Team 8 and Coast emerge victorious in the 2016 NA LCS Spring Promotion Tournament | LoL Esports
Team 8 and Coast emerge victorious in the 2016 NA LCS Spring Promotion Tournament
The Promotion Tournament is a chance for Challenger Series teams to join the elite ranks of the LCS. But don't forget that on the other side of the river that runs through Summoner's Rift is an LCS squad on the verge of relegation. While one NA LCS team got to keep its spot for the 2016 NA LCS Spring Split, another got sent down that river, making way for some familiar faces.
The Team 8 Legacy Continues
As if the stakes of the 2016 NA LCS Spring Promotion Tournament weren't already high enough for Team 8, they entered the Best of 5 knowing that regardless of the outcome, one of their members would not be playing in the NA LCS come Spring. Team 8's playmaking top laner Steven "CaliTrlolz" Kim had but one mission for his final NA LCS appearance -- defeat Team Imagine and secure Team 8's future in the NA LCS.
Despite being target banned with all three of Imagine's bans in every single match, CaliTrlolz solidified his NA LCS legacy. Team 8 walked away from its relegation battle relatively unscathed, fending off Imagine 3-1.
Here are the winners from Team 8:
- Top - Steven "CaliTrlolz" Kim
- Jungle - Braeden "Porpoise" Schwark
- Mid - Greyson "Goldenglue" Gilmer
- AD carry - Zach "Nien" Malhas
- Support - Jun "Dodo" Kang
After striking first in Game 1, Team 8 faltered slightly and Imagine evened up the series at 1-1, thanks to Imagine's mid laner Zachary "mancloud" Hoschar's monstrous 8-0-10 performance on Azir.
"The first game we played Azir and we had a very successful vision control game. We just took control everywhere and snowballed the lead out of control," says Team 8's jungler Braeden "Porpoise" Schwark. "The time they got Azir, they did the exact same thing. Azir was a must ban for us after that. We were saying 'we can't let them first pick that, mancloud can play it too well."
The mid-series adjustment to their pick/ban strategy did the trick, and Team 8 was able to force mancloud onto a much less threatening Lulu, a matchup that Team 8's mid laner Greyson "Goldenglue" Gilmer had no problem dealing with on Orianna. Goldenglue turned to the Lady of Clockwork in the final two matches, and his Shockwave's (R) on top of support Jun "Dodo" Kang's Alistar initiations were enough to earn him the Player of the Series vote.
With relegation out of the way, Team 8 now look to regroup for the 2016 Spring Split. But the departure of CaliTrlolz leaves some massive shoes that need filling. "Since the start of Team 8 I think most of our success was off of Cali's aggression with the Teleports and his ability to avoid jungle pressure," says Porpoise. 'His ability to avoid jungle pressure while winning lane was paramount for our success."
Once Team 8 find a suitable replacement for CaliTrlolz's high-impact and unique style, Porpoise says the team has all the inspiration they need to improve come Spring.
"We have some loyals fans out there…I think we owe it to our fans to become the team they want us to be, so that's our goal for this next season," he explains.
After a heartbreaking loss to Renegades in the 2015 NA Summer Challenger Series Finals, Team Coast knew it had only one more shot at a speedy return to the NA LCS. Wasting no time in a second stab at promotion, Coast closed out its series against Enemy Esports with a clean 3-0 sweep.
Here's your newest NA LCS squad, Team Coast:
- Top - Cristian "Cris" Rosales
- Jungle - Byeong "Shrimp" Hoon Lee
- Mid - Isaac "Pekin Woof" Marconis
- AD carry - Brandon "Mash" Phan
- Support - Kevin "KonKwon" Kwon
While the 3-0 scoreline indicates a landslide victory, each of Coast's matches against Enemy lasted over 40 minutes, with the final NME Nexus taking nearly an hour to fall. After a seemingly endless battle over vision and neutral objectives, Coast top laner Cristian "Cris" Rosales decided he'd had enough. Cris' berserking Olaf headed straight to the enemy's gates and he proceeded to chop down the NME base while his team held fast against an onslaught of opposing forces.
Cris received the nod for Player of the Series, but it wasn't just his NA LCS-entry granting backdoor that proved his grit. His Game 1 Gangplank drew bans for the remainder of the series and his Olaf even stole Baron at the end of Game 3 with a hail mary Undertow (Q).
"I feel pretty good, exhausted. I'm glad we were able to 3-0," says Cris, who looked like he was ready to drop. Single-handedly destroying a base with nothing more than a pair of axes will do that to a man.
According to Cris, the addition of Brandon "Saintvicious" DiMarco as coach was a major reason Coast improved so rapidly over the course of the Summer Challenger Series. "He's helped me a lot in the 2v1, I used to be super confused on what to do, he shows me a lot of what the other regions do. I felt really comfortable with it and I knew how to play it better, thanks to him," says Cris.
As the de facto coach during his time as jungler for Gravity, Saintvicious was eager to help guide Coast back to the NA LCS after they were relegated in Spring. His method was simple, "Teach them the way to win the game, teach them the steps. It's like baking a cake, it's not that complicated if you understand all the ingredients," explains Saintvicious.
Now that Coast's half-season hiatus from the NA LCS is officially over, they can start thinking about how to improve in 2016. "I'm looking forward to playing against good top laners who can pressure me back, and I can learn from that and get better," says Cris. "I want to get better, play more, and hopefully I can bring that kind pressure into the top lane of the LCS."
The dust of the 2016 Spring Promotion Tournament has finally settled, and the list of new entries to the 2016 LCS Spring Split is officially complete. You can catch all the new contenders including Team Dignitas EU and Gamers2 in EU, as well as Renegades and Team Coast in NA, when the 2016 Spring Split rolls back into town in January, right here, on Lolesports.
If you missed any of action from this weekend, the entire 2016 Spring Promotion Tournament is available on our spoiler-free VODs page.