A critical review of transfer policy in European teams over the winter break.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with losing every game in a split, so long as you did everything you could. Which is why today, I’m ripping into the LEC teams who let themselves suffer the most in the winter shuffle (surprisingly not Fnatic by the way). Let’s go in reverse order shall we:
FC SCHALKE 04 ESPORTS (+BROKEN BLADE, LIMIT)
Key loss: Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu (Rogue)
If you hadn’t already figured it out based on my last article which focussed on the most hotly contested lanes, I really, really like FC Schalke’s upgrades since the last split. SK’s Dino “LIMIT” Tot and Han “Dreams” Min-Kook were going pretty much blow for blow in the Summer Season. LIMIT made marginal gains in the kill participation and gold per minute departments, meaning that on paper, him replacing Dreams should be a slight improvement. Schalke’s biggest gains, however, were made in the top lane, as they swapped out Odoamne (who elected not to re-sign with the German organisation) for the best top laner of the 2020 LCS Summer Split playoffs - Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik.
G2 ESPORTS (+REKKLES)
Key loss: Luka “Perkz” Perkovic (Cloud9)
It goes without saying that G2 were very lucky in the transfer period - Fnatic decided not to extend Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s contract when they had the chance - but no matter which side you support you have to agree that G2 Esports played their cards perfectly. The sale of Perkz to Cloud9, a deal worth $5,000,000 to G2, instead of their closest rival Fnatic may also be beneficial to their chances this split.
MISFITS GAMING (+AGRESIVOO, VETHEO)
Key loss: Danny “Dan Dan” Le Comte (LDLC OL)
Of all the teams bringing in young talent to the LEC, Misfits excites me most. Top laner Dan Dan and struggling mid-laner Fabian “FEBIVEN” Diepstraten have returned to the European Regional Leagues, and rising in their places are Tobiasz “Agresivoo” Ciba (who won the LFL Championship with Misfits Premier) and Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié of LDLC OL, the European Masters Spring 2020 champion.
ROGUE (+ODOAMNE, TRYMBI)
Key loss: Oskar “Vander” Bogdan (Misfits Gaming (substitute))
Despite winning the Summer Split group stage and very few upgrades seemingly being available, Rogue decided to make some roster changes in the off-season. First, they promoted support Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus from their academy roster AGO ROGUE after winning the European Masters in the Summer, and they signed Odoamne from Schalke for free since his contract expired. This is the first of two tentative As in this list - Finn “Finn” Wiestål suffered in the Summer Split, and was the only Rogue player not to get onto an “All-Pro Team”, but replacing Vander, the second-best Support of the Summer group stage is more questionable.
TEAM VITALITY (+SZYGENDA)
Key loss: Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet (Inactivity)
Vitality is another team to sign a player from AGO ROGUE, they picked up Mathias “Szygenda” Jensen to replace Cabochard, who was allowed to explore options for the 2021 season back in September before his contract expired in November. I’m unsure exactly how this is going to pan out for Vitality, but keeping the core of their roster the same may make the transition into the Spring Split a little easier for the rookie.
SK GAMING (+TYNX, BLUE, JEZU, TREATZ)
Key loss: Dino “LIMIT” Tot (FC Schalke 04 Esports)
Just as a general rule, unless something is going very badly wrong, don’t replace the majority of your roster unless you’re forced to. Janik “Jenax” Bartels is the only player SK retained from the Summer Split. LIMIT skipped over to Schalke, Dirk “ZaZee” Mallner was demoted to SK Gaming Prime, Kim “Trick” Gang-yun retired, and Juš “Crownshot” MarušiÄ became a streamer for Gen.G Esports. In their place are an assortment of young ERL and TCL players and former TSM Support Erik “Treatz” Wessén.
Joining SK in the B tier are Excel Esports, who lost Marc Robert “Caedrel” Lamont to the casting desk and acquired Daniel “Dan” Hockley from Fnatic Rising, and MAD Lions, who signed SuperMassive eSports’ star top laner Ä°rfan Berk “Armut” Tükek in place of their own star top laner Andrei “Orome” Popa. These teams didn’t make awful roster moves; it’s just they didn’t do much to catch my eye.
FNATIC (+NISQY, UPSET)
Key loss: Martin “Rekkles” Larsson (G2 Esports)
I could not believe what I was reading when Rekkles left for G2 for a grand total of £0. Fnatic had the opportunity to extend their franchise player’s contract and declined it. This also meant they lost their bargaining tool to get Perkz from G2, leaving them in an awkward position where they have to compromise on both their mid and bottom lane acquisitions. Returning from across the pond to replace Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek is Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer, the former Cloud9 mid laner and Astralis’ Elias “Upset” Lipp is filling those huge shoes in the bottom lane.
ASTRALIS (+WHITEKNIGHT, ZANZARAH, JESKLA, PROMISQ)
Key loss: Barney “Alphari” Morris (Team Liquid)
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, Astralis signed half the Prime League including Hampus Mikael “promisq” Abrahamsson who made a name for himself by dragging Schalke, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and almost H2K into the European second division and some of the remaining scraps from AGO ROGUE. If you want Astralis to avoid tenth place, you’d better hope that their only remaining player from the Summer, mid-laner Erlend Våtevik “Nukeduck” Holm, has a once in a lifetime pop off every week of the split.
There’s a week left to go until we see if Astralis really has inted the transfer period, but until then, keep your eyes on GGRecon for more League of Legends news, interviews, and features from around the world.
Images via Riot Games | tiermaker.com