Gamers2 ascend and Gambit defend in the 2016 EU LCS Spring Promotion Tournament | LoL Esports
Gamers2 ascend and Gambit defend in the 2016 EU LCS Spring Promotion Tournament
There are two sides of every story, and in the 2016 EU Spring Promotion Tournament, those sides are polar opposites. Of the four teams competing, two were only three wins away from realizing their ultimate dream: the opportunity to play in the in the EU LCS. On the other side were the EU LCS defenders, whose Summer Split performances forced them to defend their EU LCS spots.
We're all Gamers2
Gamers2 officially joined the ranks of Europe's elite after defeating one of the most storied franchises in the LCS, SK Gaming. The thrilling series went the distance, and Gamers2 narrowly avoided the threat of a reverse sweep from SK by clinching Game 5.
Here's the newly promoted Gamers2 roster:
- Top - Lennart "SmittyJ" Warkus
- Jungle - Mateusz "Kikis" Szkudlarek
- Mid - Luka "Perkz" Perković
- AD carry - Jesse "Jesiz" Le
- Support - Glenn "Hybrid" Doornenbal
Throughout the 2016 EU Challenger Series Summer Split, Gamers2 was one of the most consistent performers, finishing the Summer Round Robin with an 8-2 record and the No. 1 seed headed into the Playoffs. Despite their wins, Gamers2 had no reservations about shuffling around their roster mid-season until it was just right.
"With every swap we were were just getting stronger and stronger," reflects mid laner Luka "Perkz" Perković.
The most impactful change to the Gamers2 lineup came in the form of former Unicorns of Love jungler, Mateusz "Kikis" Szkudlarek, who would square off against a familiar face in SK's renowned jungler Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen in the 2016 EU LCS Promotion Tournament. Kikis, who is no stranger to guiding Challenger teams into the LCS, went the route of jungle assassin for most of the series. He locked in Kha'Zix for the first four games which worked early on, finishing 10/1/6 in the Game 2 victory.
As the series progressed though, SK were able to adapt to the fast-paced playstyle and consistent champion picks of Gamers2, and evened up the series at two-apiece.
"In a Best of 5, especially when it's a Challenger team versus an LCS team, they have a lot of time to figure out how we play. We played the same stuff for four games...and then we thought okay we need to change something," explains Kikis.
Gamers2 switched up its bans, put Kikis on Lee Sin, and moved its carry threat into the top lane by way of Lennart "SmittyJ" Warkus' Ryze. The Game 5 adaptation worked perfectly and Gamers2 dealt the relegating blow to SK Gaming in under 27 minutes, joining Team Dignitas EU as the newest member of the 2016 EU LCS Spring Split.
The Red Brick Wall
One stalwart of the LCS that did not flinch when faced with the threat of relegation was Gambit Gaming. Having already battled through the Promotion Tournament before, Gambit had the experience necessary to make swift work of the wiley mousesports.
Good old Gambit:
- Top - Lucas "Cabochard" Simon-Meslet
- Jungle - Danil "Diamondprox" Reshetnikov
- Mid - Felix "Betsy" Edling
- ADC - Kristoffer "P1noy" Albao Lund Pedersen
- Support - Eduard "Gosu Pepper" Abgaryan
"The first game was a bit messy, but after [that] we got a lot of confidence going into the rest of the series and it was also cleaner playing the game. We played a lot as a team and that was really great," commented Gambit's AD carry Kristoffer "P1noy" Albao Lund Pedersen.
While they were heavy favorites coming into this match, Gambit proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they still have the makings of a strong LCS squad. Lucan "Cabochard" Simon-Meslet, Gambit's star top lane talent, had a particularly impressive showing in the Promotion Tournament, skipping his way to a Quadra kill on Fizz at 22 minutes in Game 2.
Despite Gambit's decisive victory, mousesports have a lot to be proud of this season. They entered the Challenger Series Summer Playoffs with the fourth and final seed, but managed to 2-0 the newly minted EU LCS squad Gamers2 in the Semifinals, and took Challenger Series Champions Dignitas EU all the way to Game 5 in the Finals.
Against Gambit, mousesports repeatedly chose compositions that relied on their ability to snowball the early game. The EU LCS veterans on Gambit were having none of it though, and once they gained an edge in a game they extinguished mousesports ability to make anything productive happen.
Gambit now look forward to a clean slate as they enter the 2016 EU LCS Spring Split, eager to fix the problems that lead them to this point. P1noy's return from the NA Challenger team Winterfox to the Gambit roster showed great promise, as he had a combined score of 10/3/27 during the course of these three games. P1noy attributes his solid performance to the fact that he's back where he belongs.
"I thought I got worse [in NA], so it was really great coming back and scrimming with an LCS team and scrimming Origen and Fnatic, and feeling better about myself as an individual. It was really cool," says P1noy.
Next up is the 2016 North American LCS Spring Promotion Tournament. Be sure to tune in on Sunday, September 6 at 12 PM PDT to find out who will stay, and who will go in the 2016 NA LCS. The action will be available right here on Lolesports.