During April’s EU LCS Summer Promotion Tournament, an odd thing happened. Two organizations with a combined 10 EU LCS splits under their belt were relegated by a pair of academy teams, as Fnatic Academy and Misfits Academy knocked out Giants Gaming and Origen.
Because organizations are not allowed to hold multiple teams in the same league, that meant Fnatic and Misfits were forced to sell their academy teams. Those spots went to Ninjas in Pyjamas and Mysterious Monkeys, respectively. The two organizations have taken divergent paths in building their new EU LCS roster, and we’re about to see which works.
We talked about this earlier Thursday — NiP went the familiar “add Koreans + ??? = profit (or Profit)” route, bringing two questionably-qualified imports to a team with no competitive experience together. In Jisu and Dreams, the Monkeys have two Korean imports as well, but both have at least half a year’s experience playing with this roster under their belts. Mysterious Monkeys learned the lesson teams all around the world seem to be slowly getting caught up to speed on — synergy and communication beats pure skill in modern League of Legends.
The Monkeys bring four of Misfits Academy’s five starters to the LCS, swapping out Milo “Pridestalker” Wehnes (now with ROCCAT) for Lamabear, Misfits’ jungler when the team originally qualified for an LCS spot. While this team may lack the high-profile names of some other teams, it will enter the EU LCS season a step ahead of its direct competition due to the familiarity of playing with each other.
A German organization, Mysterious Monkeys spent the last two years in Germany’s domestic ESL Meisterschaft, winning two of their five splits in the league (including the most recent one). Mysterious Monkeys participated in the 2016 EU Challenger Series Spring Qualifiers, but were knocked out by Illuminar Honor Gaming.
The team is keeping three of its former Meisterschaft starters as substitutes, and will be coached by former EU LCS support Petar Georgiev, who was the head coach of Misfits Academy. EU fans may recognize mid laner CozQ from his time with various successful Challenger teams or with Dark Passage in Turkey, and bot laner Yuuki60 from his two Pentakills in the Summer Promotion tournament with Misfits Academy.
New rosters are prone to missteps in the early season: one way to avoid that is by simply keeping an old roster together. That’s what Mysterious Monkeys are betting on, and with a stacked group of EU teams, we’re about to find out if it works.