So much has happened this week in the world of European League of Legends. Over the last few days, Riot has revealed a new title and logo for Europe’s professional League circuit and which organizations made the final cut for franchising. European teams and media outlets have also been reporting on the first player signings for 2019. Here is a quick rundown on all the updates.
EU LCS –> LEC
For the last several years, Europe’s league was called the European League of Legends Championship Series. Beginning in 2019, the circuit will change names to the League of Legends European Championship. Riot also unveiled a new three-dimensional crown-shaped logo to go along with the new branding. In their release, Riot stated “we wanted a name – and design – that better captured our unique brand, as well as our attitude”.
Along with the new branding, the LEC brought on some new organizations for franchising. While Fnatic, Schalke 04, G2 Esports, Misfits Gaming, Splyce, and Team Vitality were already part of the league, some older names have re-entered, and others are complete newbies. Origen and SK Gaming have been in the EU LCS at different times previously, while Rogue and exceL Esports have not.
Owned by xPeke, Origen stormed onto the scene in 2015 and finished top four at the World Championship within one split. From there, they slowly fell off, leading to relegation in Spring 2017. Origen went dark for almost one year, before making their comeback in European Masters 2018, where they finished first place. For 2019, the organization had partnered with RFRSH and sister brand, Astralis, to revitalize and enter the LEC. Origen also brought on prominent European caster, Deficio, as General Manager.
SK Gaming participated in professional European League of Legends from season one to season five, where they won several major ESL, IEM, and LCS events. They were relegated in 2015 by losing to Gamers2 in the spring promotion tournament, and remained in the Challenger Series/Masters until now. Representatives of Germany, SK Gaming brings sponsors Sennheiser, Razer, Mountain Dew, and Deutsche Telekom into the LEC for 2019.
Rogue is best known for its presence in Fortnite, FIFA, Rocket League, CS:GO, and Rainbow Six. In December 2017, the esports organization was acquired by ReKTGlobal, and includes investments from Steve Aoki (DJ and producer) and Imagine Dragons (band). 2019 represents their first entrance into European League of Legends.
exceL Esports has been involved with League of Legends since 2015, but only with ESL and UK Masters. This year, they finished fifth-eighth in the European Masters and third-fourth in the LVP Forge of Champions tournament. Guinevere Capital is the organization’s majority shareholder, also owning LG Dire Wolves and Overwatch’s Sydney Drop Bears.
Confirmed and Reported LEC Players for 2019
Several big names have already been confirmed as signed to a team, while others are reported by prominent media outlets as potentially signed.
Misfits has re-signed Maxlore as jungler, while bringing Febiven back home to Europe to play mid lane. ESPN also reported Soaz may join the roster top, and Jesiz will remain as a coach. Hans sama is still contracted to the organization, so support is most likely the only available position to fill.
G2’s big news is possibly bringing in Caps to mid lane, while shifting Perkz to bottom lane, ESPN reported. This would be an interesting move, but has not been confirmed by any LEC organizations. The rest of the roster is still under contract.
According to Riot’s contract database, Origen signed Alphari top lane, Nukeduck mid, and Sheriff for AD Carry. Jacob Wolf reported that Guilhoto will join as coach soon, leaving Schalke. Origen would still need a jungler and support. ESPN continued to report that HeaQ signed with Rogue as their first player.
The off-season has only been a short while, but so much is already changing in Europe. With four rosters starting from scratch and big investments entering the league, expect anything to be possible for the next several weeks. Players, coaches, and other staff will continue to scramble for their best opportunities and a clean start under the new LEC and the new year.
Featured Image courtesy of LoL Esports.
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