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LoL LCS Week 9 Recap: Ornn Reveal, NA & EU Merge, SKT T1 Issued a ‘Caution’ - Esportsranks
LoL LCS Week 9 Recap: Ornn Reveal, NA & EU Merge, SKT T1 Issued a ‘Caution’

Ornn Reveal

Riot has just announced their newest champion – Ornn reveal.

His full moniker is Ornn, The Fire Below the Mountain. A demi-god from Freljord, living in solitude beneath an ancient volcano, he can forge items of unprecedented quality.

Ornn will make an appearance on the Rift upon patch 7.17 release.

Ornn Reveal – Skills & Abilities

He brings his unique skills to the Rift. His passive ability, called Living Forge and Master Craftsman, enables him to spend gold and forge items for himself rather than buying them from the shop. Additionally, each one of his allies can get a single special upgrade for select items in the shop. How cool is that?!

His Q is Volcanic Rupture. It’s a classic CC that creates a crack, dealing damage and slowing enemies in line. A small boulder forms at the end of the crack.

W is called Bellows Breath. Aside from a chunk of damage it deals, which is based on your current health, the targets becomee Brittle. This is where it gets scary.

All Brittle enemies are knocked back by Ornn’s next auto attack and all immobilizing CC coming from Ornn’s teammates last longer, dealing a percentage of their health as damage. It’s a (W)ombo-combo!

E activates Ornn’s Searing Charge. The classic damage dealing distance closer has a unique twist. Upon hitting impassable map terrain, it creates a shockwave that deals additional damage and knocks up all enemies. Player-based terrain like Anivia and Taliyah’s wall, Jarvan’ Cataclysm as well as Trundle’s pillar, gets destroyed upon impact.

Ornn’s ulti is no joke either. Call of the Forge God seems to be one of the best fight initiators. Upon activating, a huge fiery ram gets summoned at a targeted location. The ram accelerates towards Ornn immediately, deals damage and applies Brittle to all enemies hit.

Ornn can then reactivate the skill, which will cause him to charge forward into the ram. The ram bounces off of Ornn and proceeds to accelerate in the same direction Ornn charged. This bounced-off ram knocks up all Brittle enemies in the air and deals additional damage.

NA & EU LCS Merge Into a Single LCS?!

Ornn reveal is great, but we certainly have more pressing matters on hand.

The first phase of applications for a permanent 2018 NA LCS partnership is over. The talk of the week has been about international teams applying to NA LCS.

Sources very close to the application process have confirmed at least one application coming in from China and four from Europe. Misfits, Splyce, G2 Esports and Fnatic all sent their applications independently of each other.

The chances for either of these teams to be accepted into the franchised 2018 NA LCS are next to none. These are all household EU LCS names. Besides, they would need to relocate to Los Angeles and heavily overhaul their rosters to meet Riot’s two-player import rule.

There’s some logic behind these applications though.

Splyce are based in Rochester, New York and have financial backing by Delaware North, Boston’s TD Garden and Boston Bruins parent company.

Misfits are based in Miami and have received investment from Miami Heat.

Even Fnatic have received some North American funding from the Raptor group, owners of the Boston Celtics.

Sources stated these applications likely resulted from the lack of communication regarding the future of EU LCS.

Does EU LCS Have Future?

For what it’s worth, EU LCS has always been sort of a testing ground for Riot. Last summer it was BO2, this season it’s groups.

The 2-groups format definitely doesn’t provide a balanced competitive setting for most EU teams. Top teams from both groups don’t face too many challenges. Cross group stage pits them only once against each other.

The two teams from the bottom, Mysterious Monkeys and Ninjas in Pyjamas, were doomed from the get go anyway. However, their bad scores have been exacerbated by overwhelming competition even more.

Just look at group B – 3 out 5 teams locked in fight for 1st spot. Meanwhile, Fnatic is almost uncontested at the top in group A.

Let’s not forget that teams and organizations in EU have much harder time finding sponsors with the mix of nationalities across team rosters.

At first sight, it really seems like making a single LCS instead of two separate ones, NA and EU, makes sense.

But, would that be wise in the long run?

For all of its drawbacks, EU LCS is still the pinnacle of competitive LoL scene in Europe. Taking it and its players out of the equation would do more damage than good. Historically, EU has always had its own gaming culture anyway, so EU LCS definitely has its place.

A recent comment by Riot Snowbird on Reddit puts this debate to rest. For now at least.

Turns out, Riot still considers EU as a strong Esports foothold. The notion of a new revenue sharing model, better planning and better accessibility regarding language barriers definitely gives hope that things are taking a turn for the better”

LCS and Beyond

Moving away from the drama and controversy, let’s take a look at this week’s EU and NA LCS.

