Few former Challenger teams have been as hyped as Misfits were before the start of the last EU LCS split, but the team just about lived up to expectations. After dominating the Challenger Series in Summer 2016 with a 4-1-0 round robin record and decisive victories in the Challenger playoffs and the promotion tournament, Misfits entered the EU LCS with the three key parts of its Challenger team (Alphari, Hans Sama and IgNar) and added two veterans (KaKAO and PowerOfEvil).
Misfits raced off to a 7-1 start in the first six weeks of play, holding onto second place in Group A even with a late season slide. In the playoffs, Misfits won a hard-fought five-game quarterfinal against Splyce before dropping 3-1 to Unicorns of Love in the semifinals and 3-0 to Fnatic in the third-place match.
The midseason saw a few changes for Misfits, but none is bigger than the one in the jungle. Out is KaKAO, once thought of as one of the very best junglers in the world, and in is Maxlore, a former top performer with Giants Gaming who just finished a disappointing split with Team ROCCAT.
If you compare stats from last split, KaKAO performed better than Maxlore in just about every major jungling category (including First Blood percentage and gold difference at 10 minutes). But a change of scenery could be just what Maxlore needs — he was instrumental in NighT’s All-EU LCS first team performance in Summer 2016 while on Giants, and with promising young carries in the top and bottom lanes and an EU LCS veteran in the middle of the map, there are a lot of good things for a jungler to work with on this team.
Back in Group A, it’s not unreasonable to think Misfits could finish in second place again. But most experts would likely favor Fnatic for that position, due to the red-hot finish that team had to the season (and there’s nobody picking against G2 for first place).
We’ll find out how those two teams compare pretty soon, as the second series of the EU LCS split matches Misfits against Fnatic. That’s on Thursday, June 1, at approximately 2 p.m. Eastern (US), so mark your calendars, folks.