“The reason why we worked so well since the beginning, even way back in Challenger when we made it to the Challenger Series, our philosophy as Team Misfits has always been: we are going to play the game smart. “, said Misfits Coach Hussain after their third-place match in the spring split in 2017 in an interview for Slingshot Esports.
After Huni and Reignover left Fnatic for the 2016 season, there was a blank space in Europe, they had good teams but none managed to achieve success in the same year.
While teams like H2K, G2 Esports, and Splyce grew and played really good League of Legends. None of them got close to the success the 2015 Fnatic and Origen lineups were able to achieve. There was a reason why those teams were great, why those teams achieved their success. Every team, every coach, and every player might have a different take on this topic. What makes it interesting is that only a few manage to prove to succeed in this aspect. And this year one team stood out, in their own way. Even if they were the underdogs, this team succeed far over their expectations, we are talking about Europe’s quarter-finalist, Misfits.
Misfits were an interesting team to watch this year. They came in and took the EU LCS by storm and surprised everyone with how quick they can grow as a team. When the team qualified to the LCS at the relegations for Spring 2017, everybody hyped them up, they literally swept in Origen fashion in their competition in the EU challenger series and had a stellar lineup. Not only with veterans as Selfie and Wisdom throughout the challenger series, but also with the two new faces of Alphari and Hans Sama impressed everyone with their mechanical skill.
However, they looked even better when they joined the EU LCS in the Spring Split this year not only with stellar additions to their roster with Kakao and Powerofevil but also in their playstyle. They dropped their second series in the sixth week of the spring split. Their first loss was against the team that dominated Europe for the past 2 years, G2 Esports.
They brought in something fresh. A warding pattern that wasn’t meta until that point.
Misfits was the first team to rotate with 4 players as a crew to get their vision control. This was how they managed to set such a great record right from the start. The European teams simply didn’t have an answer to their playstyle. Misfits had their own identity, and they always adapted to the meta their own way.
Misfits would always find a creative answer for any kind of meta relevant aspect. Taking a look at this year’s World Championship alone, we’ve seen rotating Ardent Censer to different players so they can play aggressive supports. The fervor Leona from Ignar and the already known Nashor’s Tooth Orianna Build of Power of Evil. Despite being a good team filled with individual talent, they have also established themselves as an intelligent team by showing how they are able to adapt in a series against the dynasty of SKT. As they would pick in game 2 of their series against SKT, Misfits chose Blitzcrank to disorientate with SKTs scaling compositions. The picks continued to disrupt SKT's clean wave control in game 4 that almost won them the game. However if it wasn’t for one teamfight mistake at the 28-minute mark, they would have brought SKT down.
Misfits forced everyone to acknowledge their prowess and proved to everyone that they aren’t your normal rookie team. Misfits had demanded to be taken seriously. They might have been the underdogs, but they played like champions.
They may possibly be a good team, but it is definitely not the reason why they manage to succeed in the EU LCS. Being twice in the top 4 of the EU LCS and being one teamfight away to beat SKT in only in one year. History has shown that being a good team is not enough to beat SKT. So far only a few teams manage to beat SKT or even get close to it.
One of the most common symptoms of playing against SKT is that the opponent would start playing worse and worse as they would recognize there is no chance that they could beat SKT.
It happened to Fnatic, RNG and many other non-Korean teams in the past. It wasn’t the same for Misfits.
The days before the match, they were showing confidence on twitter from various members. They came into the set hungry to take the series and advance to the semifinals.
Misfits contested and didn’t tilt even after the devastating end of game 4. They fought every second of that fifth game before it ended in the last fight possible.
Teams have already shown that taking 2 games of SKT is possible but the hardest is to beat them for the third time. This is because SKT evolves as a team and plays better as the series goes on. Getting to that point is already for most players, an idealistic goal that drives them through the limit. However once you are at that point, it feels scary. Now you have to face your demons and beat them. That’s why most players and teams usually don’t perform exceptionally against SKT. Since keeping your nerves and mental stability under the live pressure is incredibly hard, most of them fail and don’t manage to get into the last series with the proper mindset. Because of this, most teams cannot close out the series. This is where Misfits stood out. Despite not being able to close out the series and beat the Korean team (SKT), they still went in with the right mindset and brought SKT to their limits.
Sometimes you don’t need to put the final results on the table in order to prove your worth. In this year if there was a team manage that, it was Misfits. Although Misfits did not claim a title this year, they have shown to us that they will stay true to themselves. Misfits will be consistently improving and playing every game as if it was the Championship match.
With their unique characteristics, Misfits stood out and we can only hope that they keep their 'Misfit' mindset and surprise us again next year. If there is a team to watch for 2018, it will be the newly experienced Misfits as they will be even hungrier to win that title.
Disclaimer : The following article was written freely based on the author's opinion, and it may not necessarily represent Inven Global's editorial stance.
About the Author:
Hello guys, Alexandre Weber also known under the ID: DrPuppet. I'm a Brazilian professional Coach and content creator since 2015, mostly focused on League of Legends. I worked with many teams throughout the years in major and minor regions, but my most known work was with Kaos Latin Gamers from Chile in 2015, where we played the International Wildcard Finals against Pain Gaming. Since then I have been studying Cinema in Hamburg and creating content on youtube and twitch, besides writing for respected sites in Esports. You can find me on the social networks under @drpuppetlp and on Twitch under DrPuppet.
Youtube Eng/Ger : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNK5KJkn4_fuh89s_rqsoWA
Twitch : https://www.twitch.tv/drpuppet
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/drpuppetlp/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/drpuppetlp
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/DrPuppetlp