Update: Minutes after our post went up, Westrice made this post on the general forums clarifying the situation. Aphromoo will not be leaving V8, and EG is currently exploring ClakeyD, Lapakaa, Dontmashme and Kenikth for various roles on the team. For more information, be sure to click through to his thread.
Epik Gamer is already in a bit of turmoil, but if the rumors are true, things might be shaking up just a little bit more... community member Vilpris caught the following screenshot:
If true, this will mark the second change for Epik Gamer's lineup this week. It would also come as a bit of a shock; Dan Dinh is the founder and widely viewed as the leader of Epik Gamer.
Aphromoo, the ranged AD player for v8 esports, has a bit of a history with Epik Gamer. He frequently plays with Nhat Nguyen, the support player for EG, and also subbed in for Dan during the CLG Last Call tournament (EG took second place, losing to Team Dignitas in the finals). clakeyD is well known within the fighting game community, but (to our knowledge) this is the first competitive League of Legends team he would be part of.
The biggest news in the NA circuit has been Dyrus' decision to leave Epik Gamer to join Team SoloMid. Many "saw this coming" from a mile away. With Dyrus living at the TSM gaming house and having found success working with Reginald and Xpecial during WCG-Korea, the possibility that he would leave EG has been a constant source of water-cooler discussion, if the League of Legends community had some sort of water cooler by which to congregate.
Team SoloMid is unquestionably a stronger team for this. While a fine player in his own right, The Rain Man (TSM's former top lane) had a different philosophy than his teammates when it came to League. At the highest level of competitive play, "different philosophy" will easily be the difference between second place and first, or between the quarterfinals and a group-stage exit. The decision may have been difficult for The Rain Man, just as it may have been difficult for the team to agree with his decision, but it was the correct move for everyone involved. And I truly doubt this is the last we'll see of The Rain Man.
The secret benefactors of this exchange, however, just might be Epik Gamer.
This isn't to say Dyrus was the cause of EG's woes. EG will always have difficulty maintaining a presence among the top teams until it manages to find a sponsor. With the immense amount of talent on this team -- the group routinely finds itself in the final round of the events it competes in -- it still baffles me that these guys haven't found a sponsor. But that's neither here nor there.
What is here and also there is the opportunity Epik Gamer has to properly round out its roster. With Dyrus on board, EG played the strange hand of two top-lane players and no real ranged AD. Sometimes Dyrus filled this role, other times it was Westrice and, on occasion, Dan Dinh picked up the sometimes-bow-but-mostly-guns. So yeah, anyone could play the role, but it was very clear none wanted to commit to it.
While this has quietly made EG a difficult team to read, it also made things more difficult for itself internally. Any regular support player -- professional or otherwise -- will agree that the role is much, much easier when you know the AD player you're laning with. Your lane's success rate becomes dramatically higher with consistency than with strangers, friends or teammates who don't dedicate themselves to the job. This synergy is why Chaox and Xpecial are considered such a strong duo despite TSM's recent slump (though many opine that the play at Hannover was, erm, sloppy), and it's why Counter Logic Gaming initially struggled when Chauster moved to support and Doublelift joined as the AD carry. The AD carry and the support need to understand and trust one another in order to achieve maximum success. This is an opportunity that Nhat Nguyen never really received; instead he was the operator of the AD carousel.
Because Dan Dinh has been so willing to adapt to the needs of his team, Epik Gamer is in a much better position to find a replacement than, say, Team Dignitas was when Jatt retired. Westrice should now be entrenched in the top lane (though that's reportedly up for debate), where he's best utilized. Nhat Nguyen should have the chance to play with a dedicated ranged AD (be it Dan or the future member). All Salce will have to do is adjust to a new person getting in his way as he makes everything around him explode.
This won't be a quick process; it's never a quick process for the team that lost a member. But last time EG had a roster change, it went on to have strong showings at the events it participated in (IPL3 and MLG Providence). There's no reason to think EG will perform at anything less than the its previous level when this short-term setback is resolved.
State of the League Episode 27 is happening tonight with Choax, Xpecial, Dyrus, Wickd, and Snoopeh. We'll talk Hanover, roster changes, and more.
