Royal Youth is having quite a successful 2019. As a rebranded organization in the TCL (previously Royal Bandits), Royal Youth came into the year with İrfan “Armut” Berk Tükek, Can “Closer” Çelik, Lee “GBM” Chang-seok, Na “Pilot” Woo-hyung and Mustafa Kemal “Dumbledoge” Gökseloğlu. This is the organization that narrowly missed qualifying to Worlds last year, with Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik, Felix “Abbedagge” Braun and Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek in Top, Mid and Bottom Lane.
Even with some of these big names, the team was only able to secure a third-fourth place finish in Winter Split 2019. Moving into Summer Split, Royal Youth made the bold call to replace GBM, Pilot and Dumbledoge. Yu “cyeol” Chung-yeol joined from LMS team Hong Kong Attitude, and Barış “Tolerant” Çepnioğlu from Galatasaray Esports in the TCL. Luger was the anticipated replacement for Pilot, but that roster change never actually went through, keeping Pilot as bottom lane.
Summer Split was a massive success for Royal Youth, as they finished 16-2. SuperMassive was the next best contender, five wins behind. Royal Youth won 3-0 in semifinals, before meeting their year-long rival in the finals. SuperMassive edged Royal Youth for second place in Winter regular season and knocked them out of Winter Playoffs. Finally, Royal Youth was able to best SuperMassive in the Summer Split finals 3-2 to qualify for Worlds.
Closer and Pilot are the players to watch, as they finished the regular season with high KDAs (6.1, 7.4) and kill participation (71.2 percent for both). Closer won the most Player of the Games and was voted MVP in the Summer Split. Every player except Armut won 1st Team All-Pro.
Pilot has the most pro experience of all the players, playing since 2014 in the LCK, Champions Korea, EU Challenger, LSPL and now TCL. Armut, Closer and Tolerant have been starters in the TCL since 2017. Cyeol has spent most of his career playing in China’s minor league (LSPL). He got his start there in 2015, moving up to the LMS in 2018 and, finally, the TCL this year. 2019 will be every player’s first World Championship, and also their first non-Rift Rivals/IEM/ESL international competition.
For the most part, Royal Youth sticks to the current meta champions and team compositions. Pilot and Cyeol take scaling teamfighters, like Azir, Corki, Sivir and Xayah. Closer utilizes early tempo Junglers Lee Sin and Jarvan IV. Tolerant sticks with heavy utility champions Nautilus and Rakan, while Armut gets lane bullies Jayce and Kennen most of the time.
Since 1907 Fenerbahce qualified into the Main Event at Worlds 2017, Turkey has failed to make much of a splash internationally. TCL teams generally prove stronger than most minor regions, but still a notch below VCS and LMS. With only four teams able to make it out of Play-Ins, and the likes of Damwon Gaming, Clutch Gaming and Splyce in the pool, every game will count for Royal Youth. The LMS’ Hong Kong Attitude and the VCS’ Lowkey Gaming are the likely gatekeepers for that fourth Main Event slot.
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