Fnatic and Origen proved to be the best European teams at the end of the previous season, both having reached the semifinals at Worlds. This Spring 2016 Split, however, has not been looking so great for either of them as they went from the top to the middle of the pack. Their first big international test of the year is coming up next week with the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship - will they manage to prove themselves again?
The Fnatic team underwent major changes before the 2016 Spring Split after their star top laner, jungler and support all left the roster. Huni and Reignover left Europe for North America to join the Immortals lineup, while Yellowstar, Fnatic’s last standing OG, joined Team SoloMid. Fnatic was left to find three replacements - and they did so, in the form of Gamsu, Spirit and Noxiak, who was later replaced by Kaj.
The team currently has seven wins and five losses in the EU LCS, placing fifth in the standings. They’ve had some shaky performances including a recent 0/13/0 loss to Splyce, who currently rank seventh. After losing three key players, Fnatic needs to rebuild their strength. The Intel Extreme Masters World Championship will be an excellent opportunity to show that they can succeed on the big international stage. It will not be an easy task, though, as they have to face QG Reapers, who they lost to at Intel Extreme Masters Cologne, and potentially also world champions SK Telecom T1.
Origen is the second European team who went from being fourth best in the world to the middle of the EU LCS - sixth place, to be exact. The team underwent only one change - acquiring Power of Evil from Unicorns of Love to replace xPeke in the mid lane. The current lineup emerged victorious at Intel Extreme Masters San Jose, having defeated both Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming along the way.
Origen will face Team SoloMid again in Katowice in the first round of the tournament, with TSM defending their Intel Extreme Masters World Championship title from last year. The North American favorites have also not been performing up to their usual standard in the NA LCS after their roster changes - it will definitely be an interesting matchup to watch.
See you in Katowice!
The League of Legends Intel Extreme Masters World Championship commences on Friday the 4th of March at the IEM Expo in Katowice. Entry is free of charge so be sure to join us for all the action in person or by tuning in online!