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The Most Interesting 2016 Western LoL Teams

The European exodus to North America. The dismantling of Fnatic. Doublelift to Team SoloMid. The offseason has been a bit wild for the Western League of Legends regions. No team held onto their full 2015 roster, making

With the LCS starting up this week, it’s time to take a look at some of the most interesting squads in the West.

H2K

After his spectacular 2015 Spring Split, many wondered when Forg1ven would ascend to the top tier of AD carries around the world. However, when he left his former team SK Gaming to join Gambit, he didn’t find anywhere near the same success.

Now, the outspoken AD player finds himself on the always a bridesmaid, never a bride European squad H2K. There, he’ll be joined by former ROCCAT support Vander, who has always shown promise but never really found his footing. H2K may have finished third in Europe during Summer 2015, but that bot lane will have to come together and become dominant to push them over the top. They’ll be helped along by the European first blood king in jungler Jankos, as well as the up-and-coming top laner in Odoamne. Oh, and a certain Korean mid laner named Ryu.

They’ve got talent in all lanes, but H2K is now all about Forg1ven.

Immortals

As it turns out, big money can buy big names.

Headed by an investment group that includes the co-owner of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlys and the president of Lionsgate Interactive, they were able to buy up some of the most sought-after names in League of Legends.

With the former Fnatic top/jungle duo Huni and Reignover, the immensely talented support Adrian, and the stalwart pair of Pobelter and WildTurtle in the mid and ADC roles, respectively, they’ve got one of the most potentially scary rosters in NA. Full of veterans, the Immortals roster should be able to come together more easily than most. But the variety of differing playstyles these players have (Huni’s hyper-aggression versus WildTurtle’s passivity, for example), they’ll have to put together a cohesive strategy that works for all of them.

Team Vitality

Will the European super team work this time? Team Vitality sure hopes so.

By picking up the remnants of Gambit and members from H2K, ROCCAT, and Copenhagen Wolves, they’re hoping that the mishmash of veterans will allow them to find a foothold as the 2016 season ramps up.

On paper, the the members of Vitality have very similar play styles. KaSing and Hjarnan played together for a long time on H2K, bringing their synergy and aggressive plays to the team. They’re supplemented by Shook and his early game-focused ganking (he is a rare Riven jungle player, after all), as well as Cabochard’s carry style top lane champion pool. These guys are going to look to fight you early and often to gain early advantages that they can roll over into victories.

The question mark here is nukeduck. The mid laner made a name for himself back in 2013 as a member of Lemondogs, earning a reputation as one of the next great European mid laners. However, 2014 wasn’t kind to him, as he struggled with meta changes and keeping a regular gig. He’ll have to step up his game if Vitality hopes to compete in Europe, much less the world stage.

Team SoloMid

Speaking of super teams, TSM has one of their own.

Many considered the acquisition of Doublelift from perpetual rivals CLG as the biggest pickup of the offseason. It was hard to imagine that they could do better than nabbing the star player from one of their biggest rivals to bolster one of the 2015 roster’s weaknesses.

That is, until they signed YellOwStaR. The legendary Fnatic support is coming off of a trip to the semifinals of the 2015 World Championships, bringing his immense amount of experience and game knowledge to North America. TSM has struggled to find the right late game plays, something that YellOwStaR will be more than capable of helping them out with.

With his shotcalling prowess, TSM’s de facto captain and mid laner Bjergsen will be freed up to concentrate on what he’s best at - being the most dominant solo laner in North America. Combined with the aggressive jungle ganking of Svenskeren and the new new talent of Hauntzer, he may be able to prove exactly how good he is.

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