Since the release of the Velocity Esports entire League of Legends roster on November 12, there has been much speculation surrounding the team's lineup heading into the Spring Promotion to qualify into the 2014 NA LCS. Shortly after being released, former Velocity Esports member Joseph 'Vileroze' Bourassa tweeted about the possibility of Velocity selling their League Championship Series (LCS) spot.
Today Evil Geniuses and Alliance have have announced their plans for play in both the North American and European branches LCS. A splash page on EG.NA's website confirms the starting trio of Stephen 'Snoopeh' Ellis, Peter 'Yellowpete' Wüppen, and Mitch 'Krepo' Voorspoels. onGamers can confirm that rumored teammates to join - Tyson 'Innox' Kapler, former Toplaner for Napkins in Disguise, and Eugene 'Pobelter' Park, Former midlaner for Curse - will indeed be the last two players on the roster announced tomorrow.
With Ellis, Wüppen, and Voorspoels in North America, the Evil Geniuses European LCS spot has been acquired by Alliance. The new roster consists of Henrik 'Froggen' Hansen, Mike 'Wickd' Petersen, Erik 'Tabzz' van Helvert from Lemondogs, Ilyas 'Shook' Hartsema - Former Jungler for Copenhagen Wolves, and Martin 'Kazmitch' Hamalčík.
"I am honored to join Alliance with Shook, Tabzz, and Wickd," said Hansen, mid laner for Alliance's League of Legends division. "Alliance is a great organization with a very successful history, especially in Dota 2. We will look to be a top team in to EU LCS, and ultimately our goal is to qualify for the Season 4 World Championships. The first mission, though, is to win against Dignitas in the Battle of the Atlantic this weekend. I am looking forward to playing with my new teammates as we try out Kazmitch and show the world what we can do."
This marks the first roster change for the former CLG.EU squad since joining as Counter Logic Gaming's European team on December 20th, 2011.
The Ellis, Wuppen, Voorspoles, Hansen, and Petersen five-some made for one of the most consistent teams in 2012. The squad would earn a top three finish seven times throughout the year, including tough losses to Azubu Frost in the Azubu Champions Summer 2012 Finals and 2012 World Championships semifinals. The team posted a winning record under EG for the Spring and Summer Regular Season in 2013, but failed to make the playoffs after a loss to Gambit Gaming in the playoffs.
"Going into the 2014 season, we modified our ownership policy to restrict owners to "owning, controlling, or having financial interest in" only one professional team, regardless of region. Both Alliance and Evil Geniuses are entirely distinct teams with separate owners, general managers, and players.
Alliance is taking over the EG spot in EU, and will face off against Dignitas in Battle of the Atlantic, and is qualified for the EU LCS based on the performance of that squad during the Summer Split. Velocity will be rebranding itself as Evil Geniuses, has picked up Snoopeh, Krepo, and Yellowpete, and will still compete in a Promotion Match against an amateur team to earn their spot in the NA LCS
There is a difference between owning a team and the brand name on the team. Both Alliance and Evil Geniuses are branding decisions, not indications of ownership. Neither team (i.e. the legal entity that contracts with Riot) is owned or controlled by anyone who is a part of the company that owns the Alliance and Evil Geniuses brands."
Representatives for Evil Geniuses, Alliance, and Velocity Esports have not responded to request to comment.
onGamers reporters Duncan 'Thorin' Shields and Travis Gafford will providing coverage live from the event floor at the Battle of the Atlantic.
Image Credit: EvilGeniuses.gg
Edit: The original version of this article indicated that Alex Garfield may own one or both of the teams. This was incorrect. We have edited to clarify that Garfield does not own either team, just the brands.