Have you missed Albus Nox Luna? Longing for huge international upsets? Been struggling without Likkrit's inspirational speeches? Well look no further, as they're back for IEM Katowice!
The team, now under the organisation M19 are going to be hitting your screens again, this time in the heart of Poland, to prove their prowess on the international stage.
Now for those of you who've been living under a rock and somehow didn't hear about M19's success at Worlds, let me tell you a story of the most successful International Wildcard Tournament qualifier in history. Across all previous World Championships, there have been 3 group stage wins for IWC teams and they were all from Brazilian teams. The first was the historical victory of KaBuM's last ditch win over the "EU Superteam" Alliance (a story for another time) and then two group stage wins for Pain Gaming back in 2015.
It's fair to say that IWC has been previously held in low respect by the main four regions of EU, NA, China and Korea. That bad reputation was blown out of the water by M19 (then Albus Nox Luna), as the team finished 2nd in their group after a 1st place tiebreaker. In the group stage they went 1-1 with eventual semi finalists Rox Tigers, 1-1 with G2 and 2-0 over CLG doing their region more than proud with a final 4-2 scoreline.
Now when it comes to IEM, the team doesn't have any history to speak about. They came out of the IWC as a team with only regional support, but showed up huge against the big name organisations. Then vanished once again.
For M19, I see IEM Katowice as an opportunity. Their only history as far as the western audience is concerned is star studded and shining and this is their chance to solidify that glory and prove that Worlds wasn't just a few good games.
Despite a change of organisations to M19, the team has retained four of the original five players. Their ADC aMiracle decided to join the CiS squad Na'Vi, and will not be attending IEM, being replaced instead by VincentVega. The newest addition is another russian player who has little experience when it comes to international play, but Russian teams have a history of success when it comes to that matter (looking at you, Moscow5!) and with the team mates he has at his side, he will be in very good hands.
All things considered, this is a team with very little to lose but a huge opportunity for greatness. Perhaps not a favourite coming into the tournament, but certainly a dark horse. I'm going to be keeping my eyes peeled when the biggest names in the world come up against the team that has built its entire name on upsets.
Want to get to know other League of Legends teams attending IEM Katowice? Check out the articles below:
Article by: Joe "Munchables" Fenny