMQ : Gone with the Wind

By Jodi "PunkLit" McClure

The first time I ever heard about LMQ, it was through rumors that a third rate Chinese team was coming to America to compete in the belief that we'd be easy to beat. Never passing up the chance to be irritated by anti-NA sentiment, I was determined to hate this new team and hoped for their quick annihilation. From that point forward, their appearance in my twitter feed came in drips and drabs. "Did you see the Chinese team, LMQ?" "I hear they're really ripping it up in Challenger." "LMQ is beating everyone."

I remember the first time I saw their photo, around the time they had made it to the challenger series play-offs. They were, to me, four identical looking dark-haired strangers and one really goofy-looking tall dude. I didn't know their names and I didn't want to. I was annoyed that they were still here, threatening to take a seat in our LCS. It was stupid to have a fully Chinese team competing in an American league, especially since they didn't speak any English. My ego said it shouldn't be allowed, and I wasn't alone in that sentiment. Many fans voiced the same displeasure with their unwelcome presence, sure we would have no way to connect or bond to this team.  

When the Challenger play-offs started, I cheered against LMQ, but I still remember how their AD Carry, Vasilli, immediately stood out to me. Wildly aggressive, his 'balls deep' play style was one we didn't see much of in the LCS, and even though it initially almost removed his team from the playoffs, (I believe my first ever twitter post about the tilting Vasilli said something like "This guy must be on drugs") it made for some exciting moments. Fun moments. But somehow, despite their seemingly erratic play, they still advanced into the promotion series.

Just prior to the start of relegations, poor quality videos started popping up in my stream with titles like "Vasilli dancing shirtless," "Vasilli twerking," "Vasilli goes 1 v 5." Vasilli, I came to understand, was 'the tall guy,' and he was the first member of LMQ to whom I placed a face to a name. It was a name that would soon start to flood my stream as relegations started up, followed by words like "is a god," "is a beast," and "is a one man army." His crazy dodge mechanics and man-mode like destruction lit up the twitterverse, and while I still didn't like the Chinese team, I had to admit, that tall guy was amusing. 

After they unseated the struggling XDG, I started to learn a bit more about LMQ as a team. Riot offered us subtitled interviews between clips of the boys playing and laughing in a pool, but the light-hearted team introduction did little to sway my opinion. They were still strangers and invaders, playing in a league where they didn't belong  - although, I could now finally place another face, the good-natured, chubby-cheeked XiaoWeiXiao (a guy I mentally dubbed the Chinese version of Scarra).

Vasilli's name popped up a lot in the first few weeks after LMQ's 4-0 entrance into the LCS, mainly as everyone's fantasy pick. To me, they were the bad guys in every match; the LCS Dallas Cowboys, so the best part of those early days was discovering they were beatable. Perhaps not by my beloved TSM, but hey, at least Cloud 9 and Curse had their number. In retrospect, I think it was knowing they could lose that started to make them more human to me. They were, as a team, graceful and modest in defeat, and they all exhibited a certain shy humility that made them feel less threatening, despite the fact that they were starting to place a grip-lock hold on first place.

Over time, I started to learn all their names and recognize their faces, as well as pick up on their individual personalities and playstyles. Little things like Mor's tiny smirk when he made a great play or Ackerman's uncanny ability to appear out of nowhere and turn the tides of fights, plus NoNames' solo queue chat logs were downright hysterical and XiaoWeiXiao's unending smile tried to chisel away at my shell. But unfortunately, their interviews felt like long, boring, drawn-out Chinese babble, (made only slightly more bearable by the presence of their endearing manager, Sharon) and I still bore malice towards this foreign team.

It was Vasilli who started to change that for me in July of 2014, when he started to show up in videos speaking adorable broken English. Something in his cute ducking, blushing face spoke of a guy who was trying his hardest to assimilate, and for whatever reason, that mattered. Because suddenly they weren't a Chinese team that was only here to beat us, they were now a "slowly getting Americanized" team that wanted to be part of us, and as much as I wanted to continue disliking LMQ, I couldn't.

Impressive and precious as Vasilli was, I still resisted cheering for LMQ over any other team, mainly because they kept beating all my favorites. Allowing Vasilli to have Tristana was to ensure your team's deletion, and he consistently displayed both the mechanics and the guts to mop up the floor in teamfights. Quadras and Pentas peppered his game stats, and he dared to walk in and steal a baron from TSM in the middle of the summer Semi-Finals.   

Just prior to the LMQ vs Curse game in playoffs, there was a Riot made video speaking of what getting to Worlds would mean to each team, and Vasilli's eye watered as he spoke of wanting to play just one more match with his team. That tear was like a cannon ball, plowing through what remained of my anti-LMQ feelings, and for the first time in my life, after seeing that interview, I found myself actually pulling for these Chinese kids, wanting them to make it into Worlds.

I remember having lunch with my mom before LMQ's last game at Worlds, trying to relate to her the story of this Chinese team and how I started out hating them but came to love them. Maybe it's fair, maybe it's not, but LMQ had to work incredibly hard to earn their place...not in the NA LCS, but in our hearts, and they really deserved it all along. They never once complained, and despite their management hardships, they always remained positive with a pleasant disposition.

When LMQ played at Worlds, I didn't see them as a Chinese team or even a foreign team. I saw them as OUR LMQ, our beloved friends, playing for America and the NA LCS, and I was proud to have them there alongside Cloud9 and TSM as one of our representatives, because there was no question in my mind they belonged there.

So the other day when I read that Vasilli was leaving, I felt a bit like Scarlet O'hara...because I don't want him to leave and I regret not having fully appreciated him while we had him, and I lament falling in love with him far too late. Part of me hopes we'll see him again here in the states, and part of me knows we probably never will, but I'll treasure the fact that I had the opportunity to be charmed and won over by some adorable guy from China.

Oh God! Wait...Vasilli...WAIT!  VASILLI...Please! COME BACK! 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Expansion Tournament Round 2 Preview

By Anel “Musinlol” Musinovic 

Only one day is left until the second round of the expansion tournament, and going in we have Millenium, Giants, Reason Gaming, Different Dimension, H2k, Meloncats, Gamers2 & n!faculty, a line-up which is sure to give us some great games.

Millenium vs Giants 
Kev1n, H0R0, Ryu, Creaton & Jree vs Werlyb, Fr3deric,xPepii, Adryh & Rydle

Going into the first game of Round 2, we have two strong sides. Millenium are the favorites, but you should expect Twitch chat to be filled with hype around Giant's xPepii, especially when he gets a kill.

