|Legion Team Logo|
|Years Active||2007 - present|
|Current King||Nora Sachs (2012 - present)|
|Previous Kings||Mike Lubke (2009-2011)|
|Combined Regular Season Record||23-30 (8 seasons)|
|Championship Titles|| 2009, 2011
The Legion are one of the eight founding teams in the Midwest Combat Chess League, and are actively competing. Two time league champions, they remain one of the more popular teams in the league despite trouble competing since their 2012 defeat in the finals to The Corsairs.
The Legion had a rocky inaugural season in the MCCL, mixing wins and losses week to week. Despite finishing the season with a losing record of 3-4, a fortuitous regular-season win over the Valkyries was the key factor in qualifying the team for the postseason tournament. This was the first, and only time that a team has qualified for the postseason with a losing record. They lost to the Dragons in the semifinals, providing fuel for what would eventually be one of the strongest team rivalries in the league.
The Legion had another up-and-down season in 2008, struggling to maintain momentum between matches. A pair of victories over the Roses and the Cavaliers in the last 2 weeks of the season secured them their first winning record of 4-3 and spot in the postseason. They were poised to face their rivals, the Dragons, in the finals, but lost to the undefeated juggernaut of the Culverins in the semifinals.
The 2009 Players' Strike did not affect every team equally, and the Legion was one of the few who managed to take advantage of the situation. A strong recruiting campaign led by new king Mike Lubke gave them a powerful opening week performance, and they generated momentum with each win until they finished the regular season undefeated 4-0. They rematched the Culverins in the semifinals, taking revenge for their postseason loss the previous year, and hoped to face the Dragons in the finals. This time, however, it was the Roses who defeated the Dragons in the second semifinal match and setup a Roses vs. Legion final matchup. The championship match was not going well for the legion, with numerous key bouts being lost near the King, until Lubke intentionally (reportedly, Lubke has never confirmed this) fouled Roses star player Will Bradshaw, drawing a King's Challenge from Nathaniel Nesheim-Case. In the ensuing bout, Lubke defeated the Roses king and the Legion had their first League Championship.
Most teams took notice of the Legion's '09 championship victory, and made adjustments to Lubke's leadership style. He relied too heavily on "surprise" pawns with high-level players in those positions, and his own martial prowess, but was easily outmaneuvered with strategic chess play. The Legion fared poorly in the opening weeks, which Lubke countered with more strenuous combat training for his team. The strategy seemed to be working in the 4th and 5th weeks of the season, but then a number of players sustained injuries during practice from overtraining, and during bouts due to proceeding past when they should have yielded. They finished the season with a record of 2-5, and many Legion players were either traded away or left after the team's poor performance.
Lubke was determined to recover and rebuild from the disastrous 2010 season, with a focus on chess fundamentals and taking care of his teammates. With the help of new queen Johanna Gorman-Baer (2009-2010 queen Kathryn Jacobs shifted to rook), The team was set to approach the season with the only goal of improving over the previous year. Even with their confidence shaken after their first-week loss to the Dragons, they managed to soldier through without incident until the third week where once again they became plagued by injuries. Up to the final week of the season, they suffered an injury in every match. Despite this, they managed to scrape together a winning season of 4-3 and were set to meet the Dragons in the semifinals. After defeating their rivals, they were faced with the undefeated Cavaliers. 2 days before the match, Jasmine Rush suffered a torn ACL during training, and was replaced with Katrina Swalby, a rookie who had yet to compete in a match. As fate would have it, she was the one who defeated David P. Schneider to win the match and give the Legion their second championship title.
The Legion's 2012 season was marked with a number of changes: new leadership and fewer injuries. Mike Lubke stepped down from being king to play the queen position, and Nora Sachs stepped up to take his place. Their season had fewer injuries, but also lacked the dominant combative performances showcased in previous seasons. They did well enough in the regular season to win them a spot in the playoffs for a consecutive year. They were up against the Dragons, whose only defeat in the year was at the hands of the Legion. After repeating their regular season feat, they faced the Corsairs in the finals. The match was hotly contested, with the Legion losing some ground due to conflicting leadership in Mike Lubke, Nora Sachs, and David P. Schneider, who had joined the team late in the season. Everything hinged on a final fight between Meredith Larson of the Corsairs and the Legion's Mike Bloom. Both fighters competed fiercely, with Larson capturing the victory for the Corsairs.
Due to an injury during preseason training, the Legion shifted Lubke to the coaching staff and eventually released him from his contract due to pay disputes. Schneider was traded to the Dragons, and the Legion seemed prepped to have a dominant season after the removal of the tensions that led to their leadership issues in the 2012 championship. This was not the case, however, as injuries once again plagued the Legion who fell to their most disastrous season yet at 1-6.
The Legion's assets were essentially bled away after their 2013 season's performance, and were unable to scrape together any sort of cohesive team dynamic for the whole season. They finished with a 1-6 record for a second consecutive season.
Many highly skilled competitors in the MCCL have spent some time on The Legion, Including:
Mike Lubke (2007-2013)