The start to the 2019 Spring Split was looking great for Misfits. They started off 3-1 through their first four games and had their eyes on making playoffs. Then the team began to flounder and had a rough rest of the season, including a four-game losing streak and a loss against Rogue, who ended up at the bottom of the standings.
With a great roster and interim coach behind their backs, Misfits look to come back strong for the Summer Split however, with only one goal in mind: making Worlds.
Moose is here to stay
It was no secret that Misfits CEO Ben Spoont wasn’t happy with the way his team performed during the Spring Split. In a letter posted on the official Misfits Twitter account, he went on to say: “We’re not happy with our performance the past few weeks. Each loss hurts deeply, especially when we know we can do better.” The same letter also announced that Hussain “Moose” Moosvi would be taking over as interim coach.
“I will continue as the Interim Head Coach for summer,” says Moose. “I value my career highly, and I refuse to end it the way that Spring ended. Winning means the world to me, and not being in the discussion as one of the top coaches in Europe anymore is a perspective I will change."
Team chemistry played a major role in the team’s Spring Split performance
With such a star-studded lineup, including players like Steven “Hans Sama” Liv and Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon, few expected the team to miss out on making the playoffs, something the executive team at the org are looking to rectify immediately.
“I believe the biggest failure of our Spring Split system was getting the players to play for the team rather than try to force their way to the top as individuals,” said Moose. “My initial steps were to try to force team cohesion down everyone by taking reign over play style and direction. This meant removing power of opinion where needed and refocusing ourselves on the absolute basic movements in League of Legends."
Performing under pressure and aggressive roster substitutions
That stops now. “We’ll be making a lot of behind the scene changes for 2019 Summer Split,” says Moose.
“There will be changes in coaching staff – along with a change in task delegation. Also, we’ll be moving towards an aggressive substitution roster system, where we won’t be hesitating to change our starting lineup week to week for any reason from strategic depth to player performance. I believe pressure for fighting for the starting spot is healthy, and Misfits is in a do or die situation for Worlds, so we’ll be pulling out everything we can.”
The Misfits Premier team has been performing quite well, recently taking first place in the European Masters Spring 2019 over SK Gaming Prime in a dominant 3-0 finals performance. It looks like it may be possible that the LEC players may have some competition for their starting spot.
“We’ll be practicing with our LFL team a lot as we look to quickly bring those individuals up to a good LEC level to compete for starting spots,” says Moose regarding the plans for the offseason.
A CEO who’s not afraid to make changes
Co-founder and CEO Ben Spoont lives and breathes Misfits. Nobody wants to see the team find success more than him, which is very apparent by his involvement with the staff and players. Following a four-game loss streak, Spoont and the staff made the decision to bring about a coaching change mid-season in hopes of still finding that playoff spot.
“I’m very involved in all aspects of the team and organisation,” he says. “I even watch scrims as much as I can. However, I am equally very hands off the hours before a match – fully trusting of our coaches and staff to prepare themselves and our lads for the matches.”
Stepping away at that points makes the emotional highs and lows hit even harder, we suggest, and Spoont agrees. “It’s a fine delicate balance between extreme stress and extreme jubilation. When I’m watching the games my blood pressure and heart rate go up! I want our team to succeed the most out of anyone – not just for my own personal satisfaction, but ultimately for our fans and players."
"The goal is to make Worlds and the only way to get there is to win over the rest of the competition."
The time between splits is just as, if not more important than what goes on during a split. With the team missing out on playoffs in the Spring Split, there’s no doubt that Misfits will be making use of the offseason in order to not have a repeat during the Summer Split.
“Practice will be staying similar to last split,” says Moose. “We changed our training focus towards the end of spring to have more time for presentations and learning focuses at the expense of a little scrim time and we’ll continue doing that to create common grounds in everyone’s game understanding.”
“The goal is to make Worlds and the only way to get there is to win over the rest of the competition. So, we’ll take it week by week, and rack up every win we can.”
Spoont also made his goals clear for the coming split: