The rebirth of Origen
In December of 2014, Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez left Fnatic to form his own Esports organization and League of Legends team. Origen entered the 2015 Challenger Ladder with an impressive lineup. Joining him was former Fnatic teammate Paul “sOAZ” Boyer in the Top Lane, and Jungler Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider from Team SoloMid. xPeke also recruited Support Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez who had recently come off suspension, and the rookie ADC Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen, then known as Niels. This world class talent and experience mixed with the skill and synergy in the bot lane produced fast success for Origen, and after one split as a Challenger team they were promoted to the EU LCS.
The 2015 Summer Split was the first in the LCS for Origen, and they proved that they belonged there. Finishing second behind an undefeated Fnatic, they breezed past H2K before taking Fnatic to Game 5 in the finals. Though they lost, their second place finish was enough to put them through to the European Regional Finals.
Defeating both ROCCAT and the Unicorns of Love without much trouble, Origen qualified for Worlds in their first split as an LCS team. In a group with Team SoloMid, LGD Gaming, and KT Rolster, they went 4-2 and advance to the knockout stage. Impressively, they knocked out the Taiwanese team Flash Wolves before finally falling to the eventual champions, SKT T1.
Though things went nearly as well as they could have for the new team in 2015, Origen decided to make some changes before the 2016 Season. Hoping to focus more on the management side of the team, xPeke brought in Mid Laner Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage. He started off strong, helping the team to win IEM San Jose by sweeping both Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming.
Origen continued their success in the 2016 Spring Split with PowerOfEvil starting nearly every game in the Mid Lane. Although the road was a bit rougher than the previous split, they went 11-5 and earned a spot in the playoffs. Origen once again made it to the finals, where they lost to G2 Esports.
Big changes came for Origen before the Summer Split in 2016. Reigning EU LCS champions G2 Esports acquired the nearly unstoppable Bot Lane duo of Zven and mithy. Origen filled the positions by picking up veteran ADC Konstantinos-Napoleon “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou and Support Glenn “Hybrid” Doornenbal who was recently released by none other than G2.
This lineup didn’t last long, and after the team struggled for the first couple of weeks, FORG1VEN left. Although they picked up a new rookie ADC, Augustas “Toaster” Ruplys, it was xPeke that filled in for most of the remainder of the season. All of this proved too much for the team to overcome, and Origen found themselves fighting to remain in the LCS. They beat Misfits in a tough 3-2 series, and were able to retain their spot, but things were bleak.
By the start of the 2017 Season, xPeke was the only player remaining from the previous split. He signed experienced ADC Erik “Tabzz” van Helvert who had been playing competitively since Season 1. To round out the roster, Origen added Jungler Kim “Wisdom” Tae-wan, Support Aleksi “Hiiva” Kaikkonen, Top Laner Max “Satorius” Günther, and Mid Laner Yoo “Naehyun” Nae-hyun, which allowed xPeke to move back to a substitute position.
Origen failed to win a series in the 2017 Spring Split, and went 0-3 in the Summer Promotions to be officially relegated from the EU LCS. They continued their fall through the Summer Split in the Challenger Series, with their new 8-man roster finishing in the bottom two.
Along with this extreme under-performance competitively, there were many indications that the management and infrastructure of the organization left much to be desired as well. Whether these were independent issues, or one led to the other, the result was the same. Origen had gone from one of the top teams in the world to no longer a team at all in just two years, and many fans thought that was the end.
Then, on March 29th, 2018, Origen posted a tweet for the first time in months. It read “We want to give back everything you did for us. The show begins. What’s next? #OGresurrection.”
Such a mysterious and unexpected announcement caught the eye of many. Over the next few days, Origen revealed that they plan to field a team to participate in the European Masters in April, and that Jungle legend Choi “inSec” In-seok will be joining the team.
So far, that is all we officially know, but there are plenty of rumors and predictions floating around. Will this be a one time thing, or is Origen looking to try to rejoin the EU LCS with the recent news of franchising? Is xPeke going to be playing again? Will they sign Henrik “Froggen” Hansen, FORG1VEN, and other veterans? All that can be said for sure is that the next few weeks will be an exciting time for any remaining fans of Origen and xPeke.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, April 3rd, Origen announced that former G2 Esports Top Laner Ki “Expect” Dae-han will be joining the team.
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Featured image courtesy of Origen Twitter