By Petar Vukobrat
February 13, 2020
Schalke 04’s start to the 2020 season didn’t exactly go as planned. Well, that’s probably an understatement. Their 0W-6L record after three weeks of play is horrendous in every sense of the word, which is the main reason why their veteran AD carry Konstantinos-Napoleon “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou has decided to part ways with the organization.
Now, objectively speaking, his announcement on Twitter can rightfully be considered as career suicide. FORG1VEN’s patented stubbornness and complex nature are once again on full display. One can even argue that this short statement reeks of entitlement. His unparalleled drive and urge to win made the Greek AD phenom hard to handle. Whenever things didn’t go as planned or when he couldn’t deliver, he often shifted the blame to someone else or gave up entirely.
That, frankly speaking, is a huge problem. Failing to play at a respectable level was an even bigger issue. FORG1VEN’s return was as underwhelming as humanly possible. He got outclassed by younger opponents. FORG1VEN also made numerous egregious mistakes and failed to leave much of a mark. His laning and in-game impact were sub-par. He’s a passive, mediocre veteran past his prime.
The amount of hype and momentum he had coming into the season was inhumane and with good reason. His comeback story was supposed to be a triumphant one. Yet, he failed to deliver. He has no one else to blame but himself.
Even his laning, the one thing that perhaps made him so famous, was abysmal. He’s the second-worst AD carry in the region stat-wise. That’s a twist no one could have foreseen coming into 2020. To be mediocre is one thing, but to be out of touch with 2020 League of Legends is unacceptable.
That was evident in his champion pool as well. Now, everyone knows FORG1VEN isn’t a player with the champion ocean. But still, he had many years to hone his craft and broaden his arsenal. In a meta that is dominated by Senna and Aphelios, FORG1VEN couldn’t play either. Schalke 04 consistently banned out Aphelios and put the Greek legend on Xayah or Varus. To say that he couldn’t do much on either pick would be an understatement.
Schalke 04 always had to spend a ban to cover their weak bottom lane, which meant they always got put in a disadvantageous position. Even when FORG1VEN got the memo and picked Senna, one can argue that he displayed the worst Senna play out of all Western players. We saw a legend forced to adhere to a meta he couldn’t understand. This is perhaps what makes his latest statement so infuriating.
It’s childish, immature and downright appalling. FORG1VEN shifts the blame to the rest of the Schalke 04 team, seemingly unaware of his abysmal play and lack of individual success. He might not be the biggest problem, but he is a problem and has done absolutely nothing to warrant anyone’s benefit of the doubt.
He was mediocre from the moment he stepped foot on stage. To throw his team under the bus three weeks into the split goes to show just what kind of a player he truly is.
No true professional and top-tier competitor would abandon ship this way. Everyone expected more from one of the biggest LEC legends around, and yet all the negative hype he got over the years now feels justified.
Some might argue that FORG1VEN couldn’t shine because of his Schalke 04 teammates, but that’s a fallacy. Extraordinary individuals can still dominate and prove their worth, even in the worst of circumstances. Things become a lot harder if your team is underperforming, but the point still stands.
Over the last couple of years, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen mostly played for sub-par LCS teams. Yet, that didn’t stop him from wrecking house, dominating beyond measure, and setting multiple records. The same goes for TCL MVP Can “Closer” Çelik, who’s now playing for the Golden Guardians. The team itself is mediocre at best. However, Closer has played out of his mind. Many analysts and players ranked him as a Top 3 jungler.
FORG1VEN, on the other hand, failed to deliver on an individual level. His response, therefore, is a result of a bruised ego.
FORG1VEN’s return was supposed to be a unique moment in history. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out as many expected. There’s no rhyme or reason behind Schalke 04’s current level of play. They look like a bunch of solo queue scrubs rather than a top-tier five-man lineup. It’s not like they’re a roster packed with inexperienced players or up-and-coming rookies.
Instead, they have a couple of seasoned veterans and a well-known coach to lead the charge. Whether or not they’ll pick up the pace and improve as a team remains to be seen. At this point, however, there’s very little reason to be optimistic.
Their upcoming week will be incredibly hard as they have both Rogue and G2 Esports lined up. In other words, they’re probably going to lose both games and further solidify their spot as the absolute worst team in the region.
Still, the season is long. They have more than enough time to get on the same page and work on their issues.
Going forward, Schalke 04 Academy AD carry Nihat “Innaxe” Aliev replaces FORG1VEN. No one’s expecting much from the Bulgarian talent (although he is an LCL champion), but it’s fair to say that there’s no way he’ll be as underwhelming as his predecessor.