Although Millenium is expected to win, I have given one game to Giants because I feel that xPepii's unorthodox level 3 roams and aggressive play are going to give them an advantage, one they can possibly use to secure a win. At the very least, his unconventional moves creates fun games that are entertaining to watch and they should be a bit different from the others.

On paper, Millenium are the much stronger team, despite Giants having a midlaner who was once considered one of the best in his role. Toplane will have the biggest mismatch, as Kev1n's skill and experience is going to outshine Werlyb. In the Black Monster cup, it was Millenium's botlane that was the driving force with good farm and solo kills, and if they can transition that into the game vs Giants, they should come out with the win..

Player to watch from Millenium: H0R0

My reasoning behind picking H0R0 as the player to watch is that he has so far has been both good and lackluster in the Black Monster Cup. He often goes for a sightstone after his jungle item, which I hope can give Millenium great opportunities and maybe make it easier for Ryu to pick off the enemies on an assassin like Leblanc. There's been a lot of hype behind H0R0 coming to EU, and in scrims he apparently has splendid performances. He hasn't been an outstanding player in BMC, but I believe he can show up big when it matters.

Players to watch from Giants: xPepii & Adryh

I have chosen two players from Giants because I simply couldn't leave out xPepii, because his unexpected early roams and crazy playmaking potential makes him a player to watch. Adryh seems to be the carry of Giants. In the first round of the expansion he went 9-0-8 on Jinx & 7-4-10 on Lucian when the Jinx was picked away from him. He is one of the only Jinx players at the moment, and I think if they can snowball him on a Jinx they can have a shot.

Predicted score: Millenium 2-1 Giants

Reason Gaming vs Different Dimension 
Kubon, Xayoo, Takefun, Celaver & Libik vs Warrior Lady, AnOnPsyCko, Magebane, Dom1nant & Wildpanda

The second game is between Reason Gaming and the big EUNE surprise, Different Dimension.

Reason Gaming’s matches sadly weren't streamed against SK Prime, but they are up on the ESL YouTube channel. In the first game, Reason Gaming got outplayed and set themselves too far behind too early with Takefun dying multiple times in the first ten minutes. In the second game, Reason had a comfortable lead but were shaky with their decision-making around dragon. Despite that, they came out victorious in Game 2. In Game 3, it was Takefun going 16-3 (even though he gave up first blood) and Xayoo, stealing the baron and winning the game just after.

On paper they have decently strong & experienced players, and are the favourites against Different Dimension, but I fear for them if they move on. Against other teams who should advance in the tournament, DD has the worst positioning.

Different Dimension got through with a 2-0 sweep against the first seed from the EUW ladder, SPARTA. I think that everybody expected EUNE to only have one team which could put up a fight - Tricked esports. However that was not the case. Dom1nant was really dominating on the rift, which is also the reason why he is the player to watch.

Player to watch from Reason: Takefun

Takefun was hit or miss and I expect him to be again, but he has the ability and skill to outlane Mageban, although after his 16-3 game on Leblanc, I imagine that champion will be banned out by DD. Takefun will need to be one of the players that shows up, because I fear that Celaver is going to struggle in the bottom lane.

Player to watch from DD: Dom1nant

Dom1nant is the absolute star of the team and will have to perform every game if they want to have any hopes of winning. He has been under the wing of SK Forgiven and seems to have improved quite a bit. My only fear for Dom1nant is that he isn't an ADC, but a midlaner. He might not have strong performances on many champions, so that could be a worrying point for DD.

Predicted score: Reason Gaming 2-1 Different Dimension

H2k vs Meloncats 
Odamne, loulex, Febiven, Hjarnan, Voidle vs zeclipse, gillius, Abaria, Crykee, Dioud

I fear for the Meloncats that they are going to struggle against a really strong H2k. H2k are the favourites for this game, and maybe even for the whole tournament. Especially with Flaxxish being banned for toxicity and and their coach going to toplane, it is going to be extremely hard. It will be interesting to see what H2k are going to do, and if they are going to focus top or let Odamne try to win hard alone up there.

Unless Abaria could somehow snowball a champion and destroy Febiven, I don't see any way for Meloncats to score an upset, and considering how strong Febiven is right now, I don't even think that's possible.

Player to watch from H2k: Febiven

Febiven is the obvious player to watch, he is so strong and is considered one of the best in the whole of Europe. He has multiple accounts in high challenger and is a great mechanical player. I think he is going to get camped by Gillius, but he should survive and make it easy for his team.

Player to watch from Meloncats: Gillius

I think that Gillius is their only player that goes even or is better than the opposite teams player on that position. It's going to be harder for him than loulex, though, as loulex will have way more to work with. Gillius will probably struggle despite being really good individually. I think he should try to camp Febiven, maybe with Abaria on a snowballed champion.

Predicted score: H2k 2-0 Meloncats

Gamers2 vs n!faculty 
Jwaow, Kou, Ocelote, Yuuki60 & KaSing vs Xaxus, Obvious, Soz Purfect, Sedrion & Mountain

The last game of round 2 might also be the closest. This is the only series where I was seriously in doubt about who was going to win. It could go either way.

On one side we have Ocelote and Gamers2 who have Top Three players in every position, but doesn't seem to be delivering the results in tournaments like Paris Game Week and Black Monster Cup - where they lost to teams such as Giants, Millenium Spirit, SK Prime - all teams they should be able to beat if they want to be a LCS team. With that said, they did advance from the first round easily and won over Reason Gaming in their seeding match.

K0u has struggled lately, he is isn't playing up to his standards from his Ninjas in Pyjamas days which is obviously affecting the whole team. He is the best challenger jungler IF he is playing his best. My concern is he will get out-jungled by Obvious if he keeps playing like he has lately.

Ocelote hasn't exactly been the driving force he'd love to be, and if he wants it to be in the expansion tournament, it should definitely be against Soz Purfect, who I consider one of the weaker players on the enemy team.

On the other side we have a n!faculty, which struggled against Tricked but managed to pull through, n!faculty has 2 standout players in Obvious & Xaxus. Xaxus we all know from his time on Roccat. He wasn't a flashy player but he was always consistent. Therefore, I think that it's going to be an even affair toplane and will probably be swung by the junglers. Obvious is a great jungler and the best player on his team, which is why he is the player to watch.

