During the weekend, we got our last little bit of LCS action prior to Worlds in the form of the 2016 Promotion/Relegation Tournament. This tournament involves the 8th and 9th place LCS teams battling the 2nd and 3rd place Challenger Series teams for a spot in the LCS.
Europe started the competition off this past Saturday with SK Gaming taking on challenger team Gamers2. G2 took the first two games of the series only to be defeated twice in a row by SK to make the series 2-2, but in the end, G2 avoided the dreaded reverse sweep by defeating SK Gaming and earning their new home in the EU LCS. G2 Jungler Kikis is no stranger to LCS competition, as he was the jungler for Unicorns of Love during part of the EU 2015 Summer Split until he left to join G2. It’s worth noting, come the 2016 season, it will be SK Gaming’s first time not competing in the LCS.
Shortly after that series wrapped up, LCS team Gambit Gaming fought to keep their LCS spot against Mousesports. This series was no where near as exciting as the previous series as Gambit quickly defeated Mousesports with a clean 3-0 Sweep. Gambit Gaming will be returning to the EULCS in 2016 without ADC Forg1ven, who was suspended earlier in the year for toxic behavior and has seemingly left the professional LoL scene.
While Gambit will be returning to the EULCS, newcomers G2 will not be alone. In August, Dignitas EU earned their spot after defeating Mousesports to auto qualify for the EULCS. Dignitas EU will be replacing the last place EULCS team of the 2015 Summer Split, which was the Copenhagen Wolves, who were auto-relegated with their last place finish. What all this means is that when the 2016 season kicks off, G2 and Dignitas EU will be joining the EULCS along with returning team Gambit Gaming.
The following day had the NALCS wrapping up the weekend. The first series involved current LCS team Enemy Esports battling Team Coast, a team who is no stranger to the LCS. The series was finished quickly with a 3-0 sweep in favor of Team Coast, who once again will be joining the LCS. This was Coast’s second chance to get into the LCS this year, as they faced off against LA Renegades in early August, where Team Coast lost 3-2.
Just after that we had Team 8 taking on Imagine. While Imagine managed to taste victory in game 1, Team 8 proved to be the better team by defeating Imagine 3-1. The victory was bittersweet for Team 8, though, as it was top laner CaliTrlolz’s last game before retiring from the scene. Joining the NALCS in 2016 will be Team Coast, returning T8, and the LA Renegades who will replace the auto-relegated Team DragonKnights.
As we move forward to Worlds, we can’t help but wonder how well these new and returning teams will do against all of the tougher competition. The 2016 NA and EU LCS season is sure to be an interesting one, and I will keep you updated with any roster moves that are likely to occur in the future.