There have been many twists and turns that have gotten us to this point. In Europe, two teams that almost no one thought had any chance are in the finals, while North America brings us the same matchup we've become accustomed to seeing every split. Let's take a look at the teams!

(All stats provided are for the regular season only; they do not include the playoffs.)

 

EU LCS

(2) Fnatic vs (5) Unicorns of Love

 

Fnatic (13-5) Average KDA: 5.2
Player Name Position Avg. KDA
Seung-Hoon "Huni" Heo Top Lane 3.9
Yeu Jin "Reignover" Kim Jungler 3.1
Fabian "Febiven" Diepstraten Mid Lane 7.8
Pierre "Steeelback" Medjaldi AD Carry 8.9
Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim Support 6.3

vs

Unicorns of Love (9-9) Average KDA: 3.0
Player Name Position Avg. KDA
Tamas "Vizicsacsi" Kiss Top Lane 2.8
Mateusz "Kikis" Szkudlarek Jungler 3.4
Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage Mid Lane 3.4
Pontus "Vardags" Dahlblom AD Carry 3.3
Zdravets "Hylissang" Galabov Support 2.4

 

It’s safe to say that prior to the start of the 2015 season, this was a matchup few, if any, predicted for the EU LCS finals. Fnatic had a complete roster makeover, with only YellOwStaR returning from the lineup that made it to Worlds last year. They had unproven players in 3 out of 5 positions, with Febiven being the only newcomer with any sort of history playing professionally in Europe. This new-look Fnatic surprised everyone, putting up an extremely strong season. They finished with the second-best record in the region, only two games behind first place SK Gaming. Top laner Huni instantly garnered legions of fans due to his often hilarious antics, as well as his strong in-game play. Reignover and Steeelback, two players who were almost complete unknowns, stepped up to be among the top performers in their respective roles. YellOwStaR’s veteran experience and leadership tied the team together quite well, and Fnatic’s gamble of going with players they considered to be rising starts instead of proven talent worked out better than almost anyone expected.

The Unicorns of Love gained an immediate fan following, due in large part to their team name, as well as their propensity for running unusual strategies (the Twisted Fate jungle still holds a special place in many fans’ hearts.) Before the split started, they had defeated North America’s #1 team Team SoloMid at IEM Cologne, and hopes were high entering the regular season. The team endured its fair shares of ups and downs, finishing with a .500 record. However, they were at their best in the playoffs. There, they took down Gambit Gaming in the quarterfinals, before recording a huge upset over #1 seed SK Gaming in the semifinals. UOL’s unpredictability can make picks and bans uncomfortable for opposing teams, as the Unicorns always seem to have an almost unlimited number of strategies that they’ll be happy to utilize. It’s been a magical run for them so far, but their biggest test yet awaits.

Fun fact: UOL was the only team to win both of their games against Fnatic this split.

 

NA LCS

(1) Team SoloMid vs (2) Cloud9

 

Team SoloMid (13-5) Average KDA: 5.1
Player Name Position Avg. KDA
Marcus "Dyrus" Hill Top Lane 2.5
Lucas "Santorin" Larsen Jungler 6.6
Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg Mid Lane 6.8
Jason "WildTurtle" Tran AD Carry 4.9
Jang-sik "Lustboy" Ham Support 6.5

vs

Cloud9 (13-6) Average KDA: 4.8
Player Name Position Avg. KDA
An "Balls" Le Top Lane 3.4
William "Meteos" Hartman Jungler 6.0
Hai "Hai" Lam Mid Lane 4.0
Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi AD Carry 7.2
Daerek "LemonNation" Hart Support 4.6

 

One of the most popular eSports organizations in the West, Team SoloMid is no stranger to high expectations. Typically, those expectations are self-imposed, as team owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh has often stated that the team’s only goal is to win Worlds. While TSM has long been an imposing force in North America, international results have been mixed, at best. As mentioned earlier, they lost to UOL at IEM Cologne, starting the year off on the wrong foot. However, things have gotten much better since then. Despite a poor performance at that event, new jungler Santorin has proven to be exactly what the team needed, playing a pivotal role in their 1st place finish in the regular season. WildTurtle has improved on some of his inconsistencies, and has joined Bjergsen in being a carry the team can count on. Dyrus’ KDA may not look impressive, but he’s an extremely solid player, and other teams’ propensity to camp him often leads to TSM taking control of everything else on the map, leading to quick and decisive wins. It’s possible this may be the strongest roster the organization has ever had, and while winning the Spring Split is only the first step towards going to Worlds, it would still mean quite a bit.

Cloud9 was previously the most dominant team North America had ever seen, posting 25-3 and 24-4 records in their first two LCS splits. They came back down to Earth a bit with an 18-8 record last Summer, and the first split of 2015 is the first time they didn’t end the regular season in 1st place. Health issues for team captain and main shot-caller Hai have proven to be challenging for the team as a whole, and have caused some consistency issues. At times, they look like the team that was virtually unbeatable for a year, and at other times they look completely lost and unsure of themselves in game. There’s no question that Meteos and Sneaky are still superstars at their respective positions, even as Balls has taken a step back from his previously unquestioned title of best top laner in NA. When C9 is playing at their full potential, there isn’t a team in their home region that they can’t take down. Whether or not they’ll be able to do so will be a determining factor in this series, especially since TSM has been looking quite sharp.

Fun fact: Since Cloud9 joined the LCS, they have faced off against TSM in the finals of every split. It was game 2 of the finals last year that C9 lost a single playoff game for the first time.


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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

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A longtime fan of competitive gaming, Jeremy got his first chance to work in the field as a writer for eSportsMax. Now eSports Editor for TenTonHammer, he looks to keep readers aware of all of the biggest events and happenings in the eSports world, while also welcoming new fans who aren't yet sure where to go to get the most relevant information. Jeremy always looks to provide content for new fans and veterans alike, believing that helping as many people as possible enjoy all the scene has to offer is key to its growth.

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