Player to watch from Gamer2: Yuuki60

The reason behind picking Yuuki is that I feel he is the best player on Gamers2 despite being overshadowed by Gamers2's bigger names like K0u, Ocelote, Jwaow and now KaSing. Speaking of the arrival of KaSing, I think he can, with Yuuki, become a quality LCS level botlane. Yuuki has had Dioud and Rydle prior to KaSing, but they didn't have the same skill level as Yuuki. I believe Yuuki is going to show how good he is and will outshine Sedrion by a lot.

Player to watch from n!faculty: Obvious

The player to watch from n!faculty is Obvious. I was considering Xaxus, but felt like Obvious was their most flashy and probably best player. Obvious often makes plays both in the early and late game and with new solo laners on the team, I believe he is going to have an easier time in the jungle and can potentially focus on shutting down K0u, who can be a really good or lackluster. If he can pressure him so much, it will give them a good chance!

Predicted score: Gamers2 2 - 1 n!faculty

*A quick side note: Games from Round 1 involving Gamers 2 & Reason Gaming have been re-casted and uploaded to ESL’s YouTube channel.


By Anel “Musinlol” Musinovic 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Black Monster Cup EU Winter Quarterfinals Preview

By Anel “Musinlol” Musinovic

Going into the quarterfinals of the Black Monster Cup, we are met by the top challenger teams and players. Millenium, Gamers2, H2k, SK Gaming Prime, Playing Ducks, Dark Passage, Team Salsa, and the polish team, Sample Text, will all be competing for a spot in the semifinals of the BMC, playing on the new patch 4.20.

Millenium vs Team Salsa
Kev1n, H0R0, Ryu, Creaton & Jree vs jer0m, Econatorz, Neptuno, Samux & Babeta

The first game of quarterfinals will be Millenium going up against Team Salsa, which is a rematch of one of the games in Group C, a game Millenium won with great objective control

Game one, I believe, will be a repeat of the first game between the two teams, despite Millenium not wanting to show their hand before their expansion tournament run. Millenium will do their best to pull off a good performance, which will be too much for the Spanish side Team Salsa. Across the board Millenium is stronger individually, but Team Salsa is going in with everything they can, which can cause trouble for Millenium. If Team Salsa wants any chance of making an upset, it will definitely require a extremely good performance from their botlane. Samux & Babeta are definitely the players to watch from Team Salsa, they had a good performance against Creaton & Jree last time around.

Predicted score: Millenium 2-0 Team Salsa
The game will be played today, 25th of November, 18:00 CET

Gamers 2 vs H2k
Jwaow, K0u, Ocelote, Yuuki60, KaSing vs Odamne, loulex, Febiven, Hjarnan, Voidle

Both teams are in the second round of the expansion tournament, so they will most likely not be bursting out wild and innovative team compositions. With that said, we are on the 4.20 patch, so new stuff will still be brought out because they are the normal picks now. Expect champions like Warwick to get banned or picked. But the teams will definitely be giving their all to receive first place and the €15,000 prize pool.

H2k went through their group without any trouble, placed first, and played their last match against Dark Passage on patch 4.20 which ended up being an instant 20 minute surrender from Dark Passage. It was again Febiven in the midlane going off, which seems to be a bit of a habit. Gamers2 went through as second place, just behind SK Gaming Prime. Despite them not showing their best performance there, they went 2-0 in the expansion tournament. Unfortunately, it was not streamed.

Gamers2 & Ocelote will have to keep Febiven down in midlane and ban away Lee Sin from loulex if they want to proceed to the semifinals. If they manage to do that, I can see them going through, but it’s a hard task, so I will probably give it over to H2k, who are the favorites for first place. 

Predicted score: H2k 2-1 Gamers2
The game will be played today 25th of November, approx. at 21:00 CET

Sample Text vs Dark Passage
Ishikava, KonDziSan, Sebekx, Celaver & Grom vs Elwind, Crystal Methh, Naru, Hold Postitio0n &

Both teams are not exactly favourites, but they have known-names such as Celaver, Crystal Meth and Naru. Sample Text went through as first in their group, but had an easy group compared to Dark Passage, who finished right behind H2k in Group D. Irelia seems to be a priority pick for both toplaners, and is expected to be contested when these two teams go head to head, especially for Dark Passage. Their new toplaner seems to be the new outstanding player on the team with great performances against teams in group D besides H2k.

If Sample Text wants to come out winning, they will have to get Celaver & Ishikava going, and try to build off that. Even without players like fabFabulous, Touch & their previous hard carry HolyPhoenix, I belive Dark Passage is going to edge it against Sample text. With Worlds experience on Crystal and Naru, I think they can use it to win here. With that said, the game could easily go either way, seeing how destroyed Dark Passage got by H2k.

Predicted score: Dark Passage 2-1 Sample Text
The game will be played 2nd of December, approx. at 18:00 CET

SK Gaming Prime vs Playing Ducks e.V.
Beansu, Taikki, Godbro, Steeelbackmaker &The Barney D vs Koi, XoYnUzi, avenuee, Broeski & SaZeD

SK Gaming Prime unfortunately got sent out of the expansion tournament in the first round against Reason Gaming. I expect them to come out and want to show us that they are one of the top challenger teams. Playing Ducks had great performances in the last couple of hours in the Ranked 5’s qualifiers for expansion, but they didn't have enough points in time. In BMC, they placed second just behind Sample Text, and will, with avenuee’s Xerath performances, try to beat SK Gaming Prime. 

I am, sadly for Playing Ducks, seeing a comfortable win for SK Gaming Prime. I believe they can get steeelbackmaker in front and let him carry. I think the individual strength in SK Gaming Prime is going to be too much for Playing Ducks.

Predicted score: SK Gaming Prime 2-0 Playing Ducks e.V.
The game will be played 2nd of December, approx. at 21:00 CET

 *All Games are Bo3


by Anel "Musinlol" Musinovic

Fnatic gets Rekked - a Fan’s Perspective

by Sandie "Moondove" Gade

So, after months of long drawn out mystery, secrecy and endless Reddit speculation, the announcement was finally made: Rekkles is no longer with Fnatic, but has instead switched to Alliance.

There's been so much drama regarding the whole situation with Rekkles and his alleged (and now confirmed) departure. So what really happened? I guess we will never know for sure; all we know is what we hear, and even with the official statements from Alliance, Fnatic, and Rekkles himself, how can we ever really be sure we're getting the untainted truth? Fact is, we can’t.

