Next year is looking very promising for the EU LCS. Compared to 2016 it feels like the region will have quite a lot of strong teams. With G2’s rise as the premier team within the league, it’s exciting to see Fnatic and a lot of other teams re-building their rosters in order to challenge the current champions of Europe. It is now time to look at the biggest headline going into the 2017 EU LCS Season.
The most obvious one is Fnatic’s decision to make a full European roster. It’s clear that the 2016 roster’s inability to work and communicate well together is the reason behind this decision. But that does not mean it won’t be interesting to see how Fnatic functions next year. Language barriers can easily break apart teams from the inside if they are not fixed fast enough. Using a roster made of only European players guarantees Fnatic that they won’t be facing that issue. However, this does not mean they’ll instantly be a good team. The players still need to mesh well and function properly as a team.
All of that aside, the players Fnatic picked up are interesting. SOAZ and Amazing are obvious choices because of their accomplishments. The question marks are Caps and Jesse filling up the mid and support positions. Caps is a fairly unproven mid laner that has never been on an organization as big as Fnatic. The team seems to have a lot of faith in him though so it’s very likely that he’ll be a strong mechanical player. If he can handle the hurdles that players face when they enter the big leagues, he should be able to do just fine. Jesse was on Immortals’ support staff throughout 2016 and prior to that he spent some time on G2 back when they were Gamers2 as well as SK Gaming in 2014, making a Worlds run with them. Jesse should be able to work with Rekkles well, but if the team were to go to an international event that’s where he might not fare too well against world class supports.
Origen and their future
After a fairly awful Summer Split in 2016, Origen has been left with no starting players. Peke will have a very tough task ahead of him when it comes to rebuilding the team. With most of the strong players being picked up by teams already, it’s looking like Origen will have to focus on getting some talented rookies that can be nurtured and developed under someone’s leadership. That means Origen most likely won’t be a strong contender in the Spring Split of 2017, but as long as they can continue improving, they can regain their position as a top team in Europe. Former AD Carry Toaster looked decent when he was on Origen. Picking him up again would be a smart decision, as he is still a young player that has a lot of room for improvement. If he is put with a veteran support that can guide him, that would be a solid bottom lane duo for Origen.
H2K’s new signings
In surprising fashion, the team that placed Top 4 at the 2016 World Championship has decided to replace their bottom lane of Forgiven and Vander. Filling in for them will be the Korean duo of Nuclear and Chei. Both players have competed in the LCK and have the potential to do well. Nuclear was the AD Carry for Sbenu Sonicboom, but the team was unable to do well, being a bottom tier team in the Summer of 2015 and Spring of 2016. Chei was a Support for Jin Air Green Wings but the team remained a mid tier team at best throughout his entire run with them. Depending on how well they work with the rest of the team, the Korean bot lane can do well, but a slow start should be expected for them and H2K as a whole.
The other roster move that the organization made was the replacement of Ryu with Febiven. The former Fnatic mid laner was on H2K when the team qualified for the LCS, but quickly left and joined Fnatic. Febiven’s performances in 2016 have been fairly disappointing considering how much is expected of him after a fantastic 2015. However, a player of his caliber can definitely bounce back and return to his former form with enough hard work. H2K might not do so well at the start of next year, but with enough time they should become a top tier team once more.
Europe’s desire to redeem itself
It’s no secret that the entire region was looked down upon this year. Expectations weren’t high, and results ended up not being too great. But Europe is a region that never gives up and always strikes back. Even if they don’t do well for a while, you can always expect the EU teams to fix their issues and improve themselves. The EU LCS might not start off so hot but over time it has the potential to make some awesome teams that can make us invest ourselves into who is number one.
As with North America, next year is a promising year for the European region. With so many roster revamps and redemption stories, we can look forward to some great matches next year!