Misfits Gaming announced Thursday they will bench their entire starting lineup and promote five members of their academy team, Misfits Premier, to compete in matches on Friday and Saturday versus Splyce and Rogue.
The team's starting lineup will consist of top laner Danny "Dan Dan" Le Comte, jungler Thomas "Kirei" Yuen, mid laner Adam "LIDER" Ilyasov, AD carry Matúš "Neon" Jakubčík and support Aleksi "H1IVA" Kaikkonen, sources said.
Paul "sOAZ" Boyer, Nubar "Maxlore" Sarafian, Fabian "Febiven" Diepstraten, Steven "Hans Sama" Liv and Kang "GorillA" Beom-hyun will move to the bench.
The changes come after the current Misfits lineup has performed below expectations in both the spring and summer splits of the League of Legends European Championship. In March, the team finished eighth in that league. They currently sit in ninth place with a five-game loss streak, losing to Origen, SK Gaming, Schalke 04 Esports, G2 Esports and Team Vitality, but are only one game out from a playoff spot.
Ownership and executive management have grown frustrated with the team, sources said, after the organization made a significant financial and recruiting push in November to build what it thought would be a League European Championship frontrunner. Among those moves was a buyout paid to Clutch Gaming for Febiven's contract, as well as free agency additions of League of Legends World Championship runner ups sOAZ and Gorilla and a three-year contract renewal for Maxlore. Ben Spoont, CEO of Misfits, confirmed and outlined those frustrations on Twitter.
"For whatever reason this roster, the original five, just has not worked, has not jelled. They have lacked consistently on stage, as well as in scrims and in practice," he said.
We will be making some bigger changes to the @MisfitsGG starting roster for this weekend as we continue to strive to make playoffs.
At 2-6, we are not satisfied with either our results or our growth.
Here is a quick update directly from me. pic.twitter.com/YLr90I2BwF
— Ben Spoont (@benspoont) July 18, 2019
Meanwhile, Misfits Premier has excelled in the La Ligue Française, where it took second place in April and went on to win the European Masters 2019 Spring Main Event later that month. Following those victories, the team made notable roster changes, adding Kirei, as well as mid laner Nicolas "Decay" Gawron and two substitute junglers Alexis "Rozara" Maslin and Victor "Vichen" Lahnstein. The addition of Decay, Rozara and Vichen were made to open flexibility of promoting Kirei and LIDER to the main roster, sources said.
So far, the main Misfits lineup has performed worse than any iteration of their team in the past three years, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The team has won just two games, amounting to a .250 game win percentage. In previous splits, the team has never been below .500 game win percentage through the fourth week of the split.