This article is the story and the scene of events regarding the mess seen from a fan’s perspective.

The Fnatic Image

The Fnatic image seen from the outsider’s view is one of having a strong internal bond of friendship and extremely close relationships (which has led to many teasing allegations of homosexuality). The word ‘family’ is often used in regard to Fnatic, and when you see the pictures they post on social media and watch their stream and hear what goes on in their house, this is the sense you get: Fnatic is one, big, happy family!

But what do we really know beyond what they tell us? Not a lot, it appears. Rekkles was always spouting phrases like “we are a team, we are a family. We win together and lose together.” But it took no more than one bad World Championship for him to go running to Alliance for talks of transfer. A team, who, by the way, did no better at Worlds than Fnatic did. So where was his family loyalty while making this choice?

The salty part of me wonders, if he ever truly meant any of what he said about being a family, or if he was just trying desperately to make it true by spouting lines about team spirit and familial union to reinforce the Fnatic image of togetherness and brotherly love already manifested in the minds of the fans.

Work Ethics

I am a huge Fnatic fan. I have great love in my heart for these boys and was crushed by Rekkles’ choice. My initial reaction was sadness, disbelief and a feeling of betrayal. I felt like his decision was a knife to the back considering his aforementioned grand declarations of being a family. The fact that he went to Alliance just made it all the worse for me. I kept thinking: “Come on, man, you had just one bad split, you won spring split, give this a chance. Stick together, win or lose and work on improving TOGETHER as a team, like you always said you would!”

Then, as the days went by and the rumors went on and on endlessly, my Fnatic loving mind started racing. I started to take mental stock of every stream I have ever seen from that house, every interview, every picture, every Facebook/Twitter post. And it occurred to me what I personally think went wrong:

Rekkles is a workaholic, he wants to be the best and he is driven by pure ambition to reach this goal. sOAZ, Cyanide and xPeke, while still driven and dedicated to the game (despite what some haters might say), have a more relaxed attitude towards the game and also enjoy just chilling and having fun every once in a while. Yellowstar, to me, appears to be Switzerland in all of this, always the neutral even-tempered one, but still with a strong work ethic.

So maybe placing Rekkles on Fnatic was a mistake from the beginning, maybe it was just a bad match in both personality and work ethics.

Fnatic's Struggles

A lot of people have been wondering: What happened to Fnatic during the past season? At spring split, they had some really dramatic spikes of ups and downs, but they managed to pull through and come out on top. At summer split, things somehow looked even grimmer. They looked off in some way and were far from consistent, just not at all like the Fnatic fans were used to. They still did really well in a lot of games, and second place in the split is nothing to sneeze at, but something seemed off.

So what was it? Was it simply that Alliance was doing better? Was it lack of motivation from some of the players? Or was it something else?

A few of the core players from Fnatic have been taking a lot of heat for inconsistent or downright bad play.

Some of the rumors that floated around said that Rekkles had been having these talks of a possible transfer since the end of spring split, or at least that he has had the desire to leave since then. If this is true, could this explain the shaky summer split? If Rekkles was already unhappy with being on the team back then, wouldn’t that rub off on the game play of the team? Even if nothing was said aloud at that point, I imagine it would have affected them all on a subconscious level.

The Finer Points of Fandom – Team or Individual

While I am officially and openly a Fnatic fan, I have always explained to people that I am not a fan of the name/organization, I am a fan of the players as people. I am a fan of these boys for their personalities and who they are as people, not (only) their skills as players. This probably sets me apart from a lot of fans of this game, but I also feel like there are some of you out there nodding your heads and going: “Yeah, I get what’s she’s saying, I feel the same.”

This game is so unique in its fandom. We get a different “relationship” with these players than you would if you were a fan of a football player, for instance. We follow them on Facebook and Twitter, they share stuff with us and will answer questions if we are lucky. We also have the streams: A place to come and hang out with them, chilling, learning from them and sometimes watching them feed and make idiots of themselves. While many fans do tend to place their idols high up on an unreachable pedestal, this special form of “getting to know them” that e-sports offers us does bring them down to a more human and accessible level.

What Now?

So now that Rekkles made his statement and we have that all cleared up, the question remains: What happens to Fnatic now?

In Danish, we have a saying: “Equal children play better together” and I think the sentiment holds true here. If this was indeed a matter of different work ethics then, like I said, perhaps Rekkles was just never the right fit for Fnatic no matter how much they wanted him to be.

Maybe Rekkles will thrive with Alliance, or maybe he will fall flat on his face and realize he made the biggest mistake of his life. Only time will tell.

Also, we still have another unconfirmed rumor floating around. One saying that xPeke, being fed up with the way the Rekkles situation was handled, is leaving to start his own team, and is taking Cyanide and sOAZ with him. That would leave Fnatic with nothing but the aforementioned neutral Yellowstar, and the organization would have to build a new team from scratch around him.

As mentioned earlier, I am a fan of players, not the organization. And as it happens, my biggest fan love lies with the trio of xPeke, Cyanide and sOAZ. So if these rumors do indeed turn out to be true, I will cease being a Fnatic fan the minute they leave, and instead be a fan of the new team they make, and count my lucky stars that they, at least, stuck together.

But like I said, these are still only unconfirmed rumors, so let’s see what happens. One thing is for sure: With everything that has been going on this off-season, and not just in Fnatic and Alliance, we are in for one hell of a spring split. I can’t wait, how about you?


Saturday, November 22, 2014


by Tristan "verlashcaster" Jakobsen

Perhaps they aren't the Best ADCs, but they certainly are the most dangerous as far as your healthbar is concerned. Between their kill count, KDA and pure potential, these are the guys you're most likely to see just before your screen losses its color.  

Number 10: The Adorable CandyPanda 

With the help of long-time pro, nRated, CandyPanda took to the botlane for SK Gaming in the European LCS. This lad from Germany is a player that mostly lies in the middle of the pack when it comes to AD Carrys. His KDA rests on a rather unimpressive 3.8 and his GPM lies dull steady at 380. In fact, per stats, he wouldn't even have made it on this top ten list if it wasn't for his tendency to play passively throughout almost the whole split and then explode into a killing machine that eats champions for breakfast - kind of like Gnar, but with more arrows and less boomerangs. His Vayne at worlds is a perfect example of when the Panda goes all hulk and actually shows up. In his match vs TSM, he played the whole game according to what needed to be done, and when TSM made the decision to rush and scatter into SK’s base, that’s when the game was decided.  

