The comeback of Origen [LoL]
Cover photo by Timo Verdeil.
On the 29th of April, Origen was crowned winner of the European Masters 2018, a second-tier tournament, by defeating Illuminar Gaming 3 - 0 in the finals. After putting together a roster composed of iconic names such as Greek Ad carry FORG1VEN, Danish midlaner Froggen and legendary Korean jungler inSec, Origen was highly favored to win the tier-two tournament.
With no surprise, the team dominated the tournament with an 11-3 run and gave the fans flashbacks of the previous success the organization had known before going silent after the 2017 Summer Split.
Founded by legendary Fnatic midlaner Enrique ‘xPeke’ Cedenõ Martìnez, after his departure from the organization at the end of 2014, Origen was initially composed of French toplaner sOAZ, xPeke in the midlane, Amazing in the jungle and now TSM botlane Mithy and Zven (formerly Niels).
After qualifying for the Spring Season of the 2015 EU Challenger Series and breezing through the split, the team was automatically qualified for the EU LCS Summer Season. The roster eventually placed second in the split behind Fnatic, taking two games from them in the Playoffs’ finals, earning enough points to play in the Regional Finals and potentially qualifying for Worlds. There, the team would make one the most memorable runs for a European roster, becoming the first Western team to win a best-of-five at a World Championship, beating the Flash Wolves in the quarterfinals and reaching the semis where they would fall to the eventual champions, SK Telecom T1, led by Faker.
In 2016, Origen added PowerOfEvil to share the midlane with xPeke and consolidate the roster. After struggling to find their pace during the Spring split, the team eventually qualified for the Playoffs but came up short again in the finals, losing to G2 Esports. Summer split saw their botlane leave and join the team they had just lost to in the finals, forcing the organization to pick up a new duo in FORG1VEN and Hybrid. Again, the roster struggled to find its pace and with FORG1VEN departing after only three weeks of play, xPeke decided to step down to the AD carry position for the remainder of the split. Unable to regain any momentum, Origen ended up in the ninth place and was forced to compete for their spot in the LCS. The team managed to beat Misfits 3-2 and retain its position in the LCS but the terrible 2016 summer season lead to all the players leaving the team besides xPeke.
Unfortunately, 2017 was no better for Origen which had to rebuild a roster from scratch. The team was considered as one of the weakest going into the Spring Split and the fans were unhappy about the roster moves. The first five weeks were probably some of the worst the organization had ever seen, with the team unable to pick up a single game win, conceding every series 2-0. From there it seemed nothing was going to work for xPeke and his team, unable to bounce back, they finished the regular season with a 0-13 record and faced demotion from the LCS, going 0-6 total in two series, losing their spot in the LCS. A disappointing run in the Summer Split of the EU Challenger Series saw Origen go silent until the announcement of its participation in the EU Masters 2018 which stirred up a great deal of attention among the fans.
Now the question everyone is asking is whether or not this ‘comeback’ was for good or not. Will we see Origen rise up from its ashes and compete at the highest level again, or was this tournament win simply a reminder of what the team once was? The matter remains unclear for now, and while there was a lot of hype surrounding the roster which was put together for the tournament, it is unlikely it will be the one competing in the future, if it ever does. FORG1VEN has already tweeted that he won’t be competing for the entirety of 2018 and a large part of 2019, meanwhile Jesiz is returning to Fnatic.
We don’t know what will happen next for the three remaining players of the lineup, but what we are sure about is that Froggen has proved once more that he is one of the most talented and consistent midlaner to ever grave the fields of justice, let’s just hope this first place finish made him hungry for more.