Upset will be a rookie for the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Meet the rookie class of EU LCS Spring 2018

Riot Games recently announced that the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split will begin on January 19. The league will no longer be split into two groups, and matches return to best-of-ones. FC Schalke 04, Misfits Gaming, Team Vitality, Fnatic, Splyce, Team ROCCAT, Unicorns of Love, Giants Gaming, G2 Esports and H2K are the competing teams.

Like past years, the 2017-2018 off-season was filled with roster changes. Only 14 players will be on the same team in Spring 2018 that they were on in Summer 2017. Febiven, PowerOfEvil, Zven and Mithy transferred to teams in North America. With so many players changing teams and leaving the region altogether, new faces will fill the void left behind.

12 rookies have joined teams in the EU LCS for Spring Split. This is about half as many rookies as the 2017 Spring Split (roughly 21), but more than North America’s 2018 crop (roughly eight). The newcomers are distributed across top lane (two), mid lane (three), AD carry (three) and support (four). There are no starting rookie junglers this split.

 

Ruin will be a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

GIANTS – RUIN

Most recent experience – 2017 European Challenger Series, Giants Gaming

Summer statistics – 4.0 KDA, 61.8% participation, 22.5% damage

One of the only rookies to remain on his Challenger qualifier team, Ruin is the top laner for Giants. He helped Giants qualify into the LCS through the EU CS Summer Split last year. His best performances were with Gnar, but he also played Jarvan IV, Cho’Gath and Poppy. Jungle-top synergy will be Ruin’s biggest adjustment for 2018. Giants replaced Gilius with Djoko, a much less aggressive jungler with poor 2017 performances.

 

WhiteKnight is a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from Leaguepedia

UNICORNS OF LOVE – WHITEKNIGHT 

Most recent experience – European Challenger Series, Paris Saint-Germain

Summer statistics – 1.2 KDA, 41.4% participation, 16.3% damage

WhiteKnight is the other top lane rookie for Spring 2018. His Challenger team, Paris Saint-Germain, performed much better in the 2017 Spring Split than Summer Split. Nautilus is the only champion that WhiteKnight played more than twice, maintaining a 60 percent win rate. With Unicorns of Love spiraling downward at the end of 2017, and rebuilding in the off-season, WhiteKnight should look to simply learn and grow as much as he can in 2018.

 

Caedrel is a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

H2K – CAEDREL

Most recent experience – 2017 European Challenger Series, FC Schalke 04

Summer statistics – 6.2 KDA, 71.9% participation, 28.4% damage

With all of their 2017 members released, H2K is rebuilding for 2018. Caedrel joins to replace Febiven as mid laner from S04. He finished the EU CS Summer Split with the most kills and assists of any mid laner. While it will take time for all five new H2K players to gel, Caedrel has potential as a rookie. His best performances were with Corki, Orianna and Leblanc.

 

Blanc will be a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from Leaguepedia

TEAM ROCCAT – BLANC

Most recent experience – 2017 European Challenger Series, Paris Saint-Germain

Summer statistics – 2.7 KDA, 73.5% participation, 36.3% damage

The other rookie from Paris Saint-Germain, Blanc joins Team ROCCAT to replace Betsy in the mid lane. He was a standout while in the EU CS, with solid laning statistics and damage. Blanc also has experience as a starter for Jin Air Green Wings in the LCK, and substituted for G2 during their first series of Summer Split 2017. He will be a pivotal figure for a completely rebuilt ROCCAT line-up.

 

Jiizuke will be a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

TEAM VITALITY – JIIZUKE

Most recent experience – 2017 European Challenger Series, Giants Gaming

Summer statistics – 6.5 KDA, 72.2% participation, 31% damage

Jiizuke is the only Italian player in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split. He joins as Vitality’s mid laner, along with three other members of Giants’ CS roster. Jiizuke drafted mostly Orianna and Leblanc during Summer Split, but also mixed in five Ekko games. Previous synergy with his teammates is a huge advantage that Jiizuke will have over the other rookie mid laners.

 

Upset will be a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

FC SCHALKE 04 – UPSET

Most recent experience – 2017 European Challenger Series, FC Schalke 04

Summer statistics – 8.2 KDA, 14.4% death, 29.4% damage

Upset is the other player remaining with his promoted Challenger organization. S04 rebuilt their entire roster around the rookie AD Carry. Unlike some of the other 2018 newcomers, Upset will be surrounded by veterans at every position, which should allow for an easier transition. He has shown proficiency on a wide range of marksmen, and he is well-rounded at every stage of the game.