Here’s some of CandyPandas' Vayne mechanics. Even though he goes in recklessly and dies, he still manages to wreak enough havoc for SK to win the fight.

So what about next split?
Whilst CandyPanda left SK Gaming and is now a free agent, it would be interesting to see him in the LCS again. He’s a major sleeper (and boy does he sleep for long hours) but, when you wake the panda up, he’s not all that cute and cuddly anymore. 

Average KDA: 3.8
GPM: 380 
Support: nRated
Most Played Champion: Lucian.

Number 9: The Lawful Cop 

Cop has the fifth lowest GPM (377) of all AD carries in the LCS. He’s a rather passive player and often relies on the rest of the team to win the game, but even though he’s shaky in many areas, you cannot deny his KDA is monstrous. Showing up with an impressive 5.8 average, you know that he and Xpecial made a really good team. Do you remember the game vs Complexity that went on forever? (You know, that game where there was so much chaos and back-and-forths your eyes got exhausted being in the same room as your monitor?) It was here Cop probably made his biggest play of the summer split. His Kog’Maw kites here are just amazing.

What about next split?
Cop was replaced this season by none other than ex-SKT T1 K’s Piglet, which is almost unarguably an upgrade. Still, you should expect Cop to show up and be one of the best players in the NA Expansion tournament as part of Curse Academy. 

Average KDA: 5.8
GPM: 377
Support: Xpecial
Most Played Champion: Corki.

Number 8: The Wild Turtle 

Although not so ‘yung’ anymore, WildTurtle is still one of the most famous League of Legends players in the world. Known to be an incredible solo queue player, he will sometimes do reckless things without thinking. It's a habit he brings to the LCS, and while it doesn't always work out the way he thought, it still works.

Most people assume Turtle would place higher on this list but, in all honesty, even though TSM won the NA LCS Summer Split, his performance wasn't top notch. However, you cannot deny the fact that he’s a motivated player that has sick mechanics, even though he sometimes has problems translating them into team oriented plays (which might have to do more with him switching support two times during the season.) There’s a significant point when you look at Turtles' stats, and it’s obvious they improved when Lustboy replaced Gleeb in the TSM starting roster.

And, of course, let's not forget the very last teamfight of the summer season, when he secured a triple kill and the cup for TSM.

What about next split?
WildTurtle is still part of TSM and has kept practicing and improving with Lustboy. Predictions are he’s going to improve his stats during the next split.

Average KDA: 4.6
GPM: 381 
Support: Gleeb / Lustboy.
Most Played Champion: Lucian.


by Tristan "verlashcaster" Jakobsen

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Millenium Finishes 1st in the Black Monster Cup (Group C), with Ryu & H0R0

Communication issues seemed to plague Millenium's freshly revamped roster, but that didn't stop them from beating all comers in the EU Black Monster Cup C division. New jungler, H0R0, and new mid, Ryu, both played under par, disappointing fans who had hoped the Korean pair could inject fresh life into the struggling team. Of course, it's still too early to pass judgement, and there's always the chance that additional practice will yield better synergy coming into Season 5, but only time will tell. In the meantime, LCS FanZone's Anel Musinovic gives a full run down of both games for us. 
Game 1

Champion Select: Virtus.Pro first picks Kha’Zix, which means Creaton can grab his beloved Lucian, a champion he excelled on last season. Virtus rounds out their comp with Mundo, Orianna, Corki and Thresh. Millenium picks up Nami for Jree, Rumble for Kev1n, Jarvan IV for H0R0 and then Ryu surprises everyone with a last pick Leblanc! Read More...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Support-Staff Heavy Enemy Esports Readies for Battle

by Josh C

Enemy eSports' League of Legends team was finalized less than two months ago; their support staff has been working with the team for less than a month, and their coach has been around for ten days. But even if their team and staff-building seems a bit rushed, it's paid off for Enemy, who may stand as a prime example of the third-wave 'support staff' world of today's eSports. Playing their debut match this weekend, the team showed up with a dominating 2-0 over opponent Noble Truth. Next week, they'll be facing one of the hardest opponents of the tournament: the mysterious Team Fusion - and they seem to be feeling confident about the encounter. I had the chance to reach out to Team Manager, Angel "Angel" Vigil, and Team Coach, Hussain "xDaku" Moosvi, to talk about the importance of support staff and their preparations for Enemy's hopeful road into the LCS.

Q: Angel, Enemy eSports picked up this team less than two months ago: How did you go from having nothing to hiring one of the most extensive support staffs in League of Legends?

Angel: The first month was entirely focused on getting the players, so I actually had less than two months to get the support staff ready. In fact, we started with a different coach which didn't pan out. Prior to NME, I haven't had to put together coaching team and support staff. Before, I had people who helped out, but no real coach. My initial thoughts were to get someone who had the most experience, and they could then hand that experience off to the players. I reached out to Nicholas "nubbypoohbear" Harlan, who had played under me for a year and a half. We had a lot of experience together and a friendship. But in the end, it didn't work out, because even though he had a lot of great knowledge, he wasn't really a coach. So when the team needed more than that, two weeks before the LCS Expansion Tournament, I brought in Hussain, who had reached out to me earlier with an interest in coaching for NME.

As for support staff, we had kept Brad Marx, our former analyst, but we had him and a dozen other applicants apply for head analysts position, and after a long interview process Brad was determined to be a better fit for the team. The knowledge and resources he provided really worked well with the team. Our Sports Psychologist we found on Reddit after he did an AMA--is that something I should be saying?--and he had specialized training to become a sports psychologist.

Q: Where did this inspiration come from? Most LCS teams have a sparse support staff; even Curse just hired a Sports Psychologist.

Angel: I've been managing teams since before the LCS even began, and I've had these ideas since the LCS at least. There was always things I thought teams should be doing once they have the profit to do so. They should build the team first, and with that comes the growth and the profit. Most teams focus on the profit first.

Farther along I want a nutritionist - I want them to be healthy. I have all these ideas I want to be implemented in the future. People who were in the LCS at first were inexperienced: they found five mechanical players who took little effort to maintain. As the LCS expanded, they needed more to become better. If you look at Korea and the infrastructure, the biggest difference between Korea and the Western scenes is infrastructure. The thing that sets us apart is that we don't just have strong players, but we also have the staff to support them and make them that much better.

Q: Hussain, how was it to come in with so little time before such an important tournament, and how has working with the support staff helped you in your new role?

