Both Fnatic and Cloud9 have created new League of Legends teams to compete in the Challenger Division.
Cloud9 have announced that its new challenger squad will be lead by Hai Lam, former captain of the organisation’s LCS team, along with coach Daerek LemonNation” Hart. The team currently has a roster of nine players, including many who have LCS experience, and will be competing in the qualification tournaments to gain a spot in the North American Challenger Division.
Lam said in the announcement video that he hopes to use the team to grow the amount of top tier League of Legends players in North America, a region that has recently struggled in international events.
European eSports organisation Fantic are also preparing a challenger team according to ESPN. Named Fnatic Academy, the team will be spearheaded by Johan "Klaj" Olsson, who competed as the support for Fnatic’s LCS team last split. Jorge "Werlyb" Casanovas and Matthew "Impaler" Taylor, who both have LCS experience, will also be joining the team.
The demotion of Klaj is an interesting move as former Fnatic support player and team captain Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim recently announced he would be leaving Team SoloMid and hopes to return to the European LCS. This has lead many to believe that Klaj has been dropped to allow YellOwStaR to take his place in the LCS team.