LCL: Fresh Air in the CIS

By Alex Whieldon
on Jun 28, 2017

Late bloomers, but finally the season has arrived for our friends in the LCL. If you haven’t been paying attention to all the shakeups of the league, then you are in for a rough awakening. Out of all the leagues, from LCS to IWCs, this is the part of the world that saw the most movement in the time off during MSI. Even though they didn’t experience a single team falling to relegation, they still saw more player traffic in and out of the league than one would think for a spring to summer change. But with that means a lot of fluff, so we will cut that out and jump straight into the important ones.

M19 Explosion

M19 Team

It was only a matter of time for this one to happen. While the old era of Albus Nox still lingered for a bit, the Spring Split for them in the LCL showed just how vulnerable and emotional the team could get. With weak performances out of VincentVega and Smurf, it seemed like Kira and PvPStejos had had their fill. Leaving to join the powerhouse that is now Gambit, they stepped out of the shadows of Albus Nox and are looking to make a new name with an old face in the competitive League of Legends.

That cannot be said for the rest of M19. Like mentioned prior, M19 has been struggling for some time and a lot of that can be seen by the temperament of one of the star players, Likkrit. While it has been known for a while that he hasn’t always had the best attitude in solo queue, it went too far with a number of times he was clearly toxic in ranked. His suspension, while short, is enough to show that he and the rest of M19 are going to be in some turmoil for quite some time.

Gambit’s Return

Gambit Gaming Team

Kira. PvPStejos. Two of the players of Albus Nox. DiamondProx. Edward. Moscow Five glory days. Blasting. Fresh talent that made it to MSI. This just might be the super star team of the LCL. Not only is it taking some of the best players in history, but it’s then merging them with some of the best talent in the CIS region of history time. If there were expectations of the region following worlds, there needs to be extra attention on them now that they have such an all-star lineup.

And what a way to show that they are looking to play with style. In their first big showing of the split, they let Kira bust out the Heimerdinger for a nice victory over Na’Vi. Sure, Na’Vi wasn’t playing the best sort of game possible and this is probably one of the few times that Gambit can play a little more recklessly, but it was a great way to mark their expectations in the league.

What About Everyone Else?

Now, this is where things get tricky. Because a lot of the other movements within teams were, well for lack of a better term, lackluster. While Vega Squadron opted for a new bottom lane, nothing really seems different for them despite losing Edward. Then there is Virtus.Pro losing Blasting, but replacing him with only p1noy. Tornado ROX decided to scrap their entire team for a new one, though to be honest, it looks like the same team in terms of play style, which isn’t good.

Vega Squadron team

 

But then there were trades and acquisitions that seemed promising. Natus Vincere looked like they were finally doing something right when they picked up DoubleAim, touted as one of the best junglers in the LCL, ass well as a new mid laners in Piter Pikor. Sadly, none of that seemed to change the internal qualms of the team who are looking to repeat last split’s relegation run. That saves the only team to not do anything for last. Team Just Alpha did nothing. No changes. No trades. Nothing. Yet, this seems to have benefitted them so far as they won both their games on day 1. I wouldn’t keep my breath held for them to pull off an upset run, but they seem to have an idea of what they want to accomplish.

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