Hussain: I got lucky, but in the past I've had analysts and two other support staff members working under me and experience on using their information to improve the play. When I came in with less than two weeks to go, the team had a lot of the base parts already in existence, compared to a lot of teams I've dealt with before. After watching the second scrim block I saw what clearly needed to be fixed. With the Sports Psychologist and Analysts I had a lot of information coming in, and this helped me see what I could go with. Talking with the players and seeing how scrims went, I was able to map out weekly strategies for growth. This allowed me to implement positive change very quickly.

Q: What did you and the team do to prepare for the LCS expansion tournament?

Hussain: I came in and completely changed how the team practiced. When I first started, I had a huge meeting with the players, analysts, and management. We mapped out what we’d be doing for the coming days and how we’d be going into the tournament. In the end, I restructured our entire way of practicing.

Q: What is the support staff doing to help this process?

Hussain: The team is made up of good players, but they've never really competed on this level of the expansion tournament. Even in challenger, you can’t just have a good team play and win it. Managing the players and guiding them a certain way is important - absolutely everything relies on the support staff right now. We have good players, but the support staff makes them perform like great players.

Angel: I just want to add on; five mechanical players are good, but five coachable players are better.

Hussain: The players have been very receptive to the coaching and support staff. They want to improve themselves, as individual players and as a team, so they are very coachable.

Q: Once/If you get into the LCS, what would you do to change your infrastructure to compete with top tier teams?

Angel: I’ve talked to a lot of LCS players and coaches and tthey've commented on how strong our support staff is. I wouldn't want to change much: maybe a little more structure as far as diet and sleep schedules go. Our scrims and practice routines are good, but I want to get Hussain into the house - I feel like that would help a lot. Give us a couple of months and we’ll be able to compete with LCS teams. We haven’t had a ton of time to develop the players, only two weeks, so we've been giving players crash courses to improve. So really the biggest thing will be allowing time for the support staff to make a real impact on them.

Hussain: A lot of the way we practice, in the way of scrimming and player management, was taken from LCS players and teams. Going into the LCS we’d be ahead of a lot of teams already just with the support staff we have.

Q: With your large support staff and team philosophy, how do you get the most out of a day of scrimming? How does all the information come together?

Hussain: When it comes to practicing, we plan out everything for the week and scrims before. Going into scrims we are all on the same page, which was the #1 philosophy when we made the practice schedule. We constantly keep in touch with everyone involved, and go back and forth on what the right direction of the team is. We make the right moves beforehand, that way everyone is on the same page, and we also keep in touch with management quite a bit, so we get a feel for what is best for the players. Our biggest goal is to make sure everything we do is done universally.

Angel: One thing I did when I was made team manager was to increase communication among different tiers of management. If everyone is involved it gets everyone emotionally invested in the team, which benefits the team itself. If we decide something on the coaching staff, I'll talk it over with the House Manager, Sean "Hadaka" Mulryan, and then we bring it to the general management. If a decision ever stops being made by us, another tier of management can come in and make educated decisions. Luckily, we rarely see a disagreement with upper management. The culture we built within Enemy has been positive: everyone feels like they are part of the team from myself, to the coaching, to the graphics artists, brand managers, etc. They feel like they are contributing and that creates a fun atmosphere without hindering professionalism.

Q: I know you can't talk about it that much, but what are you doing to prepare for the elusive Team Fusion match next Sunday?

Hussain: Without giving too much away: whatever Fusion has on Enemy is very different than what we are right now, even from what we practiced last week. I don't think they really have an edge on us. The best team will win that day and that's how it'll play out. It's not easy for them to scout us at the moment either. We have been preparing for Fusion, but we've also been preparing intensively for the teams beyond Fusion. We won't be happy with just a Fusion win.


If Enemy eSports makes it through to the LCS, they may stand as proof that a strong support staff = a strong team. For more on what constitutes a great support staff, check out my post "The Support Staff of a Winning Team," and let me know your thoughts on the importance of support staff in the comments.

You can follow Enemy eSports on online at: Facebooktwittertheir website, and Azubu.TVThey are sponsored by Better Builds, West Coast Chill, Azubu.TV, and Neen.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Curse, CLG & Gambit joins Fnatic for IEM Cologne

By Anel “Musinlol“ Musinovic

The European team that is going to join Fnatic will be Gambit Gaming, who has a long history with Intel Extreme Masters.

Every other team in this poll doesn't have a full roster, which could have led to more votes if they had. (In Copenhagen Wolves case, they have no players at all, hence the 3% vote.)

Gambit will be going head-to-head with the recently qualified 'new' Moscow 5, who are going to represent the CIS region; the previous organisation for some long-standing Gambit members such as Diamond and Edward. It will be interesting to see Gambit playing with their newly signed top laner, Cabochard, and ADC, P1noy (previously known as Krislund), as they try to qualify for IEM Katowice through IEM Cologne.

Going across the Atlantic and looking at the NA poll, it will be Curse and CLG joining Fnatic and Gambit. 

No surprises here. CLG and Curse are both loved by the community and Curse probably clinched the higher percentage of votes since signing Korean superstar, Piglet, who previously played for the Season 3 World Championship Winner, SKT T1 K.

IEM Cologne will be taking place in Cologne, Germany from December 18th to the 22nd. Team SoloMid, Cloud 9, Alliance and Unicorns of Love were not participating in this poll as these teams are already fighting it out at Intel Extreme Masters San Jose on December 6th and 7th.

Poll graphics via

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Final Five's Consistency Wins Them the Game.

Today marked the first day of the NA expansion tournament, and first up was Final Five vs Zenith Esports. Zenith is a team characterized by early leads, unconventional top-laners, and a large champion pool. This was the first set of games in the expansion tournament and after a strong first match, Zenith came in feeling like they had the upper hand. On the other hand, Final Five had a lot more veterans on their squad, and they knew that both on and off the rift they just need to sit back, relax, and slowly win their game. Read more...

Expansion Tournament Sunday Preview: Fusion Continues to Successfully Hide from their Enemies.

by Jodi "PunkLit" McClure

The Expansion Tournament continues today with six fight-ready teams, but outside of some minor hype around tourney favorites, LolPro, today is really all about Team Fusion and its top laner, Korean stand-out and all around fun guy, Yoon "MakNooN" Ha-woon. MakNooN has won over American fans with his delightfully upbeat persona, and Fusion is a 'who's who' of LCS fan favs who have never reached their full potential. We love these guys. All of these guys! And it would be great to see them happy, but before I talk about the unusual particulars of their match, let's take a look at the rest of today's offerings.  

