The news of Marcin “Selfie” Wolski being contracted to H2K arrived like a thunderbolt over the esports scene.
Signing a new player mid-season is not unheard of. However, only those very close to the team and the player could have predicted this.
Yet, if a change was needed by any team, this team was H2K.
How Selfie found his way to H2K
This signing is a result of a turbulent off-season before the Spring Split. H2K declared following 2017 that their current cost of operation was too high and that they would be seeking to downsize their expenditure.
As a result, last year’s H2K roster was disbanded and replaced with five new agents and Schalke 04 coach Michael “Veteran” Archer.
Meanwhile, Selfie was plying his trade as a mid lamer for NA Challenger Series team Tempo Storm.
Wit franchising, Selfie’s contract ended up at Cloud9. However, the team was unable to offer the player the play time that he desired. This ultimately forced him to leave the team in the New Year.
Selfie has since found a team in H2K that can offer him what he wants. But will he be able to reward them with what they have been missing in the first three weeks of the split?
What does Selfie bring to H2K?
Selfie dominated his opposition during his time with Schalke during the 2017 EU Challenger Series Spring Split. He had the highest CS per minute (9.2/minute) and he also had the most solo kills (8).
A lot of Selfie’s success can be attributed to the team as a whole. Upset, Schalke’s current adc, put out phenomenal numbers and SmittyJ would attract a lot of pressure towards the top lane.
Selfie put out a big damage percentage (28.6 percent, first among mid lanes). Likewise, his play style facilitated a game plan which involved getting one of the sidelines ahead. This led X to a clean 10-0 regular season.
However, Schalke’s perfect season was abruptly ended by the Misfits Academy in the playoffs, putting an end to their LCS dreams.
After this shortcoming, Selfie made his way to Tempo Storm to compete in the NA Challenger Series.
Here, his ordeal was vastly different. His bot lane could not keep up with the pace of the other teams and the top lane was not impactful in that state of the meta.
However, even in these conditions he still managed to deliver by far the biggest CS difference at 15 minutes (+15) among the league’s mids. In comparison, Flyquest mid Fly was the second best with a CS difference of +2. All of the other mids were in the negative.
Likewise, he also produced one of the highest damage per minute numbers.
How does Selfie compare against Caedrel?
Caedrel was brought in by Schalke as Selfie’s replacement when he headed off to America.
While Selfie was tearing up the NA Challenger Series, Caedrel was having a mediocre split with Schalke, producing mediocre numbers and having little impact on the side’s success.
However, to be fair to him, there was a lot of mid lane talent in the last split.
Comparing them, it is obvious that Selfie is the more experienced of the two players.
Caedrel has struggled during the landing phase in the split and Selfie should offer some improvement in that regard.
He has experience at the LCS level and this experience will help him to adapt to the situation quickly. This likely impacted H2K’s decision, as they are in serious need of positive results right away.
Furthermore, H2K’s new mid will be able to apply more pressure on the map than Caedrel, so that the compositions that H2K chooses have more time to scale.
A strange move by H2K?
It’s no surprise that H2K moved for Selfie. However, what’s perplexing is the fact that Santorin, rather than Caedrel, is leaving to make way for the new addition.
Caedrel is going to substitute him in the jungle. He has already had performances where he was outjungled by his opponents, relying on Selfie to provide cover.
Nonetheless, the consensus is that the passive approach that Santorin had, together with the scaling drafts that H2K goes for left the squad with a poor early game from which they struggled to recover.
The only time that they won in this split, versus Fnatic in the first week, they had drafted Kassadin, Vladimir and Vayne, thus Fnatic was on a timer.
In their other games, H2K imploded, fighting hard to get even a single kill throughout.
Now that the jungler has a more aggressive approach, their mid lane and top lane should become unlocked and H2K might look more cohesive in their shotcalling.
Just a week on from the change, things are looking better for H2K already. Selfie had a big impact on the map and Caedrel played more selflessly.
Nonetheless, H2K has problems that won’t disappear that easily.
Drafts with too many losing lanes, Caedrel’s relative inexperience in the jungle and Selfie’s need for time to adjust to his new team stopped us from seeing if there was a significant improvement over the weekend.
Making changes to your starting lineup mid-split is never easy. However, given the previous appearances of H2K, a change was undoubtedly necessary.
If this change turns the split around for them, H2K’s motto will go from hard to kill to better late than never.