Considering Team Vitality boast exclusive sponsorship deals with household names such as Adidas, Canal+ and DailyMotion, fans might have expected the organisation to have a more prominent presence in the European League of Legends scene – currently they fulfil no purpose.
The EU LCS’ only French organisation, Team Vitality seemingly relies on its nationality to provide any sort of fanbase. If it was not for the few remaining French patriots supporting the brand, Team Vitality’s reason for existence in the EU LCS would be difficult to validate.
Vitality occupy an awkward middle ground in the EU LCS, perhaps the one mid-tier team occupying a slot in the league.
Below them, the likes of Team ROCCAT, Mysterious Monkeys and Ninjas in Pyjamas will inevitably scrap to avoid relegation, though there remains little threat of VIT ever been dragged into the dogfight themselves. Meanwhile, Vitality are considered an easy win for the region’s World Championship contenders such as G2 eSports and Fnatic, even Splyce who are likely to finish as Europe’s 5th place team brush past the french outfit without breaking a sweat.
Indeed as Team Vitality exited the stage at the conclusion of their one Week 2 fixture, Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi’s men had barely managed to scratch Spylce, committing too many errors to ever contest victory.
Another loss, hope we will be able to show more next week. Ggs to splyce nonetheless !
— Cabochard (@CabochardLoL) 9 June 2017
Good early like always but need to fix thoses mistake in mid late game sorry once more for let you down…
— VIT Djoko (@V_Djoko) 9 June 2017
We have to learn how to play better together. Bad mid/late we are not on the same page. Hard to fix everything in one month. #EULCS
— Vander (@VanderLCS) 9 June 2017
Nothing builds a fanbase faster than success, though naturally not every organisation can be a Fnatic or a G2 eSports. For the team’s fighting it out at the bottom, alternatives such as engaging team personalities, creative content or refreshing play styles can all contribute to a cult following – Vitality do not appear to possess any of the above.
Once upon a time, Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet, Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm, Oskar “Vander” Bogdan and Pierre “Steeelback” Medjaldi were all considered to be top-tier players in their respective positions. After a promising start to life in the EU LCS in the Spring Split of 2016, Team Vitality are now in need of a complete roster overhaul.
Since the departure of Raymond “kaSing” Tsang, Vitality have been aimlessly wandering through the wilderness. Once their most reliable members, both Cabochard and Nukeduck appear to shadows of the former selves. Steeelback’s potential has never been fulfilled since being ousted from Fnatic, and the AD Carry2 has continually flattered to deceive since joining Vitality from Team ROCCAT.
The promise the team showed in the Spring of 2016 understandably provided reason for optimism.
With a solid bot lane duo of Petter “Hjarnan” Freyschuss and kaSing, a top laner with the ability to carry in Cabochard and a reliable, veteran mid/jungle combination in Nukeduck and Ilyas “Shook” Hartsema, analysts predicted that Team Vitality could develop into a dominant European force… look where we are now.
The small remaining French fanbase that has stuck by VIT is dwindling fast, set to suffer a sizeable deficit if PSG eSports work their way into the EU LCS. With no competitive aspirations and seemingly no plan of action to amend their failures, Team Vitality may as well close their eyes and await whatever fate lies ahead of them.