By Petar Vukobrat
December 2, 2019
The upcoming competitive season is less than two months away. Many teams have already determined who’ll compete under their banners for the upcoming Spring Split. So let’s dive a bit deeper into each team, starting with the 2020 LEC Rogue roster!
First of all, Rogue are currently in a fairly fascinating position. They didn’t leave much of a mark in 2019, but they certainly solidified their spot as a strong, deceptively capable mid-tier contender that is capable of upsetting the status quo (at least ever so slightly). They’re not going to dethrone G2 Esports, but they will throw down like there’s no tomorrow. Rogue, unlike many other LEC teams, are not afraid. They know they have nothing to lose, and they’re playing accordingly.
You never know which Rogue will step on stage either. Sometimes they play out of their minds. They shock everyone in attendance with stellar macro and incredible team fighting. But the moments when they implode and get outclassed in one-sided fashion are equally as frequent. But despite their inconsistent nature, they’re definitely a solid team, brimming with young, still unaffirmed talent.
Three-fifths of their line-up can still rightfully be deemed as “rookies,” even though they have more than enough experience behind their belts. In the eyes of many, 2019 was a “warm-up” kind of year for their incredible jungle and mid duo. They fought through any stage fright and asserted their dominance on more than one occasion. As 2019 came to a close, teams were truly afraid of Rogue and their unexpected flashes of brilliance.
Rogue finished the regular portion of the split in fifth place with a fairly acceptable 7W-11L record. That’s not exactly spectacular, but the fact that they ended above Team Vitality, SK Gaming, Origen and Misfits Gaming speaks volumes about their inherent talent. The only teams above them were the current and former “kings of Europe,” Splyce, and Schalke 04.
Not too shabby for a roster many thought would end up at the bottom of the standings.
Coming into 2020, the Rogue roster didn’t change much, and that’s a great thing. Many felt they only had to upgrade their AD carry, which is exactly what they did. They will still retain a good chunk of their pre-built synergy which should, in turn, give them a noticeable upper hand come Spring Split. It’s still too early to tell how high they could eventually climb, but don’t be surprised if this Rogue roster dominates right from the very get-go.
Let’s take a closer look at the starting line-up:
Top Lane: Finn “Finn” Wiestål Jungle: Kacper “Inspired” Słoma Mid Lane: Emil “Larssen” Larsson AD carry: Steven “Hans Sama” Liv Support: Oskar “Vander” Bogdan
Overall, there’s a lot to like with this Rogue roster. The addition of Hans Sama (of Misfits Gaming fame) is, at once, both a positive but also a huge question mark. We’re all fully aware of how talented he is, but after a couple of abysmal splits, it’s hard to still give him the full benefit of the doubt. He was unable to adapt and step up once the bottom lane meta favored AP carries, and even when it shifted back to a more traditional marksman state his play still left a lot to be desired.
In a way, he’s a known quantity, but his inability to clutch things out throughout 2019 certainly hit his stock value. Then again, seeing how Misfits imploded as a whole, it’s impossible to know how hard it affected his play and how much of it is his fault. Be that as it may, he’s certainly a top-tier talent and a great signing for Rogue. If he steps up and once again reaches his former level, he’ll definitely enable Rogue going forward.
The fact that he’ll be accompanied by a veteran support should also help him out immensely. Vander is as big of a veteran as they come, but you wouldn’t be able to tell based off of his play. He’s still highly impactful, he’s an in-game leader, a shotcaller, and is fairly flexible and meta resilient.
Plus, he’s still capable of producing some of the most insane highlight reel plays you’ll ever see:
The rest of the team is a fascinating mix as well. Young players all hungry for the spotlight. These three individuals are truly the next breed of European talent, and they’re making big moves to solidify their spots as bona fide contenders worthy of mentioning.
If they were able to do so much with so little time, one has to wonder how high they could eventually climb. If anything, we’ve seen their bravado — they couldn’t care less about whom they’re up against. To them, every game is just another day at the office, which makes their games highly engaging. They’re the ultimate dark horse, and should definitely be on your radar come 2020.
A lot of praise has to go to their head coach Simon “fredy122” Payne who has consistently been able to guide his often undervalued rosters to a respectable standard. A veteran player as well, fredy122 is certainly one of the most underappreciated head coaches in the region.
That said, this Rogue roster will have to diversify their arsenal if they want to stand a chance of attaining success come Spring Split. They were often too easy to read, and the majority of their leads came from Inspired and — at times — Larssen. Their side lanes were vulnerable and weak which meant top-tier teams didn’t have much of a problem when it came to creating concrete game plans. They either had to shut Inspired down or, conversely, repeatedly attack their weak lanes.
Now, with a stellar top-tier AD carry within their ranks, they finally have more tools to work with.
Finally, their top laner Finn was often a mixed bag. His laning was mediocre (to say the least), although his damage output (Damage per Minute and Damage Share) are quite impressive, especially given the fact that he received a meager gold share on average (just 20.6%).
When he got a lead, he was definitely a force to be reckoned with.
In the end, there’s a lot to like about the 2020 LEC Rogue roster. They have multiple avenues towards success, they made the one upgrade they absolutely needed to, and will enter the upcoming Spring Split primed and ready to dominate and — at the very least — make a solid run for the playoffs. No one’s expecting them to upset the LEC status quo, but knowing just how feisty they are, they’ll certainly try.
And who knows, maybe this one change to their starting line-up was the last missing piece of the puzzle. They always fight their hearts out, regardless of the odds, which means we’ll at the very least be entertained come 2020.
If there’s one team that has the potential to upset, it has to be Rogue.