New players are marked in bold
Former players are named within (parameters)
Import players are marked in italic
Top – Odoamne
Jungle – Jankos
Mid – Febiven (Ryu)
ADC – Nuclear (Forg1ven)
Support – Chei (Vander)
Coach – Prolly
The successful run of Season 6
Photo of the H2K lineup at Worlds 2016. Credits to esportswikis for the pciture.
H2K is coming in fresh from their best performance in a League of Legends (LoL) competitive season. The team reached Worlds through receiving the second most circuit points in Europe over the Spring and Summer split. G2, the team who received the most points, qualified to Worlds by winning the Summer split and therefore the circuit points spot went to the team who gained second most points. At Worlds, H2K managed to win their group unexpectedly and to many experts and fans’ surprise, considering they went up against the number one seed from China, EDG, which were expected to be a top four team in the world at the time. H2K tied EDG with a 4-2 record in the group and then managed to win a tiebreaker game against EDG. In the quarterfinals H2K went head-to-head with Albus NoX Luna, the first team in history from a wildcard region to reach further than groups at Worlds. H2K continued their great run with 3-0 sweep against ANX and their opponent in semifinals would be decided to be Samsung Galaxy. Samsung however became too though of an opponent for H2K to beast, and Samsung went on to finals via a 3-0 sweep. H2K should be happy with their performance, considering their fellow European teams, G2 and Splyce, went a combined record of 2-10 and both teams finished their groups at last place.
Nonetheless, 2016 wasn’t all clear blue sky and green grass. Coming into the Summer split, star ADC Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou left the team following disputes within the team. The team struggled during the split, and Tzortziou’s replacement Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek caught a wrist injury late into the split, causing a scenario where FORG1VEN returned to the roster. The change however, turned out to switch the H2K form around and the team went on winning spree to close out the season until the semifinals against Splyce.
Keeping the veterans in the lineup
Picture of Jankos, Odoamne and Pr0lly chilling at Worlds. Credits to H2K facebook page for the picture.
During the recent off-season, H2K switched out the majority of their 2016 lineup. The two players who were kept on the roster is long time top laner Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, who has been playing in the organization since June 2014, and star jungler Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski who joined the team prior to the 2016 season. The top side duo is a great basis with whom H2K could build their new roster, as they are both very experienced within the scene and top players in Europe. Jankos, known for his ability to be involved in first-bloods for his team and impacting the early game in the majority of games, will most likely continue to perform at a level higher than average as he has during the past three years of EULCS. Same story goes for Pascu, who since H2K reached LCS through the expansion tournament roughly three years ago, has experienced Worlds twice. In 2016, especially at Worlds, he showcased an ability to carry his team on carry champions such as Jayce instead of being the top laner only able to perform when playing tanks, a highly valuable tool any top tier team want. Personally, I’m willing to say this is the strongest top side duo in Europe coming into the Spring split. Loads of experience playing in the LCS as well as a year playing on the same team, communication between the two should be top notch. H2K has kept Neil “Pr0lly” Hammad as head coach for the third straight year, one of the longest standing coaches within pro LoL. Hammad has brought H2K to Worlds twice, however has been lacking of any notable domestic success. In addition to Pr0lly, the organization brought in Korean assistant coach Son “Stardust” Seok-hee whose multilingual ability might fit in great. H2K lost successful analyst Michael “Veteran” Archer whose importance or not will be shown during season seven.
Acquiring a former player and two Koreans
Picture of Febiven on the LCS stage playing for Fnatic. Credits to Riot for the pciture.
In the mid lane, H2K waved good bye to veteran Yoo “Ryu” Sang-ook who left for North America and team Phoenix1. To cover the position, H2K brought in Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten, formerly of fellow European team Fnatic. Diepstraten has however had a past within the H2K organization. He played on the team, with Odoamne among others, that qualified H2K to LCS back in 2014. Shortly after he left the team for Fnatic, where he had a very successful rookie year in the LCS and reached semifinals at season five Worlds. During 2016, Febiven had a hard time reaching the same level of play as his rookie season. “Febi” is still young and if he can get back to his 2015 form in H2K, the team has found a gem. In his rookie split he managed to perform the best out of all mid laners, in the region where mid lane competition is the toughest in the world.
In the bot lane H2K replaced FORG1VEN and Oskar “VandeR” Bogdan with a Korean duo. At the ADC position H2K brought in Sin “Nuclear” Jeong-hyeon, formerly of SBENU in the Korean Challenger league. Having played two splits in the LCK, Nuclear has yet to prove himself as a ADC. On SBENU he never found any success, which replicated his stats. Moving from the toughest region in the world, Korea, to Europe can hopefully unleash the maximum potential Nuclear possesses.
His partner in the bottom lane will be Choi “Chei” Sun-ho, who left Jin Air in order to play for H2K. Chei has been sharing the support position on Jin Air with Lee “Sweet” Eun-teak since he joined the team, however he was used as starting support the majority of games played. Chei has no major achievements under his belt from his time playing in Korea, and just like Nuclear, has a lot to prove during his time in Europe. The verbal communication in the bot lane should be the last thing H2K has to worry about but rather a problem become communication with the bot lane players.
My unjustified summary of the new H2K lineup is that it has a lot of factors which need to clash in order for the team to be successful in Season seven. Febiven in the mid lane has certainly showcased a skillset good enough to become the best European mid laner, but during Season six he wasn’t even close to being the best mid in Europe. He has to reach his 2015 level again or change into a more supportive style where he will support other carry threats on the team. The bot lane duo was both below average in their respective roles when playing in Korea, but the change of environment and coming to a worse region hopefully will factor in positively but a scenario in which the Koreans dislike what coming to the west is like and therefore doesn’t perform good at all isn’t out of the picture mostly because it has happened previously. Odoamne and Jankos is the two players on the roster I’m least worried about because they have shown high level play over a long time and very recently. I’m expecting high highs from the top side duo rather than any lows at all. In conclusion I look forward to watching the team grow in Spring and whether or not Pr0lly managed to fit the parts into one working unit, in that case they will fight for the trophy when the Spring split concludes.
The Roster Breakdown is a League of Legends (LoL) focused series of article, breaking down the roster of pro LoL teams around the world. Created ahead of the beginning of the seventh LoL pro season, the main purpose of the series is to overhaul teams roster changes, examine teams’ strengths and weaknesses and determine its fate coming into season seven. The series is written by a novice writer with alias kdc. Feel free to follow me on Twitter and I hope you appreciate the content.