Misfits Gaming is leaving the LEC and will sell its spot to Team Heretics, the organization revealed on Wednesday.
The organization has been an ongoing member of the then-EU LCS since it made its way through the play-in before the 2017 Spring Split. During that time, the team was a frequent participant in the play-offs, even playing a final against G2 Esports in its opening year and going to Worlds, where they amazed onlookers as a dark horse that came out of a very competitive group and won two games in their quarterfinal series against reigning champions SKT T1.
Misfits Gaming co-founder and CEO Ben Spoont explained this decision in the organizations' official announcement. "It’s bittersweet to know that our mission to diversify means that we cannot be in all places at once and we’re sad to say so long to the loving camaraderie and competitiveness of the LEC," he wrote, "... we did not make this decision lightly and ran an exhaustive process vetting numerous interested offer parties and came to the decision that Team Heretics was the right selection to continue on as responsible stewards of the League.”
The LEC team will continue playing until the end of this year's cycle. The organization will divest itself of its LFL team as well, stepping aside from the league after the end of the summer season. The organization will continue participating in various other games such as Activision Blizzard's Overwatch League and Call of Duty League, as well as Riot Games' VALORANT.
The Proud Misfits
The story of Misfits' involvement in professional European LoL started in 2016. After the American organization Renegades lost its rights to participate in pro play after a controversial Riot Games decision the European team, formerly Renegades Banditos, spun off as its own organization rebranded as Misfits and entered the European Challenger Series. The former Banditos qualified for the 2017 EU LCS split, adding proven stars Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage and Lee "KaKAO" Byung-kwon to its core roster including now-famous players like Barney "Alphari" Morris, Steven "Hans sama" Liv, and Lee "IgNar" Dong-geun.
Misfits' team showed they are not to be taken lightly from the first year in the LCS, even making finals against G2 Esports in their second split and winning a Worlds berth. There, the European dark horse team shocked fans by eliminating LCS champions TSM after a tiebreaker match. The team would then go on to face off against Korean powerhouse SKT T1 and amaze onlookers by taking two games off the reigning world champions with aggressive play before having to bow out in a 2:3 series.
The team was not able to repeat their performance in the next few years as several of their star players left for other teams. It had a decent, but not stellar 2018 and an attempt to build a superteam roster in 2019 ended very poorly. Still, Misfits were one of the teams selected in LEC's franchising and they have usually finished around the middle of the table since. This year, after another roster update the team exceeded expectations in the spring split, getting a top 4 finish during the regular split with good teamfighting and several amazing comebacks. They are currently at 5-6 in the summer split.
Who Are Team Heretics?
Team Heretics will be a new name to many LEC fans, but the organization has a fair bit of histori. It was founded in 2016 by a popular Spanish content creator called Jorge "Goorgo" Orejudo. The team tried to make it through the challenger series, but did not move past the open qualifiers. It played in several smaller tournaments before entering the LVP, the Spanish regional league and is now tied for first place.
Read More about the LEC:
- LEC Summer Split 2022 | Scores, Teams & More
- The LEC Will Send One Extra Team to Worlds 2022
- Another 2-0 Week Puts MAD Lions on top of the LEC
For now, however, Misfits have a summer season to continue. This Friday, the team will once more be the underdogs as they face the 8-3 Rogue. Will the rabbits once more pull off the upset win, or will the team's mental fortitude be shaken from the changes backstage?