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The Rise and Fall of Team Impulse

Team Impulse used to be one of the contenders of the North American LoL scene but they are obviously nowhere near the top of the pops anymore. The story of the team is one of a spectacular rise and fall, and then a struggle to claw their way back into the elite. It is always much more entertaining to keep an eye on and to root for up-and-coming teams, but fiascos such as the one that led to the spectacular meltdown of TIP are also part of the eSports scenery.

Known back then as LMQ, the crew later rebranded as Team Impulse played in the 2014 World Championships. That moment marked the peak of their showing as a potent LoL fighting-force though: following that, they began to fade away, bleeding talent left and right until there was just one left of the original lineup: Yu “XiaoWeiXiao” Xian, of mid-laner fame.

The above said re-branding into TIP occurred before the 2015 split, when a bunch of promising new players were brought onboard and for a minute there, the future once again seemed bright for the organization. SK Telecom T1’s Eon-Young “Impact” Jeong was a world champion top laner and Team Coast’s Apollo Price was also a sturdy addition. With a world champ in the lineup and an MVP in XiaoWeiXiao, team Impulse looked like they could ruffle a few feathers indeed, and they started out strong, but soon, roster-changes reared their ugly heads and the team began to suffer again. These problems were compounded by a ban leveled at XiaoWeiXiao, for boosting players in solo queue, and with that, the 2015 Summer Split was pretty much ruined for TIP.

tip banned

Following the Summer Split, team management announced that they were going to sell their LCS spot for the upcoming split. It was then that some began to suspect that the TIP management didn’t really know what it was doing. Sure enough, the spot was not sold in time and thus the team was forced to sign an entirely new lineup.

For the 2016 Spring Split, the team had a roster, but for the first three weeks of the split, they played with their substitutes, who – contrary to all expectations – managed to claw their way back into the LCS, at the expense of Apex Gaming. As it later turned out, in essence they were playing as amateurs at this point though since they weren’t getting paid for their services. As soon as Riot got wind of this, scandal ensued as the LCS rules has been clearly breached.

With the crew back in the LCS, and with its management out of the picture, the question now remains whether their future owner will stick to their current lineup or not…

Peter Wassenberg has been a member of the world’s top eSports community since 2004.

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