The League Championship Series is League of Legend’s pro circuit for both North America and Europe. There are several other divisions across South America and East Asian countries, but for the most part these are the two leagues that I pay the most attention to. Honestly, there are so many changes to the teams that it’s hard to recognize many. Not only have some rosters been completely changed, but some teams are completely new to the tournament, due to the way that relegation and challenger series promotion works. Unlike traditional sports like Football where the same 32 teams play every year and only their rosters change (and usually only by a handful), in the LCS things are in a constant state of flux. This is troublesome for someone like me who believes that you should pick a team and support it, through the good times and the bad. The problem with the LCS is that the team that you enjoy is only made up of 5 players (and sometimes a few substitutes) and if some or all of those players disappear from the team, how do you have any sort of loyalty? I’ve been a fan of certain players on various teams, but for the first couple of seasons that I watched pro play I just watched as a fan of League of Legends, not of any particular team. Having loyalty to a Football team in traditional sports, I felt that it was time to make a choice for a team last year. I didn’t want to jump on the TSM, C9 or CLG bandwagons, as they are some of the oldest and most popular LCS organizations and I am not a bandwagon kind of guy. So I picked Team Impulse, as watching them last year was a pleasure and I really loved watching Rush make some impressive plays for the team. I also had several of the players on my Fantasy team during the course of the summer split and they almost won me the whole competition (Xiaoweixiao screwed me during the last week or I would have won altogether).
This year Team Impulse has a completely new lineup, only two names being recognizable (Gate was a substitute last year, and Mash has been on other teams) and I feel no loyalty to the team as a result. Honestly, TSM has one of the best lineups, but some of the teams new to NA look intriguing as well. Perhaps I should jump on that TSM bandwagon? Or maybe I should just pick a new team to root for every season? It troubles me, but I can’t seem to find any answers. The spring split starts later this week, and the official lineups have been announced for both NA and EU. Let’s take a look at those:
Basically, on the NA side we have recognizable teams from last year in TSM, C9, CLG, TIP, DIG, and TL. New additions are RNG from the Challenger series, IMT and NRG who bought slots from other teams, and the brand new FOX, that is a new team owned by a former Lakers pro player. The recognizable teams have seen a bunch of trading of recognizable names, and much of that has been known for a while (like the case of Doublelift swapping from CLG to TSM). Team Liquid is the only team that has a secondary team of subs and are saying that they might bounce between 1st and 2nd team players depending on matchups. Cloud 9 picked up Rush who was my favorite NA player last year, but I don’t really care for that team so I can’t see myself rooting for them. TSM holds to most players I like, having picked up Hauntzer from Gravity, still having Bjergsen and getting Doublelift. Yellowstar should also be a great pickup from the EU on support. Liquid is relatively unchanged as well and I like Dom, Fenix and Piglet. Immortals are probably the other best stacked team, picking up Huni and Reignover from Fnatic, Pobelter from CLG and Turtle from TSM, along with Adrian from TIP. CLG and DIG are meh to me. Fox might be ok, but I only really know Froggen. Then there’s Renegades who were impressive in the Challenger tourney, but who knows if they will go places in the LCS. It’s really hard to pick just one team to support, but I foresee TSM, IMT, TL and C9 being towards the top. I guess I’m back to being team-less, for the time being.
On the EU side, well honestly I don’t know much about EU. I know FNC was great last year, but Origen looks pretty stacked this year. There’s new teams and some reshuffling just the same, but I’m not concerned with rooting for any of them, because I’m still holding out for that great NA Worlds performance. All I really care about are those who end up on my fantasy team, but if you follow the LCS you’ll see there have been a lot of changes on that side of the world as well.
So those of you who watch the pros, are you having the same sort of conflict in rooting for one team or particular players?