One of the original members of the Absolute Legends, which would later form to become CLG.EU, Mike “Wickd” Petersen is no stranger to top level competitive play. He’s been in the League of Legends competitive scene since late 2010, meeting long-time teammate, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen in 2011. Together, the two were a part of the CLG.Europe, which is regarded as one of the best teams of all time.
Historically, Wickd has a fantastic track record, only ever faltering to extremely good opponents, at least on a team level. However, with this past year’s performance, it was questionable as to whether Wickd would be able to maintain his team’s dominance on an individual level. Highly criticized to have a small champ pool, which with his picks in the 2014 Season and European Playoffs prove to be slightly accurate, Wickd’s performance in 2015 will heavily tax Elements, unless the off-season proves to have brought major improvement.
Coming off a one-year ban from competitive play from 2013, Shook was a hot pick-up last year when the original Evil Geniuses team split, with Froggen and Wickd staying in Europe. Basing off this past year’s performance, however, Shook (much like Wickd) will matter highly as to whether Elements perform well or not this upcoming Split.
Notably, Shook is one of the best Lee Sin’s in Europe, if not in the complete West. At Worlds, Shook was given Lee Sin by NaJin White Shield, of which he completed dominated and snowballed every one of his lanes. Unfortunately, though, Shook’s performance on other champions was kind of questionable. If the off-season proves to have been fruitful for Shook, Elements’ performance should be without a doubt, top of the line.
There’s not much to say about Froggen that the majority of the League of Legends fanbase has yet to hear. The #1 mid laner in the West is the pivotal part of this team for 2014, and has been for the majority of his teams in the past. He has an extremely wide champion pool with several non-meta comfort picks (hello Anivia). He has proven to be tremendously consistent on LAN as well.
2015, however, will be the year Froggen has the most competition in the EU LCS. With the mid lane being the biggest roster improvement for nearly every team, the amount of solid mid laners has increased. Notably, Fnatic has acquired superstar Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten, ROCCAT has picked up Erlend “Nukeduck” Vatevik Holm, and H2K has acquired Ryu “Ryu” Sang-wook. During off-season tournaments, Unicorns of Love’s Tristan “PowerofEvil” Schrage proved to be impressive on his Syndra and Leblanc, as well as Gambit’s Sebastian “NiQ” Robak’s decent performance at IEM Cologne. More than likely, however, Froggen will remain at the top of his thrown and prove to be as strong as he has been for the last several years.
Martin “Rekkles” Larsson’s departure from Fnatic wasn’t initially quite welcomed by the League of Legends community, but with his impressive performance versus Cloud 9’s Sneaky at IEM San Jose, the player received praise for the roster change in due time. Moving from the second best team in Europe to the best team in Europe may not seem to be a huge move, but Elements may prove this roster change to be extremely fruitful. Rekkles has always been high profile, and after having to sit out due to age restriction from Season 3 LCS play, he hit the ground running in Season 4, proving himself to be the best AD Carry in the region.
Rekkles is best known for his Lucian, as it’s his most played champ, but his Kog’Maw, Twitch, Tristana, Jinx, and others are also quite good. He proved this past year that he was arguably the second best AD Carry in the West (below Sneaky) and 2015 should be no different for the player. Coupled with a consistent support in Nyph, the bottom lane of Elements should be favored to be the best in the region.
Much like his teammates Wickd and Froggen, Patrick “Nyph” Funke is one of the older players in the EU LCS this year. He’s also one of the better supports in the region, only falling below Fnatic’s Yellowstar. Nyph’s play in 2014 was fairly consistent, which shouldn’t change in the upcoming year.
Expect consistent performance from Nyph this season and an extremely good showing from Element’s bot lane in general. The duo of Rekkles & Nyph will be one of the better bot lanes in Europe and I’m quite excited to see them perform versus the likes of FORG1VEN and nRated, Steelback and Yellowstar, P1noy and Edward, and more this season.
Elements will once again perform highly this split. The make-up of their team will prove to be able to play consistently at a high level and even though there may be a bumpy performance in the beginning of the split (as they adjust to a roster change), overall the team will definitely be top three in Europe this split. The team's performance relies heavily on how they mesh and the weight is on mainly Wickd and Shook's shoulders. If these two prove to have improved during the off-season, Elements should have smooth sailing to the top of the region's rankings. Make sure to watch the mid lane & bottom lane, though, as you're likely to see an impressive performance from all 3 players in these roles. Froggen will meet his hardest competition yet, but he's very capable of handling, as he's proven in the past. Rekkles has quite an easy way to success this year, as his competition isn't nearly on his level of his play. Likewise, if Nyph can overcome a small number of his opponents, the split should come as a breeze for him.
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Image Credits: Riot Games & ESL TV
*All percentages are Pick Rates from the EU LCS Summer Split & Playoffs 2014
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