KOI was the only team of the LEC that only changed one member of the team, but that one change could be significant.
Next Saturday marks the beginning of the first-ever LEC Winter Split, as the 2023 Season will have 3 splits instead of 2. With the additional Bo3’s and Bo5’s, European teams will have more practice before the international events such as MSI and Worlds. But one team wouldn’t need as much practice as others, as they were the most successful LEC team in 2022 – and their roster changes reflect this as well. The team in question is KOI, previously known as Rogue, which only swapped one member before 2023.
Toplane – Mathias “Szygenda” Jensen
The only newcomer to the KOI squad, Szygena has proved himself to join the LEC again. The 21-year-old Dane started playing with Horsens Esport, then joined Nordavind and Origen BCN, the short-lived Academy team of Origen. After 10 months and four 2nd place finishes in the Spanish league, Szygenda left Origen to join AGO ROGUE, and together with his teammates, they won Season 3 of the Ultraliga, finished 3rd in the 2020 EU Masters, then went on to win it in the Summer, being the first Polish team to win an official international tournament. After the success with AGO ROGUE, Szygenda got signed by Vitality, making his first LEC-appearance – and finishing 10th in the 2021 Spring Split. The Dane then got demoted to the Academy squad, Vitality.Bee, and they finished second in the LFL 2021 Summer Split. However, he never left the Vitality main squad, as he and Enzo “SLT” Gonzalez took turns in playing for the team. Vitality managed to get into the LEC Playoffs that year, finishing in 6th place.
However, Szygenda spent 2022 with Vitality.Bee, with whom they finished 4th in the LFL Spring Playoffs, got into the top four of EU Masters spring, then got 3rd place in Summer domestically, only to get knocked out in the quarterfinals by BDS Academy in the summer EUM. Even though he couldn’t win the EU Masters last year, he grew up to be a great carry toplaner, showing masterful performances on Fiora, Akali, Cammile and Gwen. This should be very beneficial to KOI, as the Preseason meta has shifted more towards carry toplaners, and the matches should diverge to the northern parts of the rifts more often – which will be great for the new KOI.
Jungle – Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong
Other than trading Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu for Szygenda, KOI got everyone from the former Rogue lineup, which means Malrang as well, one of the most interesting jungler of the region. After playing in Jin Air Green Wings, KT Rolster, DWG Challengers and for a few matches, 2020 World Champions DWG KIA, he transferred to Europe, where he quickly made a name for himself – in more ways than one. Malrang became a fan-favourite in terms of personality and playstyle as well.
With his most played Champion being Jarvan IV, he embodies a madman-like approach to League of Legends. Malrang quite literally sacrifices everything in order to help his laners and more importantly disrupt his enemies. He’s often behind his opponent in terms of CS and sometimes even levels, but he proved to be one of the most efficient junglers of the region, even standing his ground internationally, steadily getting his laners ahead of the enemy team. Hopefully, we will see more unique tactics from him, such as a full tank Jarvan diving into the whole enemy team – and still succeeding.
Midlane – Emil “Larssen” Larsson
Larssen will reprise his role as the team’s midlaner, as he did in the past 4 years of the European Championship. The Swede has spent more than half his career with Rogue, but played for NiP and H2k-Gaming before joining the Polish organization. Most well known for his control mages, Larssen is the definition of a stable midlaner, who is also capable of carrying. While he had some weaker performances in the 2022 LEC Summer Split and Worlds – especially on Taliyah – his team could always rely on him if all else would fail.
His most played Champion last year was Azir with 16 matches, and for a good reason: Larssen is so good with the Emperor of Shurima that in the LEC Summer Split, the high-skill midlaner was the second most banned Champion against Rogue, and the pick trembled even the international stage. Larssen’s name has almost fused with the team’s, let it be Rogue or KOI – the Swede will be there all the same.
Botlane – Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos
After one of the best redemption arcs in professional League of Legends history, Comp will return to the botlane of KOI as one of the best ADC’s in the region. However, Comp wasn’t always praised for his mechanics as much as today. The Greek played for domestic teams, such as Elysium Gaming and Greek Regenesis, at first, then joined Team-LDLC back in 2018, with whom they won the 2019 Spring and Summer LFL, and finished top 8 in both of the EU Masters that year. After winning LFL Finals at the end of the year, he joined Team Vitality, but couldn’t manage to live up to expectations, both individually and with the team. Vitality finished at the bottom of the 2020 LEC, and after the 2021 Spring, Comp became a substitute in the org. After half a year of practicing, however, Rogue signed him in place of Steven “Hans sama” Liv. Together with Rogue, Comp managed to win the 2022 Spring Regular season, then became European Champions in Summer. They also made it the furthest of all LEC squads in last year’s Worlds, getting knocked out in the Quarterfinals by JD Gaming.
Comp is a true hypercarry, who doesn’t have any regard the meta: he can play the likes of Kalista and Lucian as well as Aphelios and Jinx. Either by stomping his lane, or farming up for the lategame, Comp will make sure that his teammates can fall back on him if all else fails.
Support – Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus
The captain of Rogue will stay with KOI as well, Trymbi will look to lead his teammates to even more victories. The 22-year-old is finally reunited with Szygenda, with whom he won the 2020 EU Masters Main Event and the 4th Season of the Polish Ultraliga. Trymbi joined Rogue before the 2021 LEC Spring Split, being hailed as a prodigy among Supports – and proving the rumors to be true. After coming in 2nd and 3rd in the LEC in 2021, they managed to take it all last Summer – and this year, KOI should aim even higher.
Known for his enchanters, Trymbi has supported the Rogue squad with utmost efficiency. He was also one of the main playmakers with his Rakan last year, and both his Nami – Lucian and Lux – Caitlyn combos with Comp were a sight to behold. But let’s hope he doesn’t play any more Nasus support, like he did in the World Championship.
Overall, KOI didn’t switch it up too much, but the shift from a passive toplaner, such as Odoamne to an active one in Szygenda should lift the team even higher than before. The Spanish org is definitely one that could become the Winter Split Champions if the meta favors them – and all sings point to this reality.