The LCS, League Championship Series, starts anew today with 8 of Europe’s top teams going head to head. If you’re new to the LCS, just think of it as a professional gamer’s regular season that provides weekly gameplay to help improve and groom them for higher stakes play such as the World Championship. For the Spring split, the teams fight for survival to reach the Summer split, the split that will decide who gets to take part in the 2014 World Championship. The event is being held in Seoul, Korea this year.
With 6 games to kick off the season, here are my 2 personal picks for today to watch for.
Fnatic vs Gambit BenQ
With the split of Evil Geniuses in to the new NA Evil Genius and [A]lliance squads, this matchup features the two of the most senior teams in the European LCS and, arguably, this is a matchup between the two top teams in the EU LCS now.
With perennial All-stars Alex Ich of Gambit and Xpeke of Fnatic duking it out in midlane, the punches are flying often and early in these games. The return of the prodigal son Edward also boosts Gambit’s strength, with them having strong off-season showings at the Battle of the Atlantic and IEM (Intel Extreme Masters) Cologne.
However, Fnatic has also had a boost in the threat of their botlane with the coming of age of their prodigy Marksman (AD Carry) player Rekkles, who has already shown that he can live up to the hype of being a world-class Marksman player.
In this battle of EU Titans, my vote will have to go to Gambit BenQ. As a team, they took back Edward after a split away from them like a replaceable part, and have looked completely dominate ever since reuniting the old Moscow 5 crew. This game will surely be a close and exciting matchup, but in the end I think the BenQ boys will have just that one extra Gambit to take it over Xpeke and the Fnatic crew.
Supa Hot Crew! vs Roccat
Unlike the North American LCS, there is more than one new team on the block this split and this matchup features two. Supa Hot Crew is a real Cinderella story who got into the LCS due to a playoff for the final spot after some… issues with LemonDogs and their roster/paperwork.
No less deserving of any other team, however, SHC will have a tough opponent in their first LCS game against the newly christened Roccat team, formerly known as KMT.
KMT, a Polish team, is a very cold and calculated set of players who will never do any “fun” things in a match such as chase for a kill or fountain dive. They are strictly a FUNdamental team whose solid gameplay and veteran players bring a lot to the table. While they are also new blood to the LCS, Roccat is anything but new blood to playing at an LCS level of competition.
In this matchup, I lean towards Roccat. While SHC are no slouches and are on an emotional high after getting into the LCS, I think Roccat’s cool and calm demeanor will put the breaks on the Supa Hot hype train.
Besides these two games, four other head-to-head matches will be played today, featuring the rest of the EU LCS. Which include teams such as League version of the [A]lliance, the organization who won the DOTA 2 World Championship in 2013, and SK Gaming, another European titan who has been around nearly as long as competitive League has itself.
Hopefully Riot keeps the same soundtrack though!
With the NA LCS starting up later this week, if you’re a fan of League of Legends and need a fix now, be sure to check out the EU LCS [trash-talking joke]. Sure, they’re not as good as the NA LCS as proven in the Battle of the Atlantic [/trash-talking joke], but watching the EU LCS for the seasoned NA viewer can be an interesting experience.
A preview of the competition and a different meta than the NA one (which is fairly stagnant at the moment), any true League fan should check out the EU LCS starting today at 12:30PM EST!