by Darius Matuschak / @DariusExMachina
The story of FORG1VEN begins, as it so often does, with a kid playing Counterstrike. Starting at the age of 13, FORG1VEN invested massive amounts of time in order to grow as a Counterstrike 1.6 player, eventually travelling Greece in order to play at LANs and local tournaments. However, as his interest in the game faded, a new game cast a spell on him: The game we all know and love, League of Legends.
Having previously played DoTA, FORG1VEN quickly swept through the SoloQ ranks like a warmed up knife through butter. During Season 2, he eventually reached a level of 2200 Elo with his signature champions being Ashe and Tristana. While leaving his mark on dismembered SoloQ opponents he was quickly picked up by the Greek team WannaBeez. This innuendo didnt last long however, as FORG1VEN soon joined Pentakill.gr, managing to succeed in various EUNE tournaments. Like usual, FORG1VEN eventually left the team in favour of Test Your Limits, another Greek team. At the end of the season however he decided to rejoin WannaBeez. The fact that he changed teams an impressive three times, let alone within his first competitive season, is a red line that would be seen throughout his overall eSport career.
Starting Season 3, FORG1VEN continued his journey of joining various Greek pro teams, such as Mad Gods Gaming. After the Copenhagen Wolves had to replace their ADC Rekkles, as he was joining Fnatic, they approached FORG1VEN and it was quickly decided that he would join them on their LCS journey.
Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider was also picked up by Copenhagen, and together they managed to win the International Invitational Tournament 2, beating Dignitas UK in the final. Not only was it FORG1VEN’s first big tournament, but he managed to win it as well, an impressive feat that not many players can claim they have achieved.
At this point, Copenhagen Wolves were unstoppable and dominated the LCS Challenger scene. This form carried over to the subsequent LCS promotion tournament, which the Copenhagen Wolves managed to win, whilst only dropping a single game. To this day, the LCS Challenger times and the Promotion Tournament remain as FORG1VEN’s favourite eSport moments, according to his reddit AMA.
While still playing for the Copenhagen Wolves, on April 12th, 2014, FORG1VEN received his first fine from Riot Games. Stating “verbal abuse, in-game abuse and general toxicity” as his violations, FORG1VEN had to pay 1,000$. But he didn’t just lose money, this also earned him the title of being one of the most toxic LCS players in history — a title that has stuck to his name ever since.
After a disappointing 6th place finish and poor performance in the Spring Split Playoffs, where the Copenhagen Wolves lost to Alliance in the quarterfinals, it didn’t look good for both the Copenhagen Wolves and FORG1VEN himself. They eventually had to face the relegation battle, but succeeded in keeping their LCS spot the next season by defeating Denial eSports.
This didn’t end as well for FORG1VEN though, as he was soon replaced by Woolite and moved to Sub position. It became obvious that FORG1VEN had no future with the team, and May 8th, 2014, FORG1VEN and the Copenhagen Wolves parted ways.
FORG1VEN would go on to join another Greek team, Different Dimension, before eventually joining the team that many fans and players know him from today: SK Gaming.
This was FORG1VEN’s time to shine: Being part of the legendary SK Gaming roster together with the exquisit toplaner Fredy122, the up-and-coming jungle talent Svenskeren, and his quality Support nRated, FORG1VEN was unstoppable. Going 24 - 0 in the first weeks, he earned himself the title of the “unkillable ADC”. Eventually even players from other regions recognised his talent. Doublelift said in an interview that FORG1VEN is the only relevant EU ADC, and the only ADC in the West that might be able to stop him himself. FORG1VEN broke into the scene like a tsunami, crushing his opponents beneath him. SK Gaming finished the Spring Split in first place, and FORG1VEN was awarded with the MVP of the split title. A legend was born.
The tale of SK’s FORG1VEN wasn’t one to last however: After losing the Spring Split Playoffs to Unicorns of Love 3-2, he decided to leave SK for Gambit Gaming. This didn’t go well, as Gambit was in fifth place after eight weeks. But even though a spot in the Summer Split Playoffs seemed manageable, FORG1VEN received another penalty from Riot for toxic behaviour. This time it wasn’t a monetary fine though, it was a four-game-long ban. In a reddit AMA FORG1VEN argued that due to frustrating circumstances relating to Gambit, such as problems with the coach and his teammates, he “exploded” while playing SoloQ, paying the price shortly after.
This ban put Gambit at such a severe disadvantage, that they finished eighth during the Summer Split, eventually facing the relegation tournament. Although Gambit managed to secure their LCS Spot, it was clear for both Gambit and FORG1VEN that they wouldn’t continue working with one another. And while SK Gaming managed to secure a spot at Worlds, FORG1VEN missed out once more.
