Apples Is Sour
Apples Is Sour is most likely a team you've never heard of before, even some/most of the players are relatively unknown, so how come they are my highest rated team going into the CokeZero qualification?
Simple really, they are currently sat on 43 wins, and 5 losses in the EUW ranked 5 ladder, beating a variety of top class amateur teams, including Ocelotes new startup. On top of this, 3/5 of these players are currently top 10 in challenger solo queue, 4/5 are top 15, and the one that isn't in challenger, is a former Gambit Gaming support player. We all remember Voidle from the Summer split and his role as the short term replacement for EDward, after he left for Curse Gaming.
Having worked with K0u and Febiven before it is crystal clear to me that these 2 are mechanical gods. K0u is appraised highly by Alex Ich himself, probably because K0u follows a very similar playstyle to Diamondprox himself, very assassin style champions with an emphasis on Lee Sin/Eve/Elise. While Febiven possesses a large champion pool aswell, it is worth noting his favourite champion is Riven in that mid lane.
As for the bottom lane, Voidle and the player who's name I will shorten to Hjarn, I can't say too much as Hjarn is a player I have never seen before in a competitive match. What I will say is that they, like the rest of the team, have been dominating various other duo lanes in EUW challenger, including the Freeze/Dioud combo on Gamers2 YO.
My prediction for this team is to finish 1st on the ladder, win qualification to the CokeZero tournament, most likely finish in the top 3, and earn a spot into the LCS qualifiers. Provided they don't change the roster.
At first I wasn't sure about this team. Ocelote had/has been on the decline as a top player, and when Gamers2 started they were losing to some not so great teams. However it seems the tides my have turned for Ocelote and the gang, as they have risen to 5th (at the time of writing) in the challenger ranked 5s league. The roster if packed with experience, I especially believe Jwaow to be a very strong top laner. I think Gamers2 YO will have no problems qualifying for the CokeZero league, and with the backing I believe they will have, I suspect to see them challenging for the LCS promotion spots.
My dark horse of the CokeZero league is Heavy Botlane. A team not known to many, and once again the players themselves may be unknown to most. Heavy Botlane have been slowly climbing the ranks in the 5s ladder and have managed to sneak into the top 10 as of right now. despite a slightly rough start, they now boast an impressive 65/24 record, which includes wins against the reformed rosters of STO and Supa Hot Crew xD.
In the solo lanes they have Cabochard and Istari, both very solid players with a decent sized champion pool. Not quite Faker level play...but not exactly bad either, both are capable of making plays, and both are just now starting to be feared by other teams in challenger.
I'll be the first to admit I don't know much about jungler Vimar. What I do know is that you have to be at least pretty good to reach D1 97 points (at the time of writing), and that this guy LOVES his Jarvan... in solo queue at least. Side note here, it's been pointed out to me that they are trialing our multiple junglers for the time being. Finally we get to the bottom lane, the lane I actually first hand know something about! Nardeus is one of my favourite players ever. Simply because when I was manager of his old team, he didn't complain about anything...ever! It was great, but I digress. Nardeus and Hiiva have been beating a lot of well known duos, including Migxa/MrRallez, Kujaa/Yuuki, and Freeze/Dioud.
As my underdogs of the amateur scene, I think Heavy Botlane will claim a CokeZero qualifying spot, and with a bit more work, could even look to take one of the 3 LCS promotions spots in a few months.
Thanks for reading everyone. There may be some grammar mistakes, this isn't a formal article just a quick write up of 3 teams I expect to do well in the amateur EU scene this split. Thanks!