OGN Champions Winter returns with the third quarterfinal matchup to usher in 2014 as a toast for another wonderful year in esports. Xenics Storm and Najin White Shield will take it to Summoner’s Rift for another Best of 5 series to determine which team will rise up to the semifinals to face either CJ Frost or Samsung Ozone and which team will see their Champions Winter run fall short and go down to NLB. With both teams looking stronger than they ever did in their entire team history and coming into the series with lots of momentum, it will be a very exciting series to watch! The games will start on New Years day at 1:30 AM PST/4:30 AM EST!
Unlike some of the the other regions, the top teams in Korea are often sponsored by well-known corporations that has a lot of funds to support their eSports team. The Xenics organization is an electronics accessory company that manufactures products like keyboards, mouses, speakers and more. The Xenics organization did well in the first two Champions tournament in 2012, but in 2013 their performance has been very lackluster. The Xenics club consists of two teams: Xenics Storm and Xenics Blast. Both of the teams have gone through extensive roster changes this year due to their poor performances in OGN Champions. Xenics Storm took second place in the OGN Club Masters taking out both the Najin em-Fire Club and as well as CJ Entus Club (Frost/Blaze Roster). Up until they faced Xenics during Club Masters, CJ Entus Frost was undefeated in blind picks.
Xenics Storm was able to come out of Group D of OGN Winter in first place after defeating CJ Entus Frost in a tiebreaker match for the biggest upset of this season. No one expected Xenics Storm to show this great of a performance in OGN Champions. Even though Group D was one of the relatively easier groups, defeating Frost and both Jin Air teams is no easy feat.You can find some of their keyboards and mice here. I personally own a Razor Blackwidow/Deathadder but some of these mice/keyboards are the nicest ones I’ve see.
From left to right: Swift (Jungler), CoCo (Mid), Piccaboo (Support), GimGoon (Top), and Arrow (Marksman).
Meet the Team
GimGoon(Kim Han-saem 김한샘)
As far as his champion pool goes, GimGoon is as standard as it gets. During the group stages, the only champions he played were Rengar, Dr. Mundo, and Renekton. However, in the tie-breaker match against CJ Entus Frost, he did pick Rumble most likely due to the fact that Rengar was globally banned due to bugs. He is not considered a carry on the team, but he is always consistent and survives in the top lane. Looking at his recent games against Shy, he was able to hold his ground against one of the best top laners in the world. Comparing to the other players on the team, GimGoon could be considered the weaker point of Xenics Storm.
You want player history? This guy doesn’t even have a Leaguepedia page yet. He definitely does not have very much competitive experience and is someone who was brought straight out of the Korean Solo Queue.
Swift (Baek Da-Hoon 백다훈)
Swift typically likes to play early aggressive junglers like Lee Sin, Olaf, and Elise. Lee Sin is the champion that he is the most comfortable on and his most played champion in the group stages. Swift is one of the few junglers in the OGN that played Shyvana in the jungle instead of the top lane. He had an interesting build on Shyvana going with Ghost/Smite for summoner spells and getting early Boots of Lucidity. Storm dropped two games in the group stages and in both of those games, he just happened to be playing Riven jungle. On any of the other junglers, Swift has always been able to pick up several kills in the early, but his Riven KDA is atrocious. Between the two games he has played Riven, his KDA is 0/11/6. Currently Swift is in 5th place in the KDA rankings for junglers with 4.00 and he could easily take top two if he did not play Riven.
Swift is another player that was recruited straight out of Solo Queue to compete for OGN Champions. He is known for his massive amount of Lee Sin games in Solo queue currently at 797 games with his second highest played is Jarvan IV at 372 and Elise at 113.
CoCo (Shin Jin-yeong 신진영)
You can call him the Xpeke of Korea because his Kassadin is one of the best. Typically, CoCo forces out a Kassadin ban from the opposing team and often another ban on his Nidalee or Gragas because that is how much he carries Xenics Storm. It’s extremely common to even see teams using multiple bans on Gragas, Kassadin, or Nidalee against CoCo. As the star of Xenics Storm he often gets a lot of attention both from of the junglers and often ending up 2v2 in the mid lane.
CoCo joined Xenics Storm back in OGN Club Masters and showed a dominating performance that allowed the Xenics Club reach the finals. CoCo’s achieved the highest KDA in the history of OGN and continues to hold that record. He ended a game going 21/0/8 on Kassadin.
