The League of Legends European Championship underwent major changes during the off-season, seeing both a brand redesign and a change in the league’s competitors. With just a week before the upcoming season begins, the league's ten teams are gearing up to show off their new rosters on stage.
Here are five teams to watch for the upcoming season.
This season could be Origen’s comeback story. The organization lost its spot in the European region after losing to Misfits Academy in 2017 but has since returned after being accepted as a franchise last fall. Origen welcomed players hailing from a variety of different teams, including former Team SoloMid support Alfonso "Mithy" Aguirre Rodríguez and former mid laner for FC Schalke 04 Erlend "Nukeduck" Våtevik Holm. If Origen can focus its talent in one common direction, it’s sure to find success against returning teams.
4. Team Vitality
Vitality surprised its viewers during the World Championship this year and shook up its opponents in the group stage, despite failing to qualify for the tournament’s playoffs. The team since parted ways with its former jungler, signing Lee “Mowgli” Jae-ha in his place while retaining the rest of its lineup from the former season. With its aggressive playstyle, the team looks strong and could easily find themselves towards the top of the standings in 2019.
3. Misfits Gaming
Misfits Gaming welcomed back Fabian "Febiven" Diepstraten to the European region after the mid laner saw disappointing results with Clutch Gaming in North America. The team also picked up veteran top laner Paul “sOAz” Boyer from Fnatic and support Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon from the Korean team Kingzone DragonX. With these new players, in addition to the team’s returning jungler and AD carry, many fans are placing their bets on the maroon-red banners.
Fnatic dropped the ball in the 2018 League of Legends World Championship finals when the team fell to Invictus Gaming. The team has since parted ways with top laner Paul "sOAZ" Boyer and Rasmus “Caps” Winther. In the mid lane, the team welcomed Tim "Nemesis" Lipovšek, a young but successful player from Spain. Looking past the region’s finals, the team is hungry for redemption on the international stage, but will they find it in 2019?
1. G2 Esports
G2 Esports caught everyone off guard in the off-season when the team acquired Rasmus “Caps” Winther, moving its former mid laner Luka "Perkz" Perković to the role of AD carry. The team looks overflowing with strength, but with Caps’ risky playstyle and Perkz’s lack of experience in the role compared to more established AD carries, the team could easily lose their footing next season.