In the last five days Team LDLC have shed half of their roster, starting with Toni "Ube" Häkli walking out last Wednesday and followed today by the departures of Rikard "klanton" Lundberg and Jānis "Clown" Zagrebins. LDLC had recently battled to a 5th-6th place finished at DreamHack Winter's Overwatch Championship, proving to be the best of the BYOC entrants with a flawless run in qualification.
Parted ways with LDLC. Dps/Flex looking for a team— Toni Häkli (@UbeOW) December 7, 2016
Now a freeagent, mainly hitscan DPS looking for a team. RTs much appreciated!— Rikard Lundberg (@officialklanton) December 12, 2016
I'm a free agent now. Thanks LDLC, was fun and best of luck in the future! Looking to continue as support for someone else! R/T appreciated.— Clown (@ClownOW) December 12, 2016
Representing the squad's DPS duo, Ube and klanton had played Roadhog and Soldier 76 respectively in the current patch, whilst Clown was predominantly played Lucio in the support role, occasionally flexing to Ana. The team had shown steady improvement since bringing in KabaL and signing to LDLC in mid-September. They would later drop kr4tos for Clown, but ultimately struggled to break Europe's top tier.
Talking to Sideshow at DHW, klanton painted a positive picture of a team happy with their progress but aware the challenges they faced. However, much like their DHW rivals, PENTA, who axed their support pair a week ago, LDLC have decided to shake things up rather than continue in the same vein.
I took some time to pick the brain of LDLC's Reinhardt mastermind, Mezamorphis, and learn more about the situation:
What exactly has been going on with LDLC? How did you get from looking confident at DHW and ready for the challenges of breaking in to Tier 1 to changing half your roster?
Mezamorphis: Whenever we went to bootcamps/lans we played much better than we did online. I'm not sure exactly what it was but everybody just seemed much more hyped, way more coordinated. But the moment we went back to online we were starting to have issues.
We had a lot of disagreements regarding hero switches which led to some fights. We were very inconsistent for like 2 months already. You could see us fight very close to t1 teams one day and another lose to anybody.
If every competition was a LAN this might've worked :D
So how exactly did it go down? Did they players leave or were they kicked? What is the reasoning behind the move?
M: Ube left after a scrim day where again we had the disagreements that I just mentioned earlier, hero switches and people just not really focusing anymore. After that we decided to take a break and consider if we want to stick together as a team or split, me and mete almost decided to leave but after careful consideration we stayed and now we're trying to rebuild the roster by trialling people - we're trialling the Bonjour players Pipou, NiCOgdh and hqrdest/baud.
Both Clown and klanton were very reasonable and understood that a change had to be done, we're still friends and I wish them both good luck, I'm sure they will get in some very good teams
What was it in particular that made you want to rebuild rather than dissolve the team completely? What is happening with Bonjour? Is their team dead? Are you going to merge?
M: We have the security of an org behind us and we also think that me and Mete are a great duo and KabaL is a smart player and a good support. As for Bonjour I can not say, we're only trying our options right now, we will see if this can become a team or if they're still going to continue with their own.
What have the LDLC organisation had to say about all this?
M: They understand that this was the player's decision and they can not force them to stay. They're wishing them good luck and they trust that we can find other teammates that can represent the org.
Moving past your roster rebuild then, what are your thoughts on the EU scene at present? It seems like there are lack of tournaments worth competing compared to NA and Asia?
M: It's sad that many good teams moved or are in the process of moving to NA, the EU scene is dying atm. Even the Winter Premiere forces teams to have at least 3 NA players to be able to participate, while the EU ones don't have such restrictions, I don't really understand the point of it. If we can all agree to participate in it and play with high ping then why not?
I can understand that probably for Blizzard the NA scene is the one that brings the most financially but I'm sure that with a little push EU can become just as big, you can see how a lot of the top Overwatch players are coming from here, there's a lot of interest in it and a lot of talent but it will slowly fade away if nothing will be done.
Also the recent problems that happened at tournaments didn't help either, DreamHack Winter was good besides the first day with the NiP-coL crashes. MSI was very poorly organized and now the move from Blizzard to restrict maps at MLG Vegas and change them last minute hurts the pro scene a lot. I think they should focus more on talking with the pro players, the competitive mode statistics aren't helpful at all when it comes to the top level.
I think I might've went a bit off road with this one :D
Don't worry you have just preempted all of my questions! Maybe you can share your thoughts about ongoing tank meta? How much are meta considerations impacting your efforts to rebuild LDLC? Do you want to recruit specialists or generalists?
M: When we took the break last week people were still running triple, rarely quadra. Now we started scrimming again with the new roster (with the trials) and so many teams run quadra tank. Even though I am a tank I prefer to not have more than one more with me in the game. This meta is making the game boring for me. And about LDLC, we would prefer to find strong flexible DPS players but sadly with the meta being what it is they might have to play a bit of tank from time to time until it changes, maybe we might just try to play our own comps and see if we can defeat it.
Lastly then, any predictions for this weekend's MLG and IEM events?
M: MLG - Looking at how EnVyUs performed recently I'd say they will win it but it definitely won't be easy. I would say FaZe or C9 will land in the finals against them or at least get to the semis. FaZe are a bit inconsistent but at LAN they seem to be much stronger and C9 since they acquired the new players are having some good results.(
IEM - It's very hard to say since Misfits and Rogue have changed a lot of players, might be Lunatic-Hai taking this one now.
Very sensible predictions! Thanks for taking the time to talk to over.gg and good luck with the rebuild!
M: Thank you too! I hope the next interview will be about us winning some big LAN in a month or two from now :P
Sorry, I'm not Santa Claus :D
The Team LDLC roster is currently:
- Mihail Cristian "Mezamorphis" Paunescu (Tank)
- Metehan "Mete" Aksüt (Flex)
- Guillaume "KabaL" Ettori (Support)