League of Legends

[Column] Meet the Junglers of the 2018 EU LCS!

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We should be hyped for 2018. We should be hyped for the 2018 EU lcs season.

This week Travis Gafford released an interview with GPL Jungler Levi from All-stars 2017. He commented that NA LCS seemed more fun to him as the teams were closer to each other. This caught my eye.

Europe has always had a huge bridge between the top teams and the bottom tier teams. It started with Fnatic, then suddenly Alliance and Origen would bring a little bit of shift until the G2 era started. Europe always had a leading team that would always win in the end. It looked close at the group phase, the regular season, but in the end, we all knew it who would win. This could change in 2018.

When we looked at the rosters that were announced so far, despite Europe losing some talents and bigger names we are still extremely stacked with talented players and most newcomers to be excited off. Except for Fnatic, every team is shifting and most of them even had to let core players go. Just look at H2K who lost Febiven and Jankos or Unicorns of Love without Hyllisang or Viszicasci or could you imagine G2 without Zven and Mithy? Me neither.

We knew the time would come where those star players might switch to North America, even now we could strike back and build some really interesting teams for the 2018 season. One specific role stood out as extremely promising and full of talent for the upcoming split, the jungle position.

 

Through the past year, we have seen a new generation of talented players rise up in Europe, some had a few shiny moments or old stars wouldn’t be able to perform as expected. But this provided the ground for new talent to shine as in the example of Maxlore. The jungler that would join Roccat for a short time in the spring split and bring a new beat to the roster. He impressed everyone not only as the charming and confident guy outside of the game but he also impressed with his skill inside the game. A maestro to a certain extent, a leader and also a playmaker when the team most needed it. He would be the missing link in the Misfits lineup to complete an impressive year for him and the organization.

Another impressive player was Xerxe who had a monstrous good run in the spring split with his 23 KDA and would dominate on his Ivern. With a slow paced but with very controlled decision making he would lead the team not only to decisive wins but be a constant threat to the enemy team even when his Ivern was banned away. Even if Maxlore or Xerxe had good 2017 performances, both embark on new journeys as they will be playing with completely new lineups next split and they will have to embrace the challenge to become the stars they could potentially be.

The Prodigies

 

On the other side, we have a few other junglers that struggled through the 2017 season and are looking for ways to prove themselves.

Like Schalke’s new jungler Pridestalker, he showed his talent to snowball with picks like Kha Zix or Graves multiple times. He would be able to outplay the enemy jungler and with that set up his team and secure important wins. On the other side, he showed us how young and inexperienced he still is and that he could become the next top tier jungler next split under Krepo’s guidance or just be another talent that wouldn’t pop off. Definitely, one of the junglers to watch this split as he has still time to develop but also prove himself.

Even Jankos new path in G2 looks exciting. He has been the best jungler in the region for many years despite a relative worse 2017 season. By the sides of Perkz, there could be the jungle mid duo to look out for. With Perkz safe and controlling style he should be able to set up for Jankos to have success in the jungle matchups. They have the potential to be the best in their positions individually as well as the strongest duo on European soil.

 

Even Broxah who joined Fnatic after Amazing didn’t work out looked promising at the start but would have difficulties as the competition rose. Despite being a rookie he kept calm and did what he could to help his team, his lack of experience was his biggest burden in 2017.

After the World Championship, this shouldn’t be the case anymore as he definitely absorbed a lot of new information playing against the best of the world in China. As Well as not starting new and Fnatic barely changing the lineup could provide the foundation he needs to grow individually.

Redemption time:
There are also a few junglers looking to redeem themselves as they didn’t  have a stable career path in the past two years or simply not being able to perform to fans expectations.

For example Memento he had good showings in Roccat in 2016 and in Giants in the 2017 spring split. He had it in him to become one of the better junglers in the EU LCS, mechanically strong but had yet to learn how to shot call in the later stages of the game. The talent was there all he needed was time. Back in Roccat for 2018, he is definitely one of their players to watch as it is his chance to establish himself.

 

While Santorin and Kold (previously known as Trashy) are looking to find the solid ground again. Both players didn’t have their best performances in 2017 and found themselves in a slump compared to their previous performances. With new teams, both junglers have a chance for a new start and they are already experienced players that can add a lot of knowledge through the variety of teams they passed through. It is the fresh start they need to lead a team to victories. Both player will lead the core of established teams in a fresh start. It is a huge opportunity to rise just as big as it is to fall. The stakes are on and their teams will be filled with some rookies needing to learn from their experience.

2018 looks exciting as teams invested not in Korean imports but in local talent. Even if they can’t compete moneywise with north America they are willing to take the risks in young talent for the next split. This new generation could pave the way to the new stars of Europe.

This is only one part that makes the 2018 EU LCS split excited. There will be more storylines, there will be more rivalry and there will be more on the stake than ever before.


Photo Credit : lolesports Flickr

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: https://www.youtube.com/user/DrPuppetlp
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