 

Sheriff will be a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from 5mid.com

H2K – SHERIFF

Most recent experience – 2017 Turkish Promotion League, Besiktas Esports Club

Summer statistics – 3.3 KDA, 53.8% participation, 20.9% gold

Sheriff enters the EU LCS after a stint in the TPL this summer where he helped Besiktas finish second place. He joins H2K as their rookie AD Carry, along with Caedrel, Santorin, SmittyJ and Sprattel. The veterans of H2K’s team have been relegated to Challenger leagues for a while now, so they will need Sheriff to execute in order to succeed. Kalista and Ashe were his best champions during Summer Split.

 

Minitroupax will be a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

TEAM VITALITY – MINITROUPAX

Most recent experience – 2017 European Challenger Series, Giants Gaming

Summer statistics – 10.7 KDA, 10.1% death, 27% damage

One of the most anticipated rookie additions to the EU LCS for 2018, Minitroupax is the ADC for Vitality. He finished the EU CS Summer Split with stellar statistics and helped Giants qualify for the LCS. Minitroupax mostly played Caitlyn and Kalista, but he also showcased high marks on Xayah, Tristana and Jhin. Ex-Giants support, Jactroll, is also joining Vitality, making them one of two bottom lanes staying together from 2017 into 2018.

 

Targamas will be a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from Twitter

GIANTS – TARGAMAS

Most recent experience – 2017 Challenge France, GamersOrigin

Summer statistics – Unavailable

Targamas will be the player with the least experience in the EU LCS this spring. He enters the LCS from Challenge France, the French national league, joining Giants as a rookie support. With supports like Jesiz, Chei, Klaj and Noxiak without LCS starter positions, Giants must see something worthwhile in Targamas. He joins Steeelback in the bottom lane.

 

Norskeren will be a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

TEAM ROCCAT – NORSKEREN

Most recent experience – 2017 European Challenger Series, FC Schalke 04

Summer statistics – 5.9 KDA, 17.8% death, 64.4 participation

Norskeren will duo with HeaQ in ROCCAT’s bottom lane this spring. The Norwegian rookie support played for S04 last split to help qualify into the LCS. A fiendish Tahm Kench player, Norskeren put up solid performances in EU CS last year. Luckily, Schalke’s jungler, Memento, will join ROCCAT, as well. The synergy and utility of these two players will be the main hope of weaving together Profit, Blanc and HeaQ into a winning team.

 

Jactroll will be a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from LoL Esports Flickr

TEAM VITALITY – JACTROLL

Most recent experience – European Challenger Series, Giants Gaming

Summer statistics – 5.3 KDA, 21.2% death, 69% participation

Giants’ Summer Split support, Jactroll, joins Vitality for 2018. Playing mostly Braum and Thresh, he prefers play-makers over enchanters. Jactroll enters the LCS with three of his four Challenger teammates, which should make the transition that much easier. With only five of 10 LCS supports carrying over from 2017, this position is ripe for a rookie to take over.

 

Totoro will be a rookie in the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split

Image from Unicorns of Love App

UNICORNS OF LOVE – TOTORO

Most recent experience – 2017 League Champions Korea, bbq Olivers

Summer statistics – 2.7 KDA, 19.3% death, 65.1 participation

Totoro is a “rookie” out of the LCK, joining Unicorns of Love as a support. His previous team, bbq Olivers, maintained a 28.9 percent win rate, and Totoro played for ESC Ever prior to that. He mostly played Braum and Rakan during Summer Split, but also drafted 11 different champions over 45 games. As a rookie Korean import, Totoro is the polar opposite of Samux’s previous support, Hylissang, which will take time to adjust.

These are the rookies for the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split. All 12 of these individuals will shape the professional League of Legends landscape this year. One of these players may become the next European superstar. One of these players may not handle the pressure. Nonetheless, it will be exciting to watch these rising talents mesh with their respective teams and coaches and grow throughout the Spring Split.

credits

Featured Image: LoL Esports Flickr

Other Images: LoL Esports Flickr, Leaguepedia, 5mid.com, Twitter, Unicorns of Love App

Player and Champion Statistics: Games of Legends, Oracle’s Elixir

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Mastering A Champion: Taliyah

Kim “Sky” Ha-neul

Champion mastery separates players at every proficiency level in League of Legends. Everybody’s heard the mantra from the pros: If you want to climb Elo, then you need to learn master two or three champs for a given role. Understanding matchups and critical item spikes defines the limits for plays, counter plays, ganks and dives. Yet even professionals can – and have – suffer in lane due to matchup inexperience.