This was the final week for NA LCS. TSM and Immortals have qualified for semifinals straight away, while Team Dignitas, Team EnVy, Counter Logic Gaming and Cloud9 will have to go through quarterfinals. Phoenix1 and Team Liquid will have to live through the promotion tournament.

EU LCS still has one more week ahead. Fnatic, G2 Esports, Misfits, Unicorns of Love, Hard 2 Kill and Splyce have qualified for playoffs, while Mysterious Monkeys and Ninjas in Pyjamas will have to fight for survival through the promotion tournament.

LCS Play of the Week

Witness the Matrix – CLG Huhi with a ridiculous double kill on DIG Ssumday and Keane!

NA LCS Week 9 Summary

The final week of the regular NA LCS season has finished largely as expected.

Four teams went 0-2 this week: Team EnVy, Phoenix1, Team Liquid and Echo Fox.

FlyQuest managed to avoid relegation by defeating Team Liquid and Phoenix1. Both of those teams will have to grind through promotion tournament.

Despite the losses, EnVy amassed a solid score over the course of the season to qualify for playoffs in the end. They will meet CLG in quarterfinals.

Cloud9 and Team Dignitas are another quarterfinals pair.

The winners are facing Immortals and TSM in the semifinals.

EU LCS Week 9 Summary

The situation over at EU LCS is still not entirely resolved. More precisely, group B is still locked in a fight for the first spot.

This week, Splyce lost against Unicorns of Love. That cements their third spot of the group and pits them against group A second-placed G2 Esports in the quarterfinals.

UOL and H2K have routine tasks against Mysterious Monkeys and Team Vitality on Day 2 of Week 10. The deciding series for the first spot between these two behemoths will take place on Sunday August 13.

Mysterious Monkeys and Ninjas in Pyjamas will be forced to go through the promotion tournament. Monkeys seem to be stuck and not progressing much, if at all. Ninjas have finally started showing glimpses of LCS quality.

In fact, Ninjas have recently added Matti “Whiteknight” Sormunen as their top-lane substitute. Furthermore, in the recent interview, NiP Head Coach NicoThePico said that NiP in EU LCS is a long-term project and the goal now is to use the remaining time to practice and improve before relegation.

2017 World Championship

With regular seasons of LMS and LCK officially over, we now have 2 confirmed teams that will participate in 2017 World Championship– GIGABYTE Marines from Vietnam (best placed 2017 MSI “wildcard” team) and Flash Wolves (Taiwan).

The situation over at Korea is still uncertain. Longzhu Gaming has won the group stage and auto-qualified for playoff finals. Their best chance at (auto) qualifying for Worlds is winning finals as well, because they probably won’t have enough circuit points due to poor standings at the end of 2016 season.

Regardless of these and other results, this year’s World Championships is lined to have some big names as sponsors. Mercedes-Benz, L’Oreal Men Expert, Logitech G, Intel and a Chinese dairy company Yili are some of the big names in negotiations for title sponsorship.

With Ornn reveal now in the grand scheme of things, the excitement intensifies ten fold!

The Bang Controversy Continues?

The saga around Bang’s controversial comment can’t seem to reach an end. LCK Operations Committee decided to issue a ‘Caution’ to SK Telecom T1 because of it. One of these won’t do any harm, but two will result in a ‘Warning’ and a score-loss in the leaderboard

The comment in question happened during one of Bang’s Twitch streams in February. One of the chat participants wrote: “Hey Junsik, Faker just got one million Korean won as donation. Work harder!”

Bang replied: “My salary would be higher than a hundred people like you put together. You should speak for yourself and work harder.”

It’s not hard to see why this caused such a ruckus.

Bang later apologized for the comment via his Twitter account, but added that the clip doesn’t show his repeated pleads to stop posting insults and compare players to each other.

“I am not a patient person – I’m rather straightforward. So, I may have wronged many people without realizing it. I’d like to apologize to those that I have offended this way, and I’ll try to be more mature from now on.”

Sadly, this didn’t help.

The increased psychological pressure and stress from this ongoing drama surely affected the entire team. It remains to be seen whether this will have an overwhelming effect on them in the first round of playoffs against Afreeca Freecs.

Best of luck boys!

Other interesting news, bits and pieces:

Doublelift on Team Liquid: ‘I don’t really know what the f*ck they’re doing’

Meteos on why not being a pro player has its merits

League of Legends is No. 1 in the world in terms of PC game revenue since the start of 2017

C9 add Westrice as an assistant coach

Dardoch: ‘This is not Breaking Point 2.0’