This past week, three of the nine TCL teams had surprising roster changes in the midst of their winter season. Each of these teams were in the upper half of the standings, making these changes that much more surprising.
The former TCL champions announced on February 25th that AD carry Anıl “HolyPhoenix” Işık and Bahadır “Japone” Çolak were leaving the team. People may recognize Japone from his time on 1907 Fenerbahçe, where he competed in MSI 2019. HolyPhoenix is a veteran TCL player, playing since the start of the Turkish professional scene. He also competed with Dark Passage in the 2014 World Championship. This bot lane was a bright spot of this team, putting up solid performances in the majority of Royal Youth games.
Royal Youth have yet to announce a replacement support player, but 5 Ronin Academy AD carry Ahmet “Boncuk” Serhan Arslan will be joining the team. Boncuk played only one game in TCL Academy and only started his competitive career this year.
Support player Dumbledoge recently departed from SuperMassive, citing a lengthy history of homophobic comments from teammate Berkay “Zeitnot” Aşıkuzun. Following this departure, SuperMassive picked up Japone from Royal Youth. Before signing Japone, SuperMassive pulled up Emre “Fastlegged” Fraser from their academy team. With Fastlegged, SuperMassive have gone 4-0 in the past two weeks. While beating current first place Dark Passage was quite impressive, the other three victories came from the teams sitting at the bottom of the standings. Despite this, SuperMassive announced that Fastlegged would indeed be rejoining their academy team.
1907 Fenerbahçe Esports
On February 26th, HolyPhoenix officially joined 1907 Fenerbahçe, who already had two AD carries in their starting lineup. In addition to this, they also brought in support Berk “Farfetch” Badur to replace Daniel “Wendelbo” Ernst Wendelbo. Farfetch was previously the support for Galatasaray Esports, but he was replaced by Mustafa Kemal “Dumbledoge” Gökseloğlu during week 8 of the 2019 summer split. With a new bot lane duo, Fenerbahçe looks to improve their already impressive 5-2 start.
In addition to roster changes, 1907 Fenerbahçe also promoted Ali “Craft1x” Aklan to head coach following the departure of Louis “Sméagol” Green. Sméagol had previously coached Unicorns of Love: Sexy Edition who competed in the German national league. He has also coached LCL teams Dragon Army and Team Just. Crat1x was the head coach of Dark Passage Academy during the 2019 summer season, in which the team went on to place 4th in the regular season. He then joined 1907 Fenerbahçe in December of 2019.
With a little over a month left of the regular season, each of these three teams are still looking to claim a coveted first-round bye for the playoffs. 1907 Fenerbahçe made the largest upgrades on paper, and with an already impressive start to their season, it seems likely that they will finish out the regular season in the top two.
How will these changes affect the TCL standings? Tell Kenneth what you think @LegendsEmerging
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