Everything you need to know about the EU LCS Spring Split 2017

Everything you need to know about the EU LCS Spring Split 2017
Mike Stubbs

After a lengthy off season break that saw Riot bring in massive changes not only into League of Legends itself, but also its major leagues around the world, the EU LCS is finally ready to return. The ten teams are locked in, the new format has been decided and almost all of the pre season scrims have been played, which can only mean that we are just days away from the LCS returning.

The Spring Split kicks off on Thursday, January 19th, with Origen vs H2K and G2 vs Fnatic being the first set of matches. Every match from the EU LCS will be streamed on the Riot Games Twitch and YouTube channels.

Schedule

Matches will be played every Thursday, Friday and Saturday with occasional broadcasts on Sundays. On Thursdays and Fridays the first match will start at 4pm UK time, on Saturdays and Sundays the first match will start at 3pm UK time. Each day will see two best of three matches played. You can see the full schedule over on the LoL eSports website.

Format

For the first time the EU LCS will play best of three matches, all of which will be broadcast on one stream. This is the reason more game days have been added each week, but is also responsible for the new format. Instead of every team playing every other team twice, the ten teams have been split into two groups of five. In weeks one through three teams will play every other team in their group. In weeks four through seven teams will play every team in the other group. In the final three weeks teams will again play every team in their own group. This means every team will play every team once, while playing teams in their group twice.

Groups

Group A

G2 Esports

Misfits

Giants

ROCCAT

Fnatic

Group B

H2K

Team Vitality

Splyce

Origen

Unicorns of Love

Fnatic and Origen play in the EU LCS. Credit: Riot Games
Fnatic and Origen play in the EU LCS. Credit: Riot Games

Playoffs

The top three teams from each group at the end of the 10 week split will make it to the playoffs. The top seed from each group will automatically qualify for the semi finals, with second place in Group A facing third place in Group B in the first quarter final and second place in Group B facing third place in Group A in the second quarter final. The winner of the playoffs will be crowned as Spring Split champions and will earn a spot at the Mid Season Invitational.

Relegation

The bottom team from both groups will play in the relegation tournament along with the top two teams from the Challenger Series. The tournament will be in a Swiss format, if a team manages to win two matches they will be in the LCS for the Summer Split, but if they lose two matches they will be in the Challenger Series for the Summer Split.

The team that places fourth in their group will not play in the playoffs or the relegation tournament, securing a spot in the LCS for the Summer Split.

The Teams

Group A

G2 ESports

Ki “Expect” Dae-Han

Kim “Trick” Gang-Yun

Luka “PerkZ” Perković

Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen

Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez

G2 remain unchanged from Summer 2016 and Worlds. Despite falling well short of expectations at the biggest event of the year, or any international competition for that matter, they proved to be dominant in Europe last year and this year looks no different. Expect them to be towards the top of the table.

Misfits

Barney “Alphari” Morris

Lee “KaKAO” Byung-kwon

Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage

Steven “Hans sama” Liv

Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun

This is Misfits’ first split in the LCS having qualified from Challenger just before the offseason kicked in, but that doesn’t mean they should be underestimated. Some are saying that Misfits will be a top team this split, and while they certainly have the talent we think they may only just squeeze into the playoffs.

Deficio casts the LCS. Credit: Riot Games
Deficio casts the LCS. Credit: Riot Games

Giants

Olof “Flaxxish” Medin

Jonas “Memento” Elmarghichi

Na “Night” Gun-woo

Martin “HeaQ” Kordmaa

Morgan “Hustlin” Granberg

After a disappointing 2016 Giants is back with a very different team and one that arguably has more potential than last year. This is a team that could go either way, and early performance will probably set the tone for their season. They are a wildcard, but could do well.

ROCCAT

Ambrož “Phaxi” Hren

Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian

Felix “Betsy” Edling

Petter “Hjärnan” Freyschuss

Kim “Wadid” Bae-in

ROCCAT is another team that had a poor 2016 but is looking to make 2017 their year. It’s fair to say they are far from the strongest team in group A, and will probably be looking to stay in the league instead of winning it, but as we have seen, anything can happen in the LCS.

Fnatic

Paul “sOAZ” Boyer

Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider

Rasmus “Caps” Winther

Martin “Rekkles” Larsson

Jesse “Jesse” Le

The king of the EU LCS has a new roster and looks, on paper at least, as good as ever. Rekkles returns but everyone else is a new face, although sOAZ and Amazing will be familiar to Origen fans. Fnatic will be looking to push G2 to first place this split and we can’t wait to see who comes out on top.

Fnatic win the EU LCS in 2015. Credit: Riot Games
Fnatic win the EU LCS in 2015. Credit: Riot Games

Group B

H2K

Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu

Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski

Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten

Shin “Nuclear” Jung-hyun

Choi “Chei” Sun-ho

This is a slightly different roster to the one that made it to the semi finals of worlds last year, but it looks just as strong. With G2 and Fnatic over in Group A, Group B looks like H2K’s to lose. Expect them to make the playoffs with ease.

Splyce

Martin “Wunderwear” Hansen

Jonas “Trashy” Andersen

Chres “Sencux” Laursen

Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup

Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle

Splyce making it to worlds last year was a surprise, but now with that experience under their belt and with no roster changes they do look like a realistic threat for the EU LCS crown. We don’t know too much about how they plan to play on the new patch, but if they do anywhere near as well as they did in the second half of the 2016 Summer Split then we are looking at a top four overall team.

Team Vitality

Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet

Charly “Djoko” Guillard

Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm

Pierre “Steelback” Medjaldi

Ha “Hachani” Seung-chan

Vitality had a very up and down 2016, and it’s tough to call what they will look like in 2017. There have been a few roster changes, most notably KaSing departing the organisation, but they have found great replacements and look in very similar shape to last year. They may not be in a position to challenge for the title, but if the team clicks a spot at the playoffs wouldn’t be out of the question. On the other hand, if it doesn’t work out then relegation could be a possibility.

The Unicorns of Love at the LCS. Credit: Riot Games.
The Unicorns of Love at the LCS. Credit: Riot Games.

Unicorns of Love

Kiss “Vizicsacsi” Tamás

Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir

Fabian “Exileh” Schubert

Samuel “Samux” Fernández Fort

Zdravets “Hylissang” Galabov

UoL had a strong offseason, winning IEM Oakland, albeit with a slightly different roster than the one they enter the split with. If their IEM team were in the split then they would be down as a top contender, but this new roster in unproven and arguably a bit of a downgrade. They should still do well, but think more middle of the pack, than winning the split.

Origen

Max “Satorius” Günther

Kim “Wisdom” Tae-Wan

Yoo “NaeHyun” Nae-hyun

Erik “Tabzz” van Helvert

Aleksi “Hiiva” Kaikkonen

It’s fair to say that Origen drew the short straw this off season. Their entire line up left the org, except owner xPeke who is finally stepping away from playing, and they didn’t exactly get top tier replacements. Spring is going to be a struggle for Origen, and they will almost certainly be fighting relegation. Probably don’t put any money that you want to see again on them winning the split.

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