NRG eSports was formed on November 16th, 2015 when two co-owners of NBA team Sacramento Kings purchased Team Coast’s NA LCS spot. Despite playing in the North American LCS, NRG eSports will be dressing a roster that is almost entirely Korean with the exception of Galen “Moon” Holgate, their jungler, and Canadian born Johnny “Altec” Ru, who speaks fluent Korean, in addition to English.
Here is NRG eSports’ roster going into the 2016 NA LCS Spring Split:
Top (Impact): One half of the dynamic duo that no team looked forward to playing against, Impact looks to prove that his excellent performance in 2015 wasn’t the doing of extra attention given to the top lane by powerhouse import jungler Rush. It will be interesting to see how Impact is used on NRG. More Maokai and Shen? Or Ekko and Yasuo?
Jungler (Moon): One of the top North American junglers outside of the LCS, Moon is ready to make his NA LCS debut after two failed attempts coming up through the challenger scene on Frank Fang Gaming and Imagine. Moon will certainly have talented lanes worth snowballing. How will he measure up against other NA junglers?
Mid (GBM): GBM, or ‘ganked by Mom’, came up with his name after repeatedly being caught playing League of Legends in the middle of the night by his mother. GBM will be playing his first split in the NA LCS after spending 2015 in Korea with the Jin Air Green Wings. Known for his strong Orianna play, GBM also enjoys playing Viktor, as is shown by his 6.67 KDA across 12 Viktor games during Champions Summer 2015.
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ADC (Altec): Known as one of the youngest players in the LCS, Altec has played for many teams in his LCS career. Evil Geniuses, Winterfox, Gravity, and now with NRG eSports, Altec has shown constant improvement across every split. Although Altec favors late game carries like Jinx and Tristana, it will be interesting to see how NRG dedicates their resources among their lanes. Altec and KonKwon might not be Moon’s first choice, but in an ADC favored meta, it might make sense.
Support (KonKwon): Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Tokyo, Japan, KonKwon is the only remaining member from Team Coast. KonKwon has a history of winning tournaments, but no LCS experience yet. This inexperience is likely what competing teams will decide to focus considering the relative strength of other NA LCS bottom lanes.
NRG Will Be an English Speaking Team
Even though four of five NRG players speak fluent Korean, this team will be using English to make the in-game shot calls. This isn’t too surprising when you consider where these players are coming from. Impact and KonKwon are coming from Team Impulse and Team Coast respectively, both English speaking teams. GBM is the only question mark when it comes to English proficiency, but with three Korean speaking players on the team to translate, it is unlikely to be a major issue.
NRG’s Coaching Roster is Among the Best in NA LCS
Perhaps even more intriguing than the playing roster on NRG eSports is the coaching roster. Longtime Cloud 9 coach “Charlie” will be the head coach of NRG, assisted by former Origen coach “Hermit”, rounded out by “History Teacher” who will take on the position of general manager. This is a star studded lineup of proven training staff and the impact of such should not be under-estimated.
NRG eSports will enter the 2016 NA LCS as a favorite among the new teams, and maybe even a favorite overall. It wouldn’t be that surprising to see NRG finish top 3 at the end of the split. A playoff spot is clearly something achievable for the new team. In the end, how far NRG goes will depend on how well their rookie players are able to translate their skill to the NA LCS.
This is part 3 of a now 4 part series on the 2016 NA LCS Spring Split rookie teams. Look for this series to conclude with part 4; Echo Fox, soon!