You can catch the show live here. If you're looking to find out how long until the show is on in your timezone, you can use this countdown as well. Towards the end of the show Baron from IPL will be on to talk about IPL 4, happening at the start of next month and I'll also have my own announcement to make.
Team SoloMid's TheOddOne and Xpecial have been hinting that "a big announcement is coming" for awhile today, but so far no official news has been dropped.
Of course, that doesn't mean the community is disinterested, without conspiracy theories or otherwise not paying attention. Diligent Redditors and fans of Dyrus alike noticed what seems to be a very relevant conversation happening between the three players mentioned thus far, and went so far as to capture a screenshot:
The screenshot suggests Dyrus will be leaving Epik Gamer and joining Team SoloMid, replacing a currently unnamed member of the team. If true, this would mark something of a different approach for Dyrus, who has long insisted he has no intention of leaving Epik Gamer.
We'll keep our ears and eyes open for any official word from Team SoloMid; Xpecial has already stated that the official "big news" will not be announced today.
You, like I, have probably caught on to Riot's schedule. The company releases a new champ, you buy it right away, the company waits two weeks and then releases another champ, by which time you're bored of the first one anyway. Way to be predictable, Riot. Heaven forbit you throw a little--wha?! No... no new champ announcement? WHAT IS GOING ON IN MEXICO?!
It's ok. Calm down. You might've overreacted there a little bit, but it's all good; Rara is here to clear this up for us:
Originally Posted by RiotRara
We have some exciting things in store for you in the coming patch, so to ensure that we devote the time necessary to upholding the highest standards of quality we’re releasing our upcoming champion in a week, pending some additional polish work. During this time we’ll be gathering additional feedback, and iterating rapidly on all aspects of the champion. We apologize for the interruption to your regular gameplay schedule, but we think that once you get your hands on this community-desired champion, you’ll agree that it was ”worth it.”
The next champion too, will require more time for development, testing and iteration; so the target release date for the next champion will be following the same three week time frame to ensure quality.
Thanks for your patience, summoners, and thanks for playing League of Legends!
There are a lot of League of Legends sites out there, and most of them have a lot of bloggers. It's a tall order to keep up with all of it, but don't you worry; we'll do it for you. We like you that much.
Each week, we'll sort out the best blogs, vlogs, podcasts, sites and articles from the rest and compile them into one handy (and also dandy) post for you to use as a guide to the week's League of Legends happenings.
Dyrus gave us another one of his vlogs, talking about specific champs and how they play in solo queue.
Through A DIFFerent View, Adair discussed some of the tactics from Sun Tzu's The Art of War and how they can apply to League of Legends.
DiffTheEnder, meanwhile, created seven categories to determine how satisfying a champion can be to play.
ggChronicle's MonteCristocaught up withHotshotGG prior to IEM Hannover.
SK Gaming's Nyph and CandyPanda sat down for an interview after winning their first three group-stage games.
While at IEM Hannover, Demancaught up with Counter-Logic Gaming's Doublelift.
Paradox thanked the fans and community as he announced that the All MIA Podcast is on indefinite hiatus. We hope Paradox enjoys his break, and we hope it's not too long before the All MIA team embarks on its next project.
State of the League is live tonight at 5 PM PST with Dyrus, Nhat Nguyen, and Nintendudex from Monoesports. Maybe more friends will join us, who knows. Either way, we'll be discussing Hanover, making predictions, and talking about some other stuff, like the SXSW showmatch coming up.
Lots of your favorite streamers are gone for the week, and you're excited about IEM Hannover, right? Well, Nhat and I are too, so this week (tonight - Thursday) he and I will be doing laid back Hannover Pre Show Parties. We'll likely have different people pop by to say hi and talk about their own predictions, but we'll also be sharing our own.
Also, we want all of you to get in on the fun too, so be sure to vote in this thread on who you think will get out of Group A.
The time's are subject to change, based on both my schedule and Nhat's, but expect 7 PM PST to be a good estimate. Tonight's will occur a couple of hours before the event though, as Nhat has scrims with the rest of EG. Current estimate is around 9 or 10 PM PST. Will update when I have more info though.