Echo Fox Premiere Season Highlights
The first chapter of Echo Fox League of Legends has come to a close, and with the Mid Season Invitational just weeks away, the summer split is on the horizon. The team’s first split was a rollercoaster of emotions. Echo Fox has fought hard through it roster complications, visa issues (an annoyance found in every major eSport), and stiff competition, ending the split in 7th place. The placement was unfortunate for playoff dreams, avoided the nightmare of relegation. The team’s debut season has left NA with, at the very least, a taste of the possibilities for this young roster. Echo Fox did not exactly get the split they wanted, but there was no shortage of moments for them to be proud of in the past four months. Here’s five highlights from Echo Fox’s spring split.
1. Out of the Gate: Keith goes immortal in Echo Fox’s first game, and victory.
Echo Fox was a question mark going into the 2016 LCS season. They had talent, but not like Team Solomid’s star filled lineup, they had solid infrastructure, but not like long standers Counter Logic Gaming (with their championship winning coach Tony “Zikz” Gray). Echo Fox was a true unknown, and had one of the most unproven rosters out of the many rookie teams of the league. Echo Fox did show early strength, however, with AD carry Yuri “Keith” Jew having an impressive death-less performance on Lucian in the team’s premiere game vs. Team Impulse.
2. Rock Solid: kfo goes big with a four man Malphite Ultimate.
Going into week five, Echo Fox had a lot to prove. Their substitute filled roster had been struggling, and left the starters (finally playing together in week five) with a seven game losing streak. Now in full force, the team broke this streak in convincing fashion- winning both games that weekend; first against Renegades, and then against team NRG. In the latter, Echo Fox’s top laner and Korean solo queue talent Jeung-hun “kfo” Park had an incredible game on Malphite, landing a four man ultimate that turned a relatively even game into a sizeable Echo Fox lead, and eventually the win for the team.
3. Three out of Five: Riot’s “OP 5” features three Echo Fox players in week six.
The highlight of Echo Fox’s season came over the course of weeks five and six. Two weekends, four wins, 56 kills, 23 deaths, and eight perfect K/D/A performances across four players. Echo Fox was on fire and making a statement about the true potential of their roster. The team’s performance was so impressive that, after claiming victory over Team Liquid and Team Impulse in week six, Riot’s weekly MVP list the “OP 5” featured three Echo Fox players: Henrik “Froggen” Hansen, Keith, and Terry “Big” Chuong.
4. On a Knife’s edge: Keith quadra kills Team Liquid
Echo Fox’s first game of week six was against Team Liquid. Liquid, much like Echo Fox, was up and down the whole season, but with stars such as rookie jungle sensation Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, and world champion ad carry Gwang-jin “Piglet” Chae, at the helm, Echo Fox was the underdog as they stepped onto the stage. The game turned out to be an hour long, 30 kill, tug-of-war bloodbath that alternated between looking like a neck-and-neck battle and an outright stomp by either team. By the end of the game, the gold graph that looked like a roller-coaster.
A final explosive team fight occurred as Liquid was knocking on Echo Fox’s door. Dardoch, along with Team Liquid support Matt “Matt” Elento, engaged past Echo Fox’s inhibitor, taking Froggen out of the fight right off the bat. With their mid laner down, and jungler Tony “Hard” Barkhovstev dead from a previous fight, the situation looked grim for the boys in orange. Against all odds, Big and kfo turned the tables by posturing beautifully (as Braum and Nautilus, respectively), right in the middle of Team Liquid, while Keith danced around the perimeter as Lucian, eliminating player after player. The fight would end with a quadra kill for Keith, an ace for team Echo Fox, and finally, the win.
5. Record Breakers: Echo Fox take a 68 minute comeback against Team Dignitas
For most casters, analysts, and coaches, it’s the systematic and quick games that are the most exciting but for the everyday fan, it’s all about the comebacks, and it’s all about the marathons. The biggest, craziest, and longest game of the spring split came in week eight when Echo Fox met the legacy squad Team Dignitas in a brawl that would last over an hour. This grudge match captured the essence of Echo Fox’s premiere split, and is the obvious choice to wrap up this list.
Echo Fox was down gold for the entire game with their deficit reaching its peak at 9k gold 59 minutes into the game. They did not falter, however, and pushed through for the victory with one of the most impressive backdoors in the history of League of Legends by Keith, Hard, and Big. By the time the game was over, both Froggen and Keith had broken the previous pro match CS record with Froggen claiming the new record at 764 total creeps on Gangplank. The game wasn’t the cleanest showing from either team but it did display one thing perfectly: that Echo Fox will never back down, and regardless of whatever lies in their way, they will claw, and fight, and push, for the victory.