Welcome to the fifth LEC Preview here on Gromp News. We have made it our task to provide everybody with an In-depth look into all the teams who will be participating in the new League of Legends European championship. We’re halfway there!
It’s time to talk about one of the highly anticipated teams going into the new season. Misfits. While many teams have filled their roster out with good players, it seems as though Misfits have taken it that little bit further with many describing the Org as one of the teams to watch this split.
So, without further ado let’s investigate the changes that Misfits have made. Both on and off the Rift.
A strong core with some familiar faces
As the title says Misfits have always been an organisation who pride themselves on their backroom structure and this explains the lack of widescale changes to the backroom scene. The likes of InnerFlame and Crazycaps remain with the side with Moose stepping up to become Misfits’ new Vice-President of Competitive Performance. However, the major change is former Fnatic Support Jesiz joining Misfits not as a player, but as their new head coach. While seeing Jesiz take charge of a team may come as a shock to many, when you look at it, it’s a rational decision for the Org to make. Since May Jesiz has been a coach for Misfits whilst also being their substitute support as well. This will give Misfits a rough idea of what Jesiz is like as a coach and the impact he has had behind the scenes. Clearly, the team was impressed enough to not only keep him on as a coach but to promote him. This isn’t Jesiz’s first coaching role as well. Prior to working with Misfits, he has been an analyst with Team Dignitas and also an assistant coach with Immortals. Nobody can dispute Jesiz’s knowledge of the game and we here at Gromp News feel that this is a coup for Misfits as they are acquiring one of the most promising coaches in recent years.
Jesiz’s arrival isn’t the only backroom change to be excited about. SKT’s own PoohManDu has joined Misfits as their new assistant coach. The 27-year-old former support has a wealth of experience coaching the likes of Invictus Gaming, Vici Gaming, and SK Telecom. Given SKT’s season last year they have decided to start afresh and that meant releasing PoohManDu. But what’s one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and Misfits have found the best piece of treasure they could possibly get. Overall, Misfits have done remarkably well building upon their already impressive backroom staff. The pressure will be on Jezis to succeed however, we here at Gromp News believe he has the capability to cope in his first head coach role. Especially with the staff, he has around him and the players he has at his disposal.
ADC: Hans Sama
Where do we begin? Well, I think we talk about one of the biggest moves in the LEC. GorillA to Misfits. Imagine saying that two splits ago. The three-time LCK champion was the last of many big names to come to the organisation this split. His reputation already speaks for its self. The last spring split GorillA featured in, he won with a 16-2 record and a 4.74 KDA. After narrowly missing out on Worlds this year Kingzone decided that they, much like SKT, needed a revamp. Yet again Misfits have benefited from another teams decision (there is a theme starting to develop). GorillA is still regarded as one of the best supports in the world despite him reaching ‘veteran’ status and there is always a risk that even the best Korean import may not adapt to a different style in the west. Nevertheless, Misfits needed a worldwide star in their side if they wanted to compete with some of the top teams in the league. The signing of GorillA was the perfect match.
With Fnatic’s sublime worlds final performance and the emergence of Bwipo as the teams new top laner (and at some points bot laner), it left sOAz as somewhat a backseat player. So, when the season ended at it was announced sOAz would be leaving it was upsetting but expected. Many thought that he would rejoin Origen to create a new super-team. Everybody was right about the super-team, just the wrong team that would be. The top laner will prove to be a consistent performer on the rift whilst also being able to change a game if given the right champion. In terms of skill, there isn’t much separating him and Bwipo. Both players just had different styles and Fnatic preferred to move forward with forward with Bwipo, leaving sOAz in search of a team after two years in orange. Yet again Misfits lured the player who was no longer wanted by their team. sOAz has been adamant that this was the right choice for him and the player is motivated to prove Fnatic that they chose the wrong support. We could be seeing one of the best performances of sOAz’s career so far. It happened with Doublelift when he was replaced by TSM.
The re-signing of Maxlore of Hans Sama round off the Misfits’ five-man squad. Both of these players showed last season that they deserved to remain apart of the organisation. Hans Sama is one of the best ADC’s in Europe in terms of raw ability and skill and whenever he stepped onto the rift, all eyes were on him to deliver when certain players didn’t step up. Maxlore was also one of the stronger players in last years lineup. He remained calm when his team was losing and tired to turn around situations with his knowledge of the game. There were certainly better performing junglers in Europe or in the US last split but his cohesion with Hans Sama has already been developed and it would have been a huge risk having five new players starting in the spring split. While Misfits had the ability to upgrade their ADC and Jungler their decision to lay a strong and solid foundation relates back to their backroom changes. Why build a brand new wall when you already have a solid structure you can build onto. This is why Maxlore and Hans Sama will be crucial in keeping Misfits stable this split.
Finally, Febiven returns to Europe after an underwhelming year with Clutch. While his performances weren’t always bad in America, his heart really wasn’t in most games he played. Febiven will be the first to admit that he didn’t find life in the US luxurious and quite frankly the player was homesick from day one. This isn’t giving the player a free pass. Possibly out of all the players in this starting line-up, he has the most to prove considering his recent performances. If we see the H2K Febiven of summer 2017 then he will be a coup for Misfits. However, it all depends on his mindset. He should be happy to return to Europe with a team of top quality players. Still, only time will tell if he fully delivers on the rift. If he can then there are not many negatives you can say about this side as a whole.
Are Misfits the favorites?
Quite possibly. They have a strong structure behind the scenes and are implementing coaching tactics and roles that relate to sports organisations. Not to mention they have a roster full of gifted players who on their best day could be considered the best in their position. However, while we cannot compliment their changes enough. We here at Gromp News feel that their still will be some adjustment period somewhere in the middle of the spring split. Other teams do have the slight advantage that they have got world-class European players who have spent multiple splits together, whether that be as a duo or in an organisation. Still, this will be a season to rejoice for Misfits fans as they have a side that is capable of realistically toppling the powerhouses and making it to worlds next year.
Predicted finish: 2nd or 3rd
By Tom Daniels