Unforeseen Power: Top 5 Players Set to Dominate Spring in EU LCS
With the EU LCS less than two weeks away, the vast amount of team changes and roster makeovers this offseason has made way for a new breed of talent in Europe. Here are five players to look out for this Spring Split.
5. Whiteknight108 | Unicorns of Love
Former PSG and NiP Top laner Matti ‘WhiteKnight108’ Sormunen has found another team to hone his skills at the top side of the map in Unicorns of Love. Whiteknight has made a career out of being a highly touted solo queue top laner with serious potential to take over games. While his performances for NiP didn’t necessarily wow a lot of people during his tenure with the team, there were a lot more things complicating his play behind the scenes that simply will not be a factor heading into this split.
For one thing, the lack of star power on this slim UOL roster in conjunction with their signing of Kold (formerly Trashy) at Jungle means that the pressure for him to succeed as a carry threat for his team will be even higher this time around. If Whiteknight can tap into that same aggressive prowess that earned him so much praise from his counterparts in 2017, then Unicorns of Love fans may actually have something to neigh about this coming split with their new carry top threat.
4. Profit | Roccat
Former NiP Top laner Kim ‘Profit’ Jun-Hyung has had a turbulent start to life abroad in Europe since making the move in May of last year. The former SKT prodigy didn’t necessarily have that same impact that Huni did on Europe as a whole with his play at Ninjas in Pyjamas, but their lack of performances didn’t necessarily have anything to do with his inefficiency at the role. Regardless, Profit will get another chance to prove his dominance of the region yet again with a new look Roccat roster.
With Blanc coming in at Mid lane to give him some synergy and cohesion at the top side of the map, and Memento in the jungle to make sure all parties are accounted for, Roccat have developed a blueprint of sorts to give them a solid chance at success this coming split. Even with their plans to hopefully upset many and perhaps make another playoff run in the coming splits, there are still questions to be asked for a roster that has interesting pieces to work with that may surprise more than a few teams in the 2018 season.
3. Hylissang | Fnatic
Hylissang’s historic four-year tenure with Unicorns of Love finally came to an end this season as he searches for greener pastures in 2018. While some EU pundits consider Hylissang a mechanical downgrade to Jesiz at the Support role, Hylissang’s ability to flourish with a top two AD carry in Rekkles might give him that added edge he needs to be a feared support in Europe once again.
At certain points in his career, Hylissang’s most redeeming characteristics have also been his most damning. Hylissang has always been a Support that isn’t afraid to push the limits of his abilities (for better or for worse). Now, with a reinforced coaching staff involving Jesiz, YoungBuck and Dylan Falco, Hylissang will have absolutely no excuse to not take over and be at the very best of his abilities in the bot lane with a premier team of talented individuals by his side.
2. Jiizuke | Vitality
One of the most highly praised mid lane prospects in recent years, Italy’s Daniele ‘Jiizuke’ di Mauro has been on the up curve since breaking into the scene with Giants Gaming back in March of last year. Even on the back of a relegation season in Summer, Jiizuke was regularly the most dangerous prospect on his team as he forced Giants Gaming into a 2018 LCS spot with his performances.
The tenants of his success were always in conjunction with his ability to dominate in lane and carry that advantage to the rest of the map. With a new change in scenery in Vitality, Jiizuke’s continued run of form with Gilius at the jungle position will be crucial to Vitality’s success overall in the coming season. This may be the season where Jiizuke turns into the ‘Italian g0d’ once and for all.
1. Upset | Schalke 04
The only concurrent member of Schalke 04’s 2017 line up has now been refueled with a lot of new faces to accompany his rise. Germany’s Elias ‘Upset’ Lipp was the sole carry for a rather average line-up last season in the LCS. When they competed in the EU Challenger Series last split, Upset and co. made history being the first team to go undefeated in the CS regular season going 5-0-0. Many Schalke fans have reveled in keeping the German marksman for another season along with their new additions.
For Upset, the most beneficial addition to his success as an AD carry will be Vander’s addition at the Support role. Vander has always been a top tier Support in the LCS since his debut in 2014, if he can find a way to synergize effectively with Upset at the early goings of this split, they may very well be the next dominant bot lane in EU to take over the void Zven and Mithy left behind this season.
On top of the roster changes, Krepo coming in as Head Coach for Schalke 04 will be the most important piece to the puzzle to make sure all players perform their role accordingly. If Krepo can successfully rally the troops and keep the focus throughout the season, Upset will be a household name by the end of the year.