Starting out the day is Curse's Team LolPro vs Fission eSports. Lolpro is strong coming into this series, having destroyed all comers in the Black Monster Cup. Fission, on the other hand, can be inconsistent, one moment dismantling top teams like Coast, and the next losing to ladder unknowns. Lolpro 'should' make fast work of Azingy and his mates, but I wouldn't say Fission can't be dangerous. So long as Lolpro comes to play, a 2-0 here is probable.

The second offering of the day will be Enemy Esports vs Noble Truth. Another top contender, Enemy eSports finished second in the Black Monster Cup and have been looking very strong all season, fairly dominating ranked 5s with their 'The Cackson 5' moniker. Loaded with Challenger veterans, Enemy will undoubtedly have little trouble with relative newcomers, Noble Truth.

And finally, there is what would have been the dessert of this three course meal, but unfortunately, Team Confusion has already forfeited their match. The exact circumstances aren't really known yet, but MakNooN and Fusion have officially moved on to Round 2, and while this is good for Fusion, it is potentially disastrous for their next opponent. There are literally no VODS of Fusion playing as a team, and there's a ton of them out there for Enemy. Fusion has a strong support staff too, so there's no question they'll make use of this advantage, giving them a pretty glaring edge in next week's games. For fairness's sake, here's hoping that Enemy Esports can rise to the challenge.

Friday, November 14, 2014

NA LCS Expansion Tournament Preview

by Jodi McClure

If you've been suffering withdrawal from the NA LCS, relief is just around the corner. Starting today, NA challenger teams and the top seven finishers on the NA Ranked 5s ladder will be battling it out to occupy the two open slots in the new Ten Team LCS. Both veterans and unknowns alike will be competing during this weekends' Round 1 - which will be a Best of 3 Single Elimination series.

The tournament kicks off at 2:00pm est (7:00pm GMT) with a pretty even match-up between two middle-of-the-pack teams, Zenith eSports and Final Five. Final Five has some really good players, including LCS veteran, Rhux, but pseudo-newcomers Zenith managed to beat a strong Team 8 in the Black Monster Cup. Analysts seem to be giving the slight edge to Zenith, and if karma has anything to say about it, they'll be right. Not taking away from the rest of the team, but Final Five's AD Carry, Prototype White (aka Prototype Black), was a very toxic player and he doesn't deserve to win.

Today's second match-up is between the familiar down-home roster of compLexity White and relative unknowns, Monstar Kittenz. White is coL's ladder team offering, with a line-up full of recognizable names like Westrice, goldenglue and Kez, but there's a reason why these guys aren't still on their old teams. They were all underwhelming performance-wise (and lately getting stomped in ranked 5s) but they still have confidence and experience, and that alone could help them defeat the underdog Kittenz. Plus, Lohpally is a good shotcaller in the late game, and (unlike Black) they've got the added bonus of a coaching staff backing them up. Kittenz, unfortunately, have to sub out their top laner due to age, however...I wouldn't discount them altogether. They aren't a bad team, having placed 8th on the Ranked 5s ladder - and they certainly aren't the worst this tournament has to offer. White definitely needs to show up.

The final match-up of the evening is perhaps the most lop-sided of today's offerings. Fan favorite, Team Coast, who recently added EU pros Jesiz and Impaler to their roster, is by far the stronger team than their competitors, UCLA's Call Gaming, who barely made it into the tournament as it was. Even though Coast has been a little hit or miss as of late, this should be an easy 2-0 for them.

While not in the LCS studios, the tournament will be streamed live over with shoutcaster teams Zirene and PiraTechnics and EGAD and Azumoh. The Tournament Bracket graphic and a listing of the Team Rosters can be found here.

The tournament continues on Sunday with three more match-ups, including a team that's received more buzz than any of the others. Be sure to keep an eye on LCS FanZone this evening for Sunday's Expansion Tournament preview!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Voyboy Parts Ways With Curse

by Jodi 'PunkLit' McClure

Curse's mainstay mid-laner, Joedat "Voyboy" Esfahani, has decided to part ways with his team. Posting on Facebook about his choice early this morning, Voyboy stated he felt the need to take a break from playing competitively so he could spend more time thinking about what he wanted to do with his future. "I did not make this decision lightly. I have agonized over this for many months, constantly weighing my options and envisioning what is in store for my future," Voyboy wrote, citing his love for his fans as being the driving force that kept him playing this long.

His facebook post went on to reassure his fans this wasn't necessarily the end of his competitive career. "To be clear, this is not my retirement. I absolutely love this game, our community and all of my fans more than anything. I will continue to play and stream League, fight for the top spots in Challenger, and 'CYA NERDS' all over people each and every day."

Veteran players who have found success in streaming can make just as much if not more money than they would have playing in the LCS. It's possible Voyboy is following in Imaqtpie's footsteps and choosing the easier, less stressful career path, an idea his fans understand but lament just the same. Esfahani's choice leaves Curse in an unusual position, as their challenger team, Curse Academy, which includes potential mid-replacement, Keane, is set to play in the expansion tournament just a few short days from now.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Summoners Con Kicks Off its First Year the Right Way.

BURBANK, CA - Summoner's Con 2014 was a one day event held at the Burbank Marriott Airport Convention Center on Saturday, November 1st, 2014.  Read More...

Social Media & eSports; for Better or Worse

by Louis "Guichex" Lemeillet

In the last few weeks, I've come across multiple articles talking about the influence of social media in eSports, each one adopting a different point of view. A great deal has been written about the departure of Amazing, Dexter and Thorin from their respective structures and, in the end, it all came down to the pressure caused by social media. With the explosive growth of eSports, social media is truly a third power, and it can influence the career of professionals in the field. But as eSports are a worldwide phenomenon and couldn't exist without the internet, social media is a part of this model and can't be rejected. I wanted to discuss the pros & cons of this model and how it could possibly evolve.
We've never been so close to our public figures.

