A Chill In The Air – Team Ice Preview

By Riot Mirhi

A chill is in the air: the players of Team Ice are used to leaving their audience with goosebumps with their passing, boasting some of the most remarkable playmaking abilities in competitive League of Legends under one banner.

Captain/Midlane - Alliance - Froggen

Percentage of Regional Votes: 10%

With a reputation originally built upon his legendary Anivia, Henrik "Froggen" Hansen could have only been on Team Ice. The Alliance mid laner, formerly of Evil Geniuses and CLG.EU, has long been considered one of the greatest European players to grace the scene, as well as a leading innovator of his role: for a while, Lee Sin was a mid laner, thanks partially to his beliefs in the champion's versatility and maybe because he got bored of playing the "normal" picks.

But while his individual skill is well-recognized, glory has been fleeting for Froggen. Though CLG.EU managed a thoroughly impressive silver medal at OGN Champions Summer 2012 and secured semifinals placement at the following World Championship, his team's Season 3 performance was overshadowed by an ascendant Fnatic and Gambit. Froggen himself found the limelight taken from him by an increasingly competitive international mid lane scene. But the level of their mechanics and playmaking ability was first set and achieved by Froggen.

ADC - Counter Logic Gaming - Doublelift

Percentage of Regional Votes: 14%

Does North America's biggest trashtalker have the skills to back up his claims? Counter Logic Gaming's ace carry is known primarily for two things: incendiary mic drops, and a level of mechanical prowess that leaves the crowd just as stunned. But while the trashtalking is all in good fun, the violence he wreaks in-game is deadly serious – players come and go, teams get in and out of slumps, but Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng's name is always on the list as North America's premier representative of the AD carry role.

What isn't on the list is a whole lot of tournament success. Even at the last All-Stars, back in Shanghai, his otherwise impressive duo performance with Xpecial was sharply leashed in by Madlife and the general Korean dominance. But this time, "Godlife" is on his side – will Doublelift's prayers be answered?

Support - CJ Entus Frost - MadLife

Percentage of Regional Votes: 20.5%

Long before supports were given trinkets, free wards and actual gold, Hong "MadLife" Min-gi was their patron deity of game-winning plays. Whether it be with Alistar's knockabout chaos, or an uncannily accurate Rocket Grab, there was little disputing that MiG, then Azubu, then finally CJ Entus Frost's true star of the show wasn't the carries or junglers, or even their well-reputed top laner, but the otherwise soft-spoken and self-effacing support player.

This is twice in a row now that Madlife's been voted into Korea's All-Stars slot, and neither time was there much of a dispute. While the new support era's increased his peers, the legacy he espouses is rivaled by none.

Top - Team WE - CaoMei

Percentage of Regional Votes: 15.6%

Wei "CaoMei" Handong might translate as "strawberry," but the only red that will be seen top lane is that of spilled blood. It is reputed among the Chinese community that World Elite's nearly guaranteed a win so long as CaoMei gives up first blood – a seemingly paradoxical superstition grounded in legitimate fact and circumstances. He's not the only top laner with such a reputation, after all – much like Gambit Gaming's Darien, CaoMei has an uncanny ability to attract the enemy jungler's ire.

It has proven necessary to do so. CaoMei left unattended – especially with Irelia or Rengar – is a ticking time bomb, and the fuse is not particularly long. Froggen might wryly recall exactly why Team WE was held in regard for so long: a certain Rengar backdoor under the lights of Las Vegas comes to mind, slipping through CLG.EU's defenses to single-handedly demolish the hour-long European blockade.

ADC - Saigon Jokers - Archie

Percentage of Regional Votes: 16.2%

Vietnamese League of Legends has resided in obscurity for most of its history, excepting only the rare surprise. Saigon Jokers blipped on the international radar but once: a highly unexpected victory over the Singapore Sentinels in Season 2 propelled them onto the international stage, even taking a game over North America's Dignitas. But with that sole victory, they sank back into obscurity.

These days, however, they seem a whole lot more than a "lucky" Southeast Asian team. Under Korean coach Lee In-Cheoul's guidance, AD carry Tran "Archie" Minh Nut and his team has swiftly transformed into a competitive threat, and a leading challenger against the Taiwanese monopoly over the Garena Premier League. There's a reason why the Jokers managed to break into GPL semifinals twice over, despite increasingly bloodthirsty Taiwanese resistance: the Vietnamese gunner's relentless mechanics and straightforward momentum cannot be halted once it starts.


Not much needs to be said for Misaya's legend. So it goes with China's most famous mid laner: even after his retirement last year, they still speak of the impact he's had on the region's play. No other name for what is now considered the only true Twisted Fate style is admissible, whether at home in China or abroad.

5 years ago

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