According to Esporin.com, the former EU LCS organization Unicorns of Love are joining the LCL. This comes six months after their rejection of LEC franchising. They will acquire the LCL spot of Team Just, who placed 7th in Spring.
Kaynaklarımızdan gelen bilgilere göre, daha önce EU LCS'te bulunan espor organizasyonu Unicorns of Love, önümüzdeki dönemde Bağımsız Devletler Topluluğu ligi LCL'e katılacak.
Unicorns of Love'ın, mevcut LCL takımlarından Team Just'ın haklarını alması bekleniyor. pic.twitter.com/25UF6y2x33
— Esporin (@esporincom) May 16, 2019
The Unicorns of Love were one of the more beloved EU organizations ever since promoting to the EU LCS. They made it to the 2015 EU LCS Spring Finals in their first split with an unpredictable style and became known as the team who would pull out oddball strategies to resounding success. Their unpredictability was only matched by their passion. No other team connected with fans like the Unicorns of Love. From manager Romain Bigeard dressing as a shirtless Unicorn on stage to their lovable underdog personality, it was impossible to hate UOL.
They saw massive success too, going to the LCS Finals and regional finals twice each. They produced players like Vizicsacsi, Xerxe, Hylissang, PowerofEvil, and Kikis. The Unicorns missed playoffs only twice, both coming in 2018. Only one thing could kill them: franchising.
While the Unicorns packed a large devoted fanbase and consistent playoff berths, they didn’t pack a big bank account. The first signs showed when they lost Romain, the heart and soul of the organization, to the new OpTic Gaming in 2017. They were one of the poorer teams in the EU LCS leading up to late 2018, and the LEC was looming. This would lead to the Unicorns’ doom, as they were one of the first casualties of the LEC franchising. Just like that, they were forced to try for EU Masters, and they would not even come close to qualifying for the Premier Tour.
The LCL is a league both on the rise and the hot seat. Vega Squadron are hot off the best international performance by an LCL champion since Albus Nox in 2016. They took games off the Flash Wolves of the LMS and Phong Vũ Buffalo of the VCS. The league has the strongest top half it ever has, and interest in the league has been renewed.
The downside is that some of the attention is for the wrong reasons. One of the league’s resident bottom teams, Vaevictis Esports, made headlines by signing an all-female roster. What’s wrong with that? Well, Vaevictis fielded a team of low diamond and platinum ranked female players. For reference, the difference between low diamond and Challenger, the rank of an average LoL pro player, equates roughly to the difference between your local drag racer and a Formula 1 driver.
Basically, Vaevictis had no business being even considered as professional level, let alone playing on a pro stage. Unsurprisingly they were blown out of every single game, with a team KDA below one. Even the next worst team, Team Just, averaged less than 22 minutes a game in victories against Vaevictis. The LCL saw massive criticism for allowing this to continue, as many considered it a mockery to the pros playing against them. The success of Vega Squadron has improved their reputation slightly, but Vaevictis is still in the LCL.
What it means
The Unicorns of Love joining the LCL should prove a massive win for both parties. The Unicorns will return to a professional stage, and their name value will bring devoted fans with them. The LCL loses one of its more unpopular franchises in Team Just and gains a big name team to attract fans.
So yes, this move to the CIS region should benefit both parties nicely. Unicorns of Love won’t contend for an LCL title in 2019 by any means, sure, but they have a future ahead of them in Russia.