As a H2k-Gaming fan, do you want the good news or the bad news? The shining light of the Worlds semifinalist’s off-season is that both Top laner Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu and Jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski have re-signed contracts with the team for 2017. The cause for concerns however, are the gaping, AD carry-shaped hole in the roster and a Mid laner whose future with the organisation seems uncertain.
Odoamne’s future with H2K-Gaming was never in doubt. Having joined the team during their Challenger series days in June 2014, Odo has become part of the furnishings at H2K, driving them through the LCS with his strong carrying performances. Jankos, as the team’s versatile first blood king in the jungle, was instrumental to H2K’s strong showing at the 2016 World Championship and has put pen to paper to secure his future with the team.
With the team’s two star talents locked down for the 2017 Spring Split, H2K fans will expect to see their team contesting for top spot in the EU LCS – the team will achieve nothing however, without two carries to complement the team’s poster boys.
Both of H2K’s previously contracted AD Carries, Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek and Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou have announced their free agency, discontinuing their plans with H2K. It remains to be seen whether the contracts of Support Oskar “VandeR” Bogdan or Mid laner Yoo “Ryu” Sang-ook, will be renewed.
I am now officially a free agent. Doctor says I’m 100% and looking forward to bigger and better things! I will not be returning to h2k
— Freeze (@FreezeLoL) November 22, 2016
My contract with H2K expired. Update on my plans at the link below:
— FORG1VEN (@FORG1VENGRE) November 3, 2016
Forg1ven initially joined H2K during the Summer Split as a replacement for Freeze, who was suffering from tendonitis in his forearm muscles. The team’s fortunes shifted dramatically following the roster swap as the team finished third in the playoffs, qualifying for Worlds after initially appearing destined to finish with a mid-table slump in the EU LCS.
After a 3rd-4th place finish at the 2016 World Championship, fans would have been delighted to see the roster stay together. Though faced with the choice of only being able to keep two of the current roster, nearly every fan would have opted to keep Jankos and Odoamne.
VandeR seems unlikely to leave, but it yet to sign his name to the contract – there’s no way he would leave his Polish comrade, Jankos. Ryu’s future hangs in the balance, with mixed reviews of his importance within the team.
The Korean is often cited as the team’s primary shot caller, often noted as the man who made the decisive calls during H2K’s victories at the World Championship. Admittedly, Ryu suffered through a bad series in the semifinals against Samsung Galaxy, but otherwise the Mid laner has been a staple of consistency – H2K will be looking to keep him.
Finding a good AD Carry replacement within Europe may prove to be difficult for H2K-Gaming. With PSG eSports sniffing through the regions’ talent and Origin, Giants Gaming and Roccat also looking for a new AD Carry, there’s certainly stiff competition to provide Jankos and Odoamne with the complements they need to compete for the Spring Split championship.