An example is Jin Air Green Wings’ (JAG) Jin “Blanc” Seong-min. During the July 6 series against CJ Entus (CJ), Blanc faced Kim “Sky” Ha-neul twice. Sky played as Taliyah twice. Sky won lane twice, finishing the second game 13-2-8. So maybe it’s time for everybody to learn a little about the Stoneweaver of Shurima (released May 18, 2016).

Let’s start with something Blanc continued to mistake: Enemies who dash over (or are knocked through) Unraveled Earth’s boulders cause the boulders to detonate instantly. Before reviewing the numbers, remember that Unraveled Earth is Taliyah’s “E” ability and scatters 18 boulders in a cone.

So when Blanc continually tried to Shurima Shuffle on Azir his champion exploded before he could even cast his ultimate ability. Taliyah’s boulders deal 50% of Unraveled Earth’s initial damage (maximum of four boulders per enemy). The ability detonates after four seconds if an enemy does not dash over (or is not knocked through) the boulders – which slow by 20% (+ 4% per 100 AP).

All of Taliyah’s abilities interact with rocks in some fashion by the way.

Her passive (Rock Surfing), activated by moving near terrain or structures, adds between 20-40% (based on level) bonus movement speed, which both increases and decays within one second of activation or deactivation. Additionally, entering combat disables the passive and causes a five-second cooldown. Watch Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg stream while playing Taliyah and notice how the passive aids in his ability to pressure other lanes after pushing his wave. He hugs the wall as he heads top or bottom.

Speaking of pressure, Sky used a skillfully done Taliyah ultimate during a CJ Baron attempt, literally separating the JAG Jungler (Park “Winged” Tae Jin) from the rest of his team by creating a rock wall that obstructed the exit from Blue Buff (on Blue side).

As for the ability itself (Weaver’s Wall), Taliyah channels for 1 second and then summons a rock wall that moves through Summoner’s Rift in a target direction, creating impassable terrain for a few seconds and knocking aside all champions it passes through. Taliyah can reactivate Weaver’s Wall during the channel to ride at 1500 speed. Taking any damage or moving in any direction will force her off the wall, which will continue along its path undisturbed. At level 16 the wall has a range of 6,000 units.

Oh, and reactivating the ability destroys the wall, otherwise it remains for six to eight seconds depending on level.

Back to Sky. Winged was already in the river while his team was racing to arrive at the Baron pit. Sky ulted toward the Blue Buff exit, causing a potential Baron steal from Winged to be much more difficult given that his team could not assist him. Winged chose to cede the buff in exchange for life.

Riot will alter Taliyah’s “W” ability, Seismic Shove, in a later patch; but for now, the ability marks a target location, deals magic damage and knocks up any champions standing on the target location. An individual can recast the ability prior to the knock-up in order to knock a champion in a target direction.

So the idea is to cast Unraveled Earth underneath an enemy and then use Seismic Shove to knock them through the boulders. Remember the immediate damage from Unraveled Earth caused by knock-ups?

Finally, Taliyah’s “Q” (Threaded Volley) acts much like a Lucian ultimate. This might be her most difficult ability to comprehend. She hurls five shards of stone in a target direction during 1.5 seconds, and this deals magic damage. Enemy champions struck by a stone shard receive 50% damage from subsequent shards, while minions receive 50% bonus damage. This ability also causes the ground around her to become “Worked.” This means that, while on “Worked Ground,” Taliyah gains 10 – 20% (based on level) bonus movement speed, and only unleashes one shard of stone after casting Threaded Volley. This refunds half its mana cost.

For builds, check out Mobafire.

Taliyah itemization has been variable so far, though Sky built the same six items in both games. So the real question isn’t what to build. It’s why JAG allowed Sky to play Taliyah a second time, more than doubling his kills from the first game while maintaining the same number of deaths.

 

** All numerical data retrieved from the League of Legends Wiki **