Misfits exceeded expectations in 2020. Good fundamentals, coordination and coaching led a group of underestimated, ragtag rookies to a strong fifth place at the end of the LEC Spring Split. The mischievous ones rose up to the occasion and turned heads as they managed to take down titans such as G2 and Origen.
However, at the end of the day, it just wasn’t enough.
The much-expected playoff run came to a screeching halt immediately as Misfits went up against their demons, Rogue, and were eliminated in the first round 3-1. The series acted as a rude awakening to a pleasant dream. The games exposed the team’s weaknesses and made one fact painfully clear: though they had the potential, they were not even close to being the best team in EU.
Among the flaws in Misfits’ lineup, one repeatedly stood out to both fans and analysts: the bot lane. Though they were by no means terrible, the duo of Yeong-hoon “Bvoy” Ju and Petr “Denyk” Haramach often fell behind and conceded pressure, especially during the earlier stages of the game. Critics liked to single-out Bvoy in particular: they saw him as below the standard of ADCs in the region. Statistically, this view was not far from the truth.
Ahead of the summer, Misfits fans have been greeted by both joyful and sad news. Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup, one of the best ADCs Europe has ever seen, will join the team. However, with the arrival of Kobbe comes the departure of Bvoy, who had grown a small but loyal fan-base.
Will Kobbe elevate Misfits into a true top-tier contender? Or will the squad once again fumble and fail come the end of the year?
The Strength of Kobbe
Titles such as “One of the best players in X region” are often dropped with little regard as to what they truly mean. The mechanical skill, game knowledge and sheer consistency necessary to stand out in the highest level of competition are attributes found only in incredible individuals. Kobbe belongs to this select group of players.
Recency bias will have fans believe that Kobbe is coming off a decent Split with TSM in NA. However, this view undermines much of the nuance in the Dane’s play. For a more flashy display of Kobbe’s skill, one needs only to look back at his performances as a member of Splyce (which has since rebranded to MAD Lions). During the 2019 regular season, gauntlet and Worlds, the ADC was essential to his team’s success, boasting impressive numbers in both damage and kill participation.
Favoring a proactive style with a focus on making aggressive picks, Splyce relied on Kobbe’s ability to gain pressure during the earlier stages of the game and then be solid come late-game as one of the only true reliable damage dealers in many of their comps. In high pressure situations, Kobbe was able to put the weight of his team on his back and execute amazing team fights.
An often overlooked series, Splyce versus Unicorns of Love in the play-in stage of Worlds 2019 is a great demonstration of Kobbe’s strength. In five close games in a row the Dane always has good numbers; he always marked the difference for his team and in one final, decisive play, he sacrificed his life to destroy the enemy backline and win the series for his team.
In terms of style, Kobbe fits Misfits like a glove.
Bvoy’s Important Contributions
To say Bvoy was a bad player, or even a bad ADC is simply dishonest and ignorant. The Korean became a true asset for his team; he developed incredibly in the span of only a couple of months and he deserves more than a fare share of recognition.
Bvoy is a player who has spent the last several years of his life far away from his home trying to hone his craft. Despite the cultural and language barriers, he came into Misfits with contagious enthusiasm. Through social media, coaches and teammates had nothing but good things to say about him.
Bvoy made sacrifices not only in his personal life, but within the game as well. The style of Misfits relied on the trio of their Jungler, Mid Laner and Support, who looked to open up the map and make aggressive plays. This meant that Bvoy was often put in unfavorable situations and forced to play defensively or try to scale. Despite this, the Korean managed to have some incredible performances during the Spring Split.
His development as a player deserves acknowledgement as well. By the end of the Split, Bvoy’s play, especially during the early game, improved quite a bit. It is likely that if Misfits had stuck with him for the rest of the year, Bvoy would have rose up to the level of the rest of the ADCs in the league and beyond.
But alas, it is with sincere gratitude and sadness that Misfits fans bid goodbye to one of the members of the team’s revival. Bvoy will forever have a place in the history of a team that needed him.
A New Beginning
For Misfits, the theme of the Spring Split was “redemption”. After four mediocre splits in a row and plenty of management issues, the organization made a considerable comeback.
However, just proving potential will not be enough for the mischievous ones come summer. With Kobbe on the roster, no doubts remain about the strength of each piece.
Dan Dan the man man is the top tier top, Iván “Razork” Martín Díaz is a rookie of the split, Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten is an established midlaner, Kobbe is Kobbe and Petr “Denyk” Haramach is solid in the support role.
Expectations be dammed; Misfits are looking like a true threat this time and their claim to the World championship seems more likely than ever with the change to the format.
Any Misfits fan has more than enough reasons to look at the future with excitement and hope. As for LEC fans in general, Europe can expect to witness perhaps the most competitive split in its history come June.
Featured photo from @MisfitsGG
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