After a summer LCS split that has left the EU poster boys of last years World Championship in the dark wilderness, the future is looking pretty bleak for European fans in the face of their smug North American brothers. The medicine served up by xPeke and Yellowstar last autumn aint tasting so sweet falling onto the tongues onto their own supporters – God, I hope that metaphor was worth it.
For the past year at the very least, the World Championships of 2015 have served as heavy ammunition in the EU vs NA debate. Regardless of how poor an EU fan was at debating – backed into a corner, reaching into your back pocket and whipping out the Fnatic + Origen semi finalists compared to North America’s 0-10 group stage heartache could end any argument in an instant.
But this year is different, As OG Amazing will push to the front of the line to tell you, Europe has no “superteam(s)” this year and has completely failed to adapt to the meta changes. Meanwhile, NA has prospered. While Counter Logic Gaming were mounting a valiant campaign in Shanghai, reaching the finals of Riot’s Mid Season Invitational, EU LCS spring split champions G2 Esports were already mentally on holiday – way to represent your continent boys.
G2 have once again worked themselves to the top of the pile, followed by the unlikely Worlds contenders Splyce and the disappointing Fnatic. If you were already pinching yourself, pinch harder because Giants are 4th and Origen, yes Origen, are fighting off relegation. If someone had told any sane fan this scenario at the start of the split, you’d have no choice but to applaud the effort put into their Gragas cosplay.
What’s the problem with that you say, those teams deserve to be there!? That they do, but just as Leicester winning the Premier League may have felt great at the time, it’s gonna suck when they get ruined by the best the rest of the world has to offer. Splyce may well end up upsetting teams in playoffs and having a realistic chance of qualifying for worlds, but any more than that?
Under the surface, while everyone is enjoying the Splyce and Giants narratives, deep down EU fans want Fnatic to step up and dominate in a way only a team of their stature can. The sad truth is that the EU poster boys just aren’t going to get their shit together – Splyce will be one of the teams representing EU at Worlds and for that reason we are doomed. Europe is weak right now, rather than praying for grandeur, pray we don’t experience another Kabum moment. You can smell the friction from NA hands rubbing together already.
None of Europe’s best possess the roster to go toe to toe with their North American rivals, god forbid what the Chinese and Korean teams will do to them. Splyce have no experience outside of the LCS and there’s a good chance G2 and H2K Gaming might not even make it that far. Meanwhile Team SoloMid continue to rise up the ESPN power rankings (I keep a copy of those in my bathroom; though not for reading), Immortals have their hands on a 200 IQ mid laner and two Korean prodigies who are supposedly decent.
It’s all looking fairly bleak for EU fans heading into this season’s World Championship. If you’ve been using Fnatic as your get out of jail free card for a year now – it might be worth putting that ‘EU #1’ foam finger back in the cupboard and digging out that book of debating tips your estranged Auntie bought for you before you discovered League of Legends.