Arrow (No Dong-hyeon 노동현)
Arrow is a rising star in the Xenics Storm line up and he has been looking stronger each game and really making a name for himself. What makes him different than other Marksmen in Korea is that he exclusively plays Draven. In an interview, he said that he is always willing to play Draven if he is left open. That being said, Arrow is an extremely aggressive carry along with his partner in crime, Piccaboo. Arrow has been the only Marksman to pick Draven in OGN Champions Winter. Besides Draven, Arrow has been consistently playing Ezreal throughout the group stages. Piccaboo often leaves lane to roam while Arrow confidently farms the lane alone.
He is known as the best Draven in Korea and during one of his Draven games in the group stages, he built Trinity Force and was able to nearly two shot people. Xenics Storm was his first professional team and he made his first appearance in OGN Champions Summer.
Piccaboo (Lee Jong-Beom 이종범)
Similar to the God MadLife himself, his favorite champion to play in the support position is Alistar. He has said in the past that he will dominate teams with his Alistar play. Even so, his most played support in the group stages is Thresh. What separates Picaboo from other supports is his ability to roam. He is known for leaving the lane to gank mid as Arrow recalls for his first buy. Picaboo loves to roam mid as much as he can and create a 2v1 or even 3v1 situation to snowball CoCo. His playstyle has also inspired some of the other supports this season to do similar roams.
Piccaboo made his first appearance as the support for Chunnam Techno University, also known as CTU, and competed in Champions Summer. Xenics Storm defeated the God as he was playing Alistar. Then Piccaboo dared to play Alistar against the God and then got defeated. In the following week, he defied the God again with his Alistar pick and took a quick victory. Piccaboo, the God killer. Madlife RIP
Xenics Storm is arguably the most aggressive and bloodthirsty team left in the OGN. Their play style reminds me a lot of the way Chinese teams plays in the LPL. Tons of aggressive moves and nearly every game just ends up to be a bloody massacre. Xenics is also known for their ability to shut down the enemy main laner and to snowball CoCo. Both Swift and Piccaboo loves to camp mid and make the opponent mid laner’s life a living hell. Aside with all of the aggressive plays Storm likes to do, they are fully capable of playing a slow methodical game. Xenics Storm is looking stronger than ever and if they keep this up they have a good chance of making it to the Grand Finals.
First Place – World GameMaster Tournament 2013
3rd Place – Season Two Regional Finals – Seoul
3rd Place – Azubu The Champions Spring 2012
5-8th Place – Azubu The Champions Summer 2012
9-19th – HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013
NaJin e-mFire Club
As an organization, Najin is a electronics distribution company located in South Korea. The organization consists of two teams: Najin Black Sword and Najin White Shield. Both of the teams had members that are well-known around the world. Sword was originally created around MakNooN’s aggressive playstyle who now plays for CJ Entus Frost. Shield had the most gangster player in Korea, Mokuza, who had to leave later on due to health issues. And of course, who could forget the selfie taking, Jae Dong loving, Locodoco. During the Champions Spring, Locodoco was the starting Marksman for Shield. Zefa was brought in during the Summer Season and that is when Locodoco left Korea to compete for the NA LCS.
Najin White Shield
Shield has had roster changes in every season of Champions this year and this season they are looking better than ever. Unlike their sister team, Shield has been able to make it out of the group stages in both Champions Spring and Winter but never past the round of 8. They were always better than your average team but not quite strong enough to make it all the way. Shield was able to tie for first place in Group C with Samsung Galaxy Ozone, but they lost to them in the tie-breaker game.
From left to right: Save (Top), Ggoong (Mid), GorillA (Support), Zefa (Marksman), NoFe (Jungle), and Seraph (Sub-Top).
Meet the Team
Save (Baek Young-Jin 백영진)
Save originally joined Najin Shield in Champions Spring as a mid laner, but later on he switched from mid to top when his former teammate Expession was moved over to Sword. This allows Save to sometimes play in the mid lane for certain matchups because he already has a lot of experience in that lane. When Najin Shield picks combinations like Gragas/Riven or Kha’Zix/Gragas, it is impossible for the enemy team to guess what lane the champions are going in and who is going to play them. Save is not considered one of the best top laners in Korea, but he has definitely able to carry games. He typically does okay on tanky champions like Rengar or Renekton, but when he plays carry champions like Kha’Zix or Rumble, he can really take control of the game for Shield.
Save started his competitive career on Shield as a mid laner. He did not do badly, but his performance was very average. Moving into the top lane, his role has not been as dominant, but he has been able to do well in Champions WInter.
