Esports News UK editor Dom Sacco shares his views on seven great British or UK scene LoL players who are without a team right now (including, clockwise from top-left: Maxlore, Caedrel, Toaster, Impaler, XDSmiley and KaSing).
If you look at British League of Legends players, or those from the UK scene, there are aren’t many at the top level.
For a while it was pretty much just support player Raymond “KaSing” Tsang, who, since 2013, has played for a string of big-name sides such as Team Dignitas, H2K and Vitality.
Over the past year, however, we’ve seen the likes of top-laner Barney “Alphari” Morris and jungler Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian emerge from the ESL UK Premiership to reach the limelight of the EU LCS. The former qualified from the UK Prem to the Challenger Series and then the LCS, with Renegades Banditos/Misfits, and the latter was picked up by Giants.
UK scene regular and ADC player Augustas “Toaster” Ruplys enjoyed a stint with Origen in 2016, before leaving to play in the UK Prem during off-season.
Then there’s promising mid-laner Marc “Caedrel” Robert Lamont, who’s played for Giants, Copenhagen Wolves, Renegades Banditos and more, and experienced jungler Matt “Impaler” Taylor, who recently was with Huma and Fnatic Academy prior to that.
Finally, Swedish ADC Ludvig “XDSMILEY” Granquist, who recently won the UK Prem with MnM Gaming, is considering other offers but in the meantime is still set to play in the Challenger Series qualifiers with MnM. Former TCA ADC and UK prodigy Matt “Deadly” Smith is also a free agent.
These are a mix of talented, promising and experienced players. So why, as this Reddit posts indicates, are they currently org-less?
A mix of reasons. With so many high-level League of Legends players around, including plenty of well-established ones, it’s arguably harder than ever to get picked up – and maintain – a spot with a top team.
Here’s our views on each player and speculation on what 2017 may hold for them.
KaSing is the one player mentioned in this article who will most likely play in the LCS in 2017. He is the most experienced British LoL player at the top level, having played at Worlds with H2K and within the LCS for a number of years now.
He left his most recent team, Vitality, in December, with Korean player Hachani stepping in as the new support.
“KaSing has been linked with Origen and Roccat, but has dismissed suggestions he may be playing in the North American LCS next split.”
KaSing has since been linked with Origen and Roccat, but has dismissed suggestions he may be playing in the North American LCS next split. But you can expect him to play at the top level again in 2017.
.@theScoreesports I won’t be going NA btw, you guessed wrong 😛
— Raymond Tsang (@kasinglol) December 22, 2016
Maxlore made a solid impact during his first EU LCS split. He helped Giants Gaming reached the quarter finals and put in a number of impressive performances, including the time Giants beat Fnatic 2-0.
“He helped Giants Gaming reached the quarter finals and put in a number of impressive performances.”
When he was playing in the UK scene a few years back, he was head and shoulders above the other junglers in the ESL UK Premiership at that time. Him and top-laner Alphari were unstoppable with Team Infused, and I expect him to be picked up by another LCS team, or a Challenger Series team at the very least.
My Time with Giants
Caedrel has an interesting history in League of Legends as a British player – he has Challenger Series experience but no background in the UK scene (not that this is a bad thing, of course).
The mid-laner has played for Giants, Renegades Banditos and Copenhagen Wolves to name a few, and is looking for his next big breakthrough.
“From what I’ve seen he doesn’t muck about or get involved with too many memes, he just gets his head down and plays.”
I’m impressed with Caedrel’s level of professionalism. From what I’ve seen he doesn’t muck about or get involved with too many memes, he just gets his head down and plays.
He’s a humble guy, an example to other players and I’m impressed by his attitude. Not resting on his laurels, Caedrel is moving to Korea to try and improve himself. He’s putting in the hard work – and I really hope it pays off for him.
For those wondering, I will be going to Korea soon to improve myself individually for a few months. I hope to reach my peak as a player.
— Caedrel (@Caedrel) December 15, 2016
Impaler is another long-running British League of Legends player who has a ton of experience.
The jungler has played for many teams from Team Dignitas to Infused, Supa Hot Crew, the Banditos and more recently Fnatic Academy and Team Huma.
