Velocity eSports // Team Status Update
Team Status Update
Hello Friends and Fans,
I wanted to give an update on the status of the team, as things have been on the quiet side for a few weeks.
In our last update, you may recall that we had some roster shuffles that saw us bring up our substitute player Slackoh to fill the role of marksman, while we moved frommaplestreet to the mid lane. It was a move that we thought would remedy some of the problems that had been plaguing our team throughout the LCS season – poor bot-lane synergy and overall communication. By putting the very gifted maplestreet in a solo lane, we thought he would be able to dictate the pace of his lane and use his overwhelmingly superior mechanical skills to outright win any lane. At the same time, putting the socially compatible Evaniskus and Slackoh in the same lane would boost the level of communication coming from the bottom half of the map and allow the two to work together in a way that Evaniskus and maplestreet didn’t seem able to.
If you watched our games following the switch, you likely saw a mix of successes and failures. Let’s talk about the successes first. The first thing I want to do is congratulate maplestreet on his growth as a player, individually. Few professional players have had the courage to attempt a role switch and remain competitive – even fewer have succeeded. Frommaplestreet is a shining example that hard work, dedication, and research can be combined with raw natural talent to fill any mold they are poured into. Maple was able to go from a world-class marksman to a world-class mid-laner in the matter of a few short weeks. My chest would swell with pride when I would watch him enter high-elo solo queue – a realm dominated by people who can play only one role or even just one champion – and crush opposing mid-laners after only a short time learning. For even more perspective, there are people who have been playing League of Legends since its release in 2009 that have struggled to enter the higher echelons of ratings (myself included!), but maplestreet is able to dispatch the toughest of foes easily after just a year’s worth of play. In multiple positions. Let that sink in!
On the other leg of the roleswap, we also saw a rejuvenation in our bot lane attitude and communication. Slackoh brought a light-heartedness to our team that let everyone breathe a little more easily; as such, Evaniskus was able to utilize Slackoh’s instructions to become a more complete support player. His champion pool grew. His understanding of the game grew. His map awareness grew. His laning strength grew tremendously. If maple expanded the most outward due to the change, Evaniskus expanded the most upward. Even though we still weren’t winning, it felt like people were at least having more fun, and the optimism was high. We felt that this roster could grow together and improve over the weeks that lay ahead and we would be able to defend our position in the LCS, and hopefully make a stronger showing in the Spring split of Season 4.
Unfortunately, we hit a few roadblocks. For those who didn’t know, Slackoh is one of those youngster prodigies in League. While it’s fantastic that he’s such a strong player while still being in high school, it led to severe scheduling issues. It was 100% correct of Slackoh to put his education first, but it did limit our constructive practice time and he eventually chose to step down due to lack of progress during our limited time. At this time, maplestreet moved back to bot lane and we tried a variety of substitutes in mid lane. Unfortunately, this brought back some of the problems we initially wanted to remedy, and hasn’t helped us really turn around our losing record.
This has led myself and the rest of Velocity’s management to do some serious thinking. We’ve tried multiple role-swaps, multiple minor roster changes, changes in practice regiments, more rules, fewer rules… we’ve tried almost everything. But one thing has remained constant throughout – we haven’t been able to win consistently on any stage. It’s frustrating for me, and it’s even more frustrating to the players. After our losing streak to start the NACL season, the players vented their exasperation to me and I completely understood where they were coming from. Everyone is just plain tired of losing. Some of them are at the point that where would rather quit playing than keep losing. And that’s a really hard place to go as a competitor.
Playing on the highest stage of competition for any sport is exhausting. When you’re on top, you experience the thrills of adoration from fans, earning prizes from winning, and everything just feels easier. But when you can’t seem to catch those elusive W’s, everything is much, much harder. I have no doubt in my mind that our Velocity boys are some of the most individually talented players in North America and even the world. But as a team, we can’t seem to make any magic happen, and I know it’s not getting any easier as our competition heats up. So we’ve decided to make a bigger change than we have before. Instead of tinkering with one piece of the roster, we have decided to release the entire active roster and find a new group of players to represent the Velocity brand coming into the Season 4 promotion/relegation tournament.
This is obviously a radical change. But we have seen teams such as Curse Gaming undergo huge recent roster changes and come out better for it. Beating the top, well-established Challenger teams will be a tough task, but I believe there is enough time to bootcamp some of the top talent available to get a real shot at defending our spot in the LCS. What does that mean for the likes of maplestreet, Nk Inc, Cris, and Evaniskus? Again, I want to iterate that I think that they are individually extremely talented. All four of them should have no problem taking their skill and experience and marketing themselves to top teams. I will be working closely with any of them that want to continue to play competitively to help them find homes on competitive teams that have a shot at the LCS. I care deeply for all of them as individuals and I don’t want this to be the end of the road for them as players. That being said, I feel like keeping any of them on the roster would send the message that I feel it’s the “fault” of the others for our lack of success when again, I don’t feel this way. We just haven’t been able to find success, and so we will be moving in a different direction to do so.
We will be releasing more information on our roster for relegations in the near future, but for the time being, I would instead like to focus on the achievements of the players that will be leaving us. After all nearly qualifying for the LCS in the Spring split of Season 3, Cris, Evaniskus, and Nk Inc all found their way together and picked up frommaplestreet to create a formidable roster that dominated the Challenger circuit for the majority of the split. If you look back just a short while, our roster was actually the Kryptonite that was able to frequently defeat Cloud9 on the Amateur circuit. And after we lost our talented mid-laner pr0lly, the boys were able to bounce back and find a new leader in Vileroze, and overcome the incumbent team MRN in a thrilling best-of-5 to qualify for the Summer split. Seriously, thrilling might not even describe it adequately. Go back and watch those games. That was some FUN League of Legends.
So please make sure you give these guys a huge round of applause and wish them all the best. I want them to find success in League of Legends, because they deserve it.
Thanks for reading,
Brian “i am guitar” Cordry
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