At the start of the 2016 season, it was announced that FORG1VEN would join H2K-Gaming. The newly formed roster included former members like Ryu and Odoamne along with fresh players such as Jankos, Vander and of course FORG1VEN.
Everything seemed well. It finally looked like the player that took the EU LCS by storm had managed to find his calm and a team that would accept him and his playstyle. At the time, H2K was tied for first place with G2. FORG1VEN throned on the number 1 spot as ADC in terms of K/DA. Everything seemed well.
But then came the big shock: FORG1VEN announced that he’ll have to attend his military service. He, Konstantinos Tzortzio, would have to serve at least one year for the Greek army. FORG1VEN would be no more.Not only did the news break. But he broke with it. While he was announcing this, FORG1VEN started crying. An emotion, that many thought was not existent within his realms of thought. For the first time, FORG1VEN was vulnerable. Even though just before the interview he played a calm and collected game against Fnatic, he was barely able to speak.
He knew that if he really had to fulfill his military duties, that it could mean the end of his eSport career. That, once again, the chance of LCS success was taken away from him. He apologized for his mistakes. And thanked the fans for their support. He knew that the next day might be his final matchday in his LCS career.
But the fans wouldn’t have it. They wouldn’t accept it. They searched the web for potential clauses that would release FORG1VEN from his duties. That would make him able to play during the 2016 Summer Split. Members of the LCS, both players and organisations rallied and showed their support. Eventually, a petition was created, to show the Greek government the importance of FORG1VEN for the League community, trying to convince them to give him more time until he’d have to attend his military service. To this day, more than 82,000 people signed it. If you were to showcase how dedicated the LCS and its fans are, this would make the highlight reel.
A few days later, H2K announced that FORG1VEN was temporarily deferred from his military duties, and that he could keep on playing in the LCS. A breath of relief was felt throughout the scene. Like in a fairy tale, everything seemed just fine. Peace was brought back.
But of course, if you dance with the devil, peace will not last.
At this point, FORG1VENs journey through the gaming houses of the EU LCS should’ve come to a halt. Not only did FORG1VEN find a team that fit him both in terms of playstyle and team environment, but one that fought for his right to play. H2K also managed to finish the Spring Split in second place, and despite losing to Origen in the Semifinals of the Spring Split Playoffs, a spot for the 2016 World Championships seemed like a reasonable task for H2K. The one goal that he was never able to reach, Worlds, was within his grasp.
But that wouldn’t be fun, would it? So once again, FORG1VEN decided to risk it all and joined Origen, which had just lost their starting ADC and Support, Niels and Mithy, to G2 eSports. Admittedly, the newly formed Origen roster looked like it had massive potential: The Worlds 2015 participants Amazing and sOAZ, the Midlane talent PowerOfEvil and a Botlane consisting of FORG1VEN and former G2 Support Hybrid would surely leave a mark on EU LCS history!
They did. But it wasn’t a good mark really, it was more of a rash. Or a carpet burn. After going 0-2 in the first week of LCS, FORG1VEN was benched, with Origen’s management naming “lack of motivation” as the main reason and xPeke replacing him as ADC. Quickly after the decision was made, FORG1VEN wrote in a Facebook post that he was “done with League of Legends indefinitely” as Origen was apparently losing more than 90% of their scrims and he “realized that he wasn’t enjoying the game” anymore.
What few people realise, is the fact that while taking breaks from League of Legends, FORG1VEN managed to jump into the highest ladder ratings of both Heroes of the Storm and Counterstrike: Global Offensive. Whether that influenced his stance on League of Legends as a game we don’t know.
Overall, the Origen situation was a mess. To this day, both Origen and FORG1VEN have kept it secret what exactly went on in the Origen gaming house, for better or for worse. After it became pretty clear that Origen had no interest in keeping FORG1VEN, H2K approached him with another contract. The decision was swiftly made and FORG1VEN would go on to replace his replacement, Freeze, within two weeks of rejoining the team.
H2K would go on to finish the 2016 Summer Split in fourth place, being tied in points with both Giants Gaming and Fnatic. They then managed to grab third place during the EU LCS Summer Split Playoffs, resulting in them having the highest amount of Championship Points after G2, which qualified automatically due to them winning the overall Summer Split Playoffs tournament. This means that H2K will represent Europe during Worlds as its second seed. After three long years of him playing professionally, we will finally see FORG1VEN on the big stage.
Where the journey of FORG1VEN will end, no one can tell. The odds have been stacked against him so many times in the past, and he still came back. Despite making horrible decisions, both for him and his teammates, he’s still held in very high regard within the professional scene. When asked about when he would retire, FORG1VEN simply said “There aren’t any good players to take my place. There will be soon though”. Until then, let’s enjoy watching one of the few true ADC talents the European region has ever managed to produce.