Many share the opinion that eSports have created a new way to interact with public figures, professionals, players, game editors and even tournaments promoters; and that it allows everyone to have a role in this big adventure. It's the truth. We have never been so close together with the expansive use of Twitter, Facebook & Reddit. Our questions can be answered by other passionate fans, promoters and professional players themselves. We can ask questions, and expect quick answers. We can offer opinions and they'll be read almost every time if they present some kind of value. We, as social media users, have a “power” we don't have in other traditional sports where most famous public figures are relying on PR agencies to handle their communication and to tell them how to react to given situations. We have none of this in eSports. Each player or professional is handling his own social medias accounts and they give direct answers. Moreover, the streaming possibilities are endless and pro-players appear to us “au natural,” speaking without any control and even giving information on topics they maybe shouldn't talk about.
Is it a good model? I can't decide on my own. But it has its perks. I believe that because players are so thankful and approachable, fans give them respect in return. Almost every official match we're seeing crowds cheering for great plays and players, even if they have a favorite in their hearts. We cheer them all, and they thank us by being as close and friendly as possible. There are few lies. It's a short distance between them and us and it gives me a unshakable feel of joy and hope towards human kind. I've never experienced something like this before and I believe that traditional sports should seek inspiration in eSports, and learn that fans enjoy much more hearing honest opinions than premade or shady ones.

Great power means great responsibilities.

In the other hand, every system has its flaws and many great players or contributors of the field have been facing extreme amounts of social pressure, together with work pressure, which can deeply affect their personal lives. Because eSports are still very young, and because it gained an immense amount of popularity in just a few years, people are still figuring out the limits of a system almost entirely relying on social media. In traditional sports, newspapers were here before and they adapted their system to the internet because it became so huge it couldn't be ignored. But eSports were born because of social media. Of course, it is not the first business that emerged due to the internet, but it is the first sport to do so. And as we all know, sports unleash our passions more than other things. Therefore, social media become a double-edged sword: whenever players are performing well, we congratulate them; whenever they are underperforming, we are telling them to get back on tracks (often in a poor way). In the end, we are just expressing opinions as always, but we are not expected to be heard that much and some people don't realize how it impact the one who reads it. And viewers are not the only ones to blame.
I don't want to point fingers on people, but it is because of this use of social media that Thorin got fired from Ongamers. But he's not the only one to mix personal feelings and work. Is that something they should work on? Yes and no. Yes, because you have to consider that you're talking through social media to extremely young players. Most of them were shut-in guys with no idea of what fame or popularity could mean, and I believe it is extremely difficult for them to face crude remarks head-on and not feel a thing. In traditional sports, they have decades of experience facing paparazzi, hateful journalists, experts, etc. and they learned how to deal with it. I don't think that's the case for eSports players yet. But you can't shut down social media's hateful comments or journalists picking on you; and as a player you can't be kept in a cocoon where you hear nothing. You'll have to face this problem sometime. If Thorin was fired, it's not because a structure or a pro-player complained, it's because at some point CBS & Ongamers felt he would deteriorate the image of the company, period.
Yet, here we are in this Season 4 of League of Legends where two European players went back home because they didn't feel welcome in North America. They bowed to the media pressure, both social and journalistic, and went back to a more comfortable environment. Who can blame them? They are already facing extreme mental pressure on a daily basis because of their work, with few ways to escape even more pressure as Reddit was one Alt+Tab away. It'd be insane to deliberately add more mental pressure on oneself, when they can escape it quite easily as their gaming level will allow them to get back on their feet elsewhere. Nevertheless, it's still a loss for the team they left behind. On the human side, I think it can cause or compound several anxiety issues. It also means a third party destroyed the adventure of a young European player hoping to live big in North America. How would you feel if you went studying in a foreign country and a lot of people picked on you ? I'm not sure any of us would really enjoy that trip.

I still want to be a part of this adventure.

Despite having strong flaws, I believe the eSports model still has more benefits. Being able to feel close to public figures is something we should hold dearly as it reinforces honesty, generosity, solidarity and the warm camaraderie of a shared passion. That stomach churning feeling - when someone is criticizing eSports - is something I hadn't felt before, even as a lover of traditional sports. It's like, the people who come together through eSports are somehow closer and more protective of themselves as a group.

Nevertheless, having a professional flee their team because of social media pressure is quite problematic. What do you do as a team owner when you're seeing one of your biggest players go away just because fans and/or journalists were a bit hateful? Do you try to limit the use of social media so they can avoid the harsh reality? I don't believe it's a solution, as at some point they'll still read what is said and it will still hurt them. Do you try to control it? Then you'll lose all the popularity and monetary perks that come with an interactive sport.

For a team owner, the answer could be to allow PR firms to handle the work and make players focus only on the game. Let them tell you when to go see fans, when to sign stuff, when to wave, etc, but I find this truly horrible. In the other hand, you can't be that idealistic Gale-like friend, coming right out of Hunger Games and saying, “What if no one would bully them? If we stop bullying them, they will feel welcomed.” Yeah, great stuff, except it's impossible. For me, the solution would be to recruit both psychologists and communication professionals inside the gaming structures at the sole service of the pros. We are seeing the beginning of it with  SK recruiting a sports psychologist, but it's not enough yet.

What does a communications professional do better than a PR agency? First, he would be part of the team and would consider only his company's interests. He won't take care of the communication of other teams, or even other companies, and therefore feel better integration and stronger loyalty. Second, he would be almost all the time with teams, players and coaches, and can understand with the help of a psychologist what are their personality and how to take advantages out of it. They can help by highlighting some aspects of the players personalities, developing them into true individual beings and not the same as others; therefore making them realize their uniqueness to boost their confidence against mass hatred.

The players who understood this at some point are very few: Krepo, Tabzzz, Aphromoo, Kiwi, maybe Dyrus and some others. They all use their unique traits to communicate. Krepo is the analyst/adult guy, Tabzz is really down-to-earth and honest without being mean, Aphromoo is just plain honest and respectable, Kiwi is crazy, and Dyrus is often “salty.” But the best part of that combination of comm/psych would be just to be there and act as a constant support whenever players are feeling down or unsure due to social pressure. They could be the part of the staff which helps new players feel at home, and could act as a relay between the head executives and them.
Of course, it'd cost some money which structures might want to spend elsewhere, but I'd say those guys are one of the most important parts of the infrastructure a team could want. Moreover, even if communication and psychology are their primary mission, they could easily help on other fields like lifestyle coach, analyst, etc.

As eSports are a new model of sports, it brings its perks and disadvantages, mostly because of the use we are making of social media and because of the pressure it can create towards guys who were mostly shy shut-ins three years ago. But a new model brings also its new kind of solution. We must take the best out of traditional sports, and out of eSports, and always be reluctant to just copy a given model. We are already making something better, we don't want to blew it or stop along the road.


by Louis "Guichex" Lemeillet