NoFe (Jeong No-chul 정노철)
NoFe is the shotcaller and the leader of Najin White Shield. He is well respected in the community for his superb decision making skills. In Champions Winter, his game decisions has been better than ever. He has made crucial calls for Shield that won them games. He has an extremely standard champion pool for a jungler consisting of Nunu, Elise, Olaf, and Lee Sin. Lee Sin is his most played champion in the winter season and he is able to take control of the early game with his exceptional plays and game sense. NoFe joined Shield after the infamous Korean gangster Mokuza retired from the competitive scene due to some serious health issues. Unlike his sister team, Sword, he was able to consistently lead Shield out of the group stages. Shotsfired.
NoFe started his competitive career in MVP Blue and joined the Najin organization in the spring season. 노 means No in Korean and 철 means Iron. In the scientific symbol for Iron happens to be Fe and this is where NoFe’s name most likely came from.
Ggoong (Yu Byeong-jun 유병준)
Ggoong has mostly been playing Gragas and Kassadin in the mid lane for Shield. He did however bring out his old favorite Ryze against Alienware Arena and was successful with it going 8/2/5. His Zed pick against Dade was another story. From the looks of his winter season performance, Ggoong is most comfortable on Gragas and Kassadin. He always has the option to switch lanes with Save as Save does have the mid lane experience to allow Ggoong to have an easier matchup. Even when Shield has a bad game, Ggoong is typically still doing well.
Ggoong first appeared in the competitive scene when he joined Shield in the summer season. Prior to his League career, he was a professional Starcraft: Brood War player. Along with some of the other players, he retired from Starcraft and switched to League of Legends.
Zefa (Lee Jae-min 이재민)
Overall, Zefa is a really consistent carry and always performed well on Caitlyn and Ezreal. Caitlyn is the champion that he is the most comfortable on and carries the hardest on. Zefe has also played the “OP” champions of the winter season in Sivir and Lucian, but his performance was lackluster. However, Zefa does like to be aggressive in lane and pick up kills. When he gets going on Caitlyn or Ezreal, he typically ends the game with nearly 10 kills with few deaths. As long as Zefa has a decent laning phase, he should be able to do well in teamfights with his great positioning and mechanics.
In the summer season, Zefa joined Shield as a Marksman while Shield still had Locodoco at the time. After Zefa’s strong debut at the beginning of the season, he became the starter for Shield. Locodoco later left Shield and moved to NA to compete for the NA LCS with Quantic Gaming.
GorillA (Kang Beom-hyeon)
GorillA loves to play aggressively in lane along with Zefa. Together, they look to dominate the duo lane matchup and let Zefa carry on Caitlyn or Ezreal. He is one of the few support players that still really likes to play Lulu and showed how bloodthirsty he can be on that champion. He did play Taric once in the group stages, but it did not work out very well. GorillA prefers long range supports that allow to harass his lane opponent(s) and be aggressive with Annie, Lulu, and Sona. GorillA has to be one of the only support players that has not played Thresh in the winter season.
He’s name is GorillA because he looks like one. The End.
Seraph is the sub for Najin White Shield and he played 1 game during the winter season. He played in the tie-breaker against Ozone as the top laner while Save played mid.
All of the lanes from Najin White Shield are generally consistent and solid. What they excel at is their game tactics and the shot calls from NoFe. They have showed extremely methodical play and impressive vision control in the early game. NoFe is really the key to Shield’s victories. It’s up to him to be at the right place at the right time to help his laners to gain objective control. As a team, Shield is looking better than ever in that they have been playing with the most impressive strategies and this is the best looking roster Najin Shield has had yet in their entire history as a team.
3rd – 4th 2013 WCG Korea Qualifiers
5-8th – HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013
5-8th – OLYMPUS Champions Spring 2013
7-12th – GIGABYTE StarsWar League Season 2
9-12th OLYMPUS Champions Winter 2012-2013
I think the final score between the two teams will be 3-2 Xenics Storm. Even though I think Najin White Shield is in a strong state, I do not think they will be able to overcome Xenics Storm. Storm has been looking incredibly strong in the group stages with arguably a much harder bracket than Shield did. It will really depend on Shield’s early game vision control and keep Piccaboo from getting a successful for roam and for NoFe to be where he needs to be. NoFe needs to be able to counter gank the mid lane and not allow CoCo to get snowballed.
David Widrick for the artwork
Heliosan for editing
Okay, I had some suggestions for Kpop songs but I think you can’t go wrong with some SNSD.