Sadly, it didn’t work out for him with Fnatic’s B-team and Impaler is currently org-less. He hasn’t tweeted that much about his playing situation of late, but in a BBC ‘Supergamers’ documentary in 2016, he mentioned his ‘brutal’ exit from Ex Nihilo and the frustration of having to decide whether to make a long-term commitment to gaming or not.
“There’s always going to be someone hungrier than you looking to get into the scene, and you have to prove you’re better than them.”
“There’s always going to be someone hungrier than you looking to get into the scene, and you have to prove you’re better than them,” he said.
It’s hard to guess where Impaler will end up next. But I wouldn’t write him off just yet.
So yeah Huma roster has disbanded and the spot is being sold (for those who don’t know) Best of luck to my former teammates!
— Matt Taylor (@Impalerlol) August 17, 2016
Hailed by many as one of the best – if not the best – ADC player in the UK League of Legends scene, Toaster had a golden opportunity with Origen in mid-2016.
The legend himself xPeke obviously saw something in him by bringing a UK scene player straight into the LCS, and if that’s not praise enough, I’m not sure what is.
I think, speaking honestly, in my opinion Toaster’s biggest obstacle is himself. At several points during his time in the LCS, he mentioned the nerves getting the better of him, and how disappointed he was with some of his performances.
I feel at times he’s too hard on himself, and with a bit more self-belief and confidence, I believe the sky is the limit for this guy.
“I think Toaster’s biggest obstacle is himself. During the LCS, he mentioned how disappointed he was with some of his performances. I feel at times he’s too hard on himself.”
I’ve said it before – that Toaster’s best is yet to come – and I look forward to seeing what he does in the future.
Sadly, he has just announced that due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ he won’t be playing in the CS or LCS this split. However that means we can expect some great moments in the UK Prem in 2017.
Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I will not be playing in any CS/LCS team next split. I will be looking into any national offers 1/2
— Augustas Ruplys (@Toaster_LoL) 31 December 2016
Like Toaster, while XDSmiley isn’t British, he’s well-known in the UK League of Legends space (just look at that dress sense for heaven’s sake).
Last split he was part of the inspiring team MnM Gaming, as they became the ESL UK Prem champions and progressed to the EU Challenger Series qualifiers.
XDSmiley has a lot of real, raw talent, and at just 18 years old, he has a bright future ahead of him. He’s a funny guy and has a magnetic personality that I believe will lend itself very well to a top-tier team.
Like Team Dignitas boss Michael “ODEE” O’Dell told me in a UK esports discussion video last year, having talent is one thing, but you need more than that to succeed as a pro esports player nowadays. You need to be your own brand, and for me, XDSmiley has that kind of ‘X’ factor.
He’s certainly one to watch for 2016, but whether he’ll try and help MnM qualify for the Challenger Series, or be snapped up by another team, is anyone’s guess right now.
Announcing my free agency, I will most likely play in CSQ with MnM but I am not under any contract. DM is open and Retweets are appreciated!
— XDSMILEY (@XDSMILEYs6) December 29, 2016
“XDSmiley has a lot of real, raw talent, and at just 18 years old, he has a bright future ahead of him.”
As the youngest player in this list at just 17 years of age, Matt “Deadly” Smith has shaken up the UK scene with some astounding plays for TCA Esports.
He also played with Danish organisation Magistra at i59, beating MnM in the final 3-2.
Deadly is now a free agent and will be looking to get his foot in the door at a higher level.
For now it will be all about getting more experience – and continuing to show the world what he can do – in League of Legends.
“For Deadly it’s all about getting more experience – and continuing to show the world what he can do – in League of Legends.”
Check out some of our highlights from him in the second half of this highlights video.
One to watch.
Do want to announce that i am FREE AGENT and looking for a team, I am a 17 y/o ADC main, Retweets are appreciated 🙂 // DMS are open.
— Deadly (@Deadlyl0l) December 12, 2016
Who do you think will get snapped up by teams? What do you think of the above players? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us.
Obviously there are plenty of other great players from the UK scene that I expect to get picked up by UK teams – or better – in 2017, including the likes of Rifty, Joekerism, Skudzy and more.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.