The 2015 season brought a ton of incredible moments for the world of League of Legends. Before the year really started, we had an idea that it was going to be a good one, but no one really knew exactly what we were in for. To say the year was full of surprises would be an understatement, but in the most positive of ways.
The game has provided us with memorable moments all over the world, but on this last day of 2015, let’s take a look back at the top 5 events that defined Western League of Legends eSports. The following list is in chronological order, and is, of course, completely subjective.
5) Fnatic finishes the first undefeated season in LCS history
This achievement was one for the record books. The team of Huni, Reignover, Febiven, Rekkles and Yellowstar became the first squad in LCS history to go undefeated during the regular season, showing off just how dominant they truly were. There was no question that they were the best team in Europe during the 2015 Summer Split, and they capped it off by not losing a single game in the playoffs, up until the finals against Origen.
Unfortunately, the band couldn’t stay together, as only Febiven and Rekkles will remain with Fnatic for the 2016 season. Even so, the 2015 version of the team will live in history as perhaps the best team the LCS (in either EU or NA) has ever seen.
4) Counter Logic Gaming finally hoists a trophy
Over in North America, there was a different kind of history being made. Counter Logic Gaming is one of the region’s oldest organizations, and yet had never truly found their way to the top. The 2015 Summer Split was a different story, however, as CLG finally became kings of NA. There was no better way for them to do it, as they became champions by sweeping long-time rival Team SoloMid in the NA LCS playoffs, in a series that was never even close.
CLG is going to look quite different in the coming year after the departures of Doublelift and Pobelter, but no matter what happens from here on, they will no longer be the team that could never quite seal the deal.
3) Origen goes from Challenger team to Worlds semi-finalists
When xPeke left Fnatic to form his own organization, it was difficult to know what to expect. However, he knew exactly what he was doing, putting together the perfect blend of veteran experience and young talent. Origen tore through the Challenger scene in the Spring of 2015, and continued their dominance once they entered the LCS in the Summer. They became the only team to win even a single game against Fnatic, but didn’t stop there.
Origen showed the world they are, indeed, a top-tier team, making it all the way to the semi-finals of the World Championships, taking out the Flash Wolves in the first round of the playoffs. They fell to eventual champions SKT, but there’s certainly no shame in that. Origen also recently took first place at IEM San Jose, and being one of the few European teams to not undergo major roster changes this offseason (with the exception of adding PowerOfEvil), they go into the 2016 season as favorites in their region.
2) “The gap is closing”
It’s become little more than a meme at this point, the idea put forth by a member of Riot Games that “the gap is closing” (referring to the skill level of Korean teams compared to the rest of the world.) Western teams would certainly like to believe that this is true, and they’re doing everything they can to attempt to fulfill this prophecy. However, it didn’t really happen in 2015. For the first time, the World Championship finals featured two Korean teams, and SK Telecom T1 became the first repeat champions.
We’ll have to wait and see what next year holds, but 2015 showed that, without a doubt, Korea is still the team to beat in competitive League of Legends.
1) Notable departures
This offseason has seen some noteworthy names retire as players, including Team SoloMid’s Marcus “Dyrus” Hill and Cloud9’s Daerek “LemonNation” Hart. In addition, we saw Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng leave CLG, only to join their archrival TSM.
Over in Europe, Gambit Gaming is gone from the pro scene (at least for the time being), while Elements will field a brand new roster. Legendary mid laner Henrik “Froggen” Hansen is still without a team, and his future is uncertain. This has truly been an offseason rife with upheaval, and both regions of the LCS are going to look vastly different in 2016.
These were some of the biggest moments that defined 2015, but now it’s time to look forward to the new year. This writer, for one, can’t wait to see what’s in store.
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