Who are the teams?
We’ve never seen such strong teams in Challenger, I fully expect at least one of them to move into the LCS for Summer
Sister team to the Season 1 World Champion’s Fnatic, this isn’t the first incarnation of Fnatic Academy. After forming - and disbanding - in 2013, Fnatic Academy competed in the 2015 EUCS Spring Qualifiers and the 2016 EUCS Summer Qualifiers, but were unable to move forward from either tournament. But third time proved to be the charm, and with a team built around former Fnatic support Klaj, including LCS veterans MrRalleZ and Kikis, Fnatic Academy was able to finally secure a spot after beating Team Forge in the 2017 EU Spring Qualifiers.
FC Schalke 04
Owned by the German football club of the same name, FC Schalke 04 made their first appearance in eSports when they bought former LCS team Elements’ spot in the 2016 Summer Split. Although they managed to finish the Regular Season in 8th, the new team failed to keep their stay in the LCS after losing to 10th place Roccat and former Challenger team Misfits. But Schalke didn’t let that discourage them, instead entering the EUCS with a brand new roster consisting of four former H2K members in loulex, Selfie, Vander, and Veteran, as well as CS veteran Upset.
Newcomers Misfits Academy hope to follow in the footsteps of their LCS sister team Misfits, who had a dominating Summer Split in the EUCS and won against Schalke 04 to move into the LCS. Looking to recreate their success, MFA purchased the spot of former Challenger team Epsilon, keeping their veteran midlaner CozQ, who has competed in five consecutive Challenger splits. But CozQ isn’t the only CS veteran, Dreams shared the support role on Misfits’ 2016 team, helping them to qualify for the EU LCS in the Promotion tournament.
Affiliated with the football club of the same name, this will be PSG’s first split in the League of Legends eSports scene after they purchased Huma’s Challenger spot. After appointing seasoned LCS pro YellOwStaR as their CEO, PSG built a team overflowing with talent from their jungler Kirei, who has competed in IWCQ, NA LCS, and the EU CS, to Pilot from the LCK who, alongside his former team Jin Air Greenwings, made it to the LCK Semi Finals, losing 3-1 to three time World Champions SK Telecom T1.
Long term veterans Millenium return for another split in the European Challenger Series after failing to move up into the LCS in a 2:3 loss against Roccat during the 2017 Spring Promotion Tournament despite coming in second in the 2016 Summer Split Regular Season. The French team has served as a training ground for the LCS, with many of their players moving on to LCS teams, such as YellOwStaR and sOAZ as well as recent players like Djoko. Now in their third consecutive Challenger Split, Millenium look to make it back to the Promotion Tournament and finally move into the LCS.
One of the newest teams in the EUCS, Team Kinguin first appeared during the Challenger Series Qualifiers where they crushed former Challenger team Nerv for a spot in the 2017 Spring Split. Team Kinguin boasts an all Polish lineup including Woolite, who looks to begin his 4th EUCS Split with a fresh start.
What’s the schedule?
The action will begin on Sunday, February 5th at 15:00 CET, and will continue at the same time each Sunday for the following four weeks.
Where do I watch?
Tune into watch.lolesports.com to catch the matches in English, Spanish, German, French or Polish. For the English broadcast, we’re looking forward to welcoming our new Challenger Series Play-by-Play Shoutcaster Aaron “Medic” Chamberlain (@MedicCasts) who will be bringing the action alongside Andy “Vedius” Day and James “Stress” O’Leary.
The season kicks off when former LCS team Schalke 04 take on the newcomers Team Kinguin on Sunday, February 5th, at 15:00 CET.