According to ESPN, the four-time LCS champions are finalizing a deal to acquire the 2018 Worlds finalist from his European team, following Xmithie’s contract expiry.
The report comes after news Fnatic would be acquiring SK Gaming’s Oskar ‘Selfmade’ Boderek, to join their starting lineup for the 2020 season under the guidance of incoming head coach Alfonso ‘mithy’ Aguirre Rodríguez.
Fnatic will reportedly by buying out Selfmade’s one-year contract. Image: Michal Konkol for Riot Games.
Broxah is expected to bring proven international talent to the TL lineup, which has been searching for success at Worlds in the past two years. The Danish jungler finished top eight at Worlds in 2017 and 2019, and runner-up in 2018.
Although Xmithie has also had considerable experience at international events with TL, and previously Immortals, the outgoing jungler has struggled to find his footing at MSI events, and at Worlds, despite his four NA championship rings.
According to sources, TL is expected to retain the rest of their 2019 roster, which is built around veteran NA star Peter ‘Doublelift’ Peng, and boasts world champions Jo ‘CoreJJ’ Yong-in and Jung ‘Impact’ Eon-yeong.
Team Liquid will not be re-signing Xmithie. Image: Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Fnatic appears to be aiming for proven young talent in their new jungle acquisition, with the buyout of SK’s rising star bringing the 2019 Spring Rookie of the Split into the seven-time LEC champion’s camp.
Selfmade has also played alongside Fnatic’s mid laner Tim ‘Nemesis’ Lipovšek before, with the duo first forging their names for Spanish organization Mad Lions in the domestic SuperLiga Orange, and the 2018 European Masters.
The reported move will see Broxah team up with NA superstar Doublelift. Image: Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games.
In other European Championship signing news, Misfits bot laner Steven ‘Hans Sama’ Liv will be on the move ahead of 2020 after joining Rogue, while the British team also extended support Oskar ‘VandeR’ Bogdan’s contract for next season.
British org Excel Esports has also dipped into the player market early on November 18, reportedly signing Origen ADC Patrik ‘Patrik’ Jírů, to be partnered with former Splyce support and Worlds quarterfinalist Tore ‘Norskeren’ Hoel Eilertsen.
Tahm Kench is set to have his ‘acquired taste’ adjusted slightly in early 2021. The River King will be receiving a mini-rework targeting Devour and Abyssal Voyage during the Season 11 preseason, Riot devs have revealed — and it looks like it will soon be time to unbench the Kench again.
Riot unveiled their plans for the notorious support in a dev blog in late June. Their idea to “carefully balance” the River King, game designer Kevin ‘Captain’ Huang said, was to target his two most iconic abilities: his deep-diving ultimate, and his ‘Devour’ mechanic.
“It’s no secret [Tahm Kench] is one of the champions most famous for being weak for a vast majority of players because his kit is strong for pros,” Huang said. “Tahm has a lot of power that specifically requires the highest degree of coordinated play.”
The main issue with these kinds of champions — a category other famous picks like Kalista and Ryze also fall into — is “if they ever rise about 44-45% win rate [in their roles], they simply take over the professional scene,” Huang explained.
Riot’s aim, then, is to tweak his two “high skill cap” moves in the Season 11 mini-rework. TK’s ultimate, Abyssal Voyage, will be switched to his ‘W’ ability, while Devour/Regurgitate will be the River King’s ultimate heading into Season 11.
Tahm Kench is set to see his iconic kit shuffled around slightly in a Season 11 rework.
Abyssal Voyage, Devour being reworked
There’s a few smaller tweaks the devs have already tabled for these two abilities too. Kench’s Abyssal Voyage would become the support’s “new engage tool,” would be “faster” and have a “shorter range”. It would also deal damage, and knock up enemies on arrival.
His Devour ability, which would be headed to the premiere “R” slot, would come with damage (for enemies) or a shield (for allies) depending on targets. On top of that, its cooldown would be stretched, and obviously it would be locked behind a level 6 experience barrier.
“We have moved Devour to his ult slot, where it gets to be significantly more powerful as a spell cast, and therefore less dependent on allies,” Huang said.
“With a longer cooldown and no access to the ability before [level] 6, opponents should also be able to capitalize on its downtimes [in better ways.]”
River King gets more self-healing
Finally, Tahm Kench may be getting a bit more self-healing in his reworked kit, with his Q ability Tongue Lash currently giving the River King a little HP top-up on-hit.
The last time Tahm Kench was handed a balance update outside of minor bug fixes was in League Patch 9.19, last season. His Thick Skin passive had its ‘Grey Health’ bonus changed from 30-100% (based on levels) to 75% at all levels.
Most of Tahm Kench’s kit will be changed in Season 11.
When will Tahm Kench be updated?
These new changes have been in Riot’s testing chambers for more than half a year now, but it looks like we may have to wait just a little bit longer before the new Tahm Kench actually arrives.
Originally, Riot said the River King’s ability update would arrive “after the Worlds patch [10.19].” That expected release date has rolled up in the distance, arrived, and now is weeks in the rearview mirror; Season 11’s preseason has begun.
The Tahm Kench rework will land after that, Riot Phlox confirmed on Nov. 25.
He said, “The TK rework is coming once preseason is more settled, and we have time to finish up the work and allocate the resources. Really would prefer to have it out before pro starts again, but I sadly can’t just slap a timeline here.”