A Year of Disappointments
The failures of Misfits’ LEC team in 2019 speak for themselves. The organization invested a large amount of resources into an expensive lineup which sadly underperformed. The team then hastily inserted a group of rookies as replacements late into the Summer Split, only to release most of them in the following preseason.
Regardless of the truth behind the scenes, hardly anything will change fan perception of what went down. Misfits gave off the impression of an organization which failed to exploit the true potential of talented players. Then, in an apparent attempt to salvage their results, they used a more successful rookie squad, made them look bad in the process and threw them to the waste side immediately after for good measure.
Misfits have lost a lot of good faith. Their harshest critics are the people who best know them, many of which made their voices heard in a recent Reddit AMA. A multitude of comments turned an opportunity for fan interaction into disillusioned and unhappy people expressing their distaste toward coaches and management.
It seems reasonable enough to wonder why someone might want to support such a team in the upcoming 2020 Season.
First of all, it is relevant to note the impact that negative bias has had in the perception and discussion of matters related to Misfits. Once again, the AMA serves as a good example. While most of the complaints were valid, the tone and the choice of place reveal the kind of disdain felt toward the team.
When attempting to look at matters from a relatively objective perspective, is there any reason to regain hope in a team that has consistently disappointed in the past couple of years?
Perhaps, there is.
At the very least, during the Off-Season, Misfits demonstrated an undeniable willingness to change.
A New Identity
Among the many aspects that the organization completely revamped, the coaching staff was no exception. Misfits hired Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider and Alejandro “Jandro” Fernández-Valdés as strategic coach and head coach respectively. Both representatives, especially in the case of Amazing, are experienced and respected figures within the European and North American League community.
With them, they brought the promise of a totally new approach when it came to building the roster and playing out the regular season. A video/statement published not too long ago by Misfits would confirm this promise. In it, the coaching pair would respond to negative comments made toward the company’s Off-Season changes.
What’s important to note is that the coaches’ answers here are not meant to simply mock or downplay the complaints being thrown at them, though they do joke around a bit. Both Amazing and Jandro explain their vision as to what they want Misfits to be and properly justify their choice of lineup. Crucially, and in complete contrast to the teams’ previous seasons, they made it quite clear that the intention of the organization is to nurture and develop young talented players over an extended period of time.
A Promising Vision
Jandro goes on to state, “Obviously, the perspective that we had (…) is that it was extremely hard to build a roster right now with players that were already on the league (…). Even in those small scenarios, you are going to have to make a huge investment of money that (…) is not going to be backed up by any guarantees that your team are going to be good. (…) The actual way to ‘attack the bank’ in the long term is to bring in rookies that we thought we could develop (…) where we can guarantee we are going to have the best team atmosphere in the league and work from there.”
These words are particularly powerful when considering the main issues for which Misfits were criticized during the last Spring and Summer split: an overly expensive lineup and an inability to offer a good environment for their members to train and flourish.
Seemingly learning from the past, the coaches sought out young players with attributes such as versatility, potential and ambition that could make up the groundwork upon which they could build a solid foundation. Their goal is to guide the rookies as well as to fully exploit the unique advantages they bring to the table over more established veterans. A lack of preconceptions for instance, translates into the ease with which they can potentially adapt to new metas and adopt new strategies. The team would keep more experienced talent in the form of Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten to act as a stabilizing presence that could further impact and accelerate the development of new players.
Overall, there is probably nothing that current Misfits management or representatives could do to erase the mistakes of their recent past, and neither should there be.
However, to hold grudges and presumptions against a group of players and coaching staff which, for all intents and purposes, are completely unrelated to those past errors, is questionable.
Perhaps poetically, in arguably the most competitive scene in LOL, one organization has come to represent its name better than any other; a team rejected by many, counted out in terms of its potential, comprised mostly of rookies with odd backgrounds.
To all fans of what the name and the brand represent; to all fans of underdogs and redemption stories; to all fans of the scrappy kids, underestimated by everyone, fighting hard to prove themselves against all probability; to all fans of a team with room for growth and development; to all who want to support a community that needs it now more than ever. You might want to look into becoming a fan of Misfits in 2020.
Featured photo from Misfits
“From Our Haus to Yours”