Despite a disappointing Spring Split for teams not named Cloud9, the LCS has seen shockingly few roster changes. What are our thoughts on some of the ones we’ve seen so far?
After North America looked weaker than it has ever done in the Spring of 2020, many fans expected complete roster overhauls come Summer. While teams like FlyQuest and Evil Geniuses commanded some degree of respect for playing their own styles and succeeding, a lot of the success attributed to these more “low-key” organisations has been pointed at other big names in the running falling flat and faltering.
Said big names have attempted to rectify their issues by… either changing nothing so far, or making some questionable sidegrades at best. Let’s take a look at some of the worst offenders and offer some thoughts and insight into the matter.
TSM and GGS running it back again
These two teams in particular have drawn some ire because Spring was seen as a failed test for both of their rosters, albeit for different reasons. TSM brought all-star European marksman Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup into the line-up to fill the shoes of LCS’ undisputed top player of the split Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen, to… varying degrees of success.
That being said, the team’s issues in Spring were more pointed at the jungle position; controversial addition Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett effectively failed the test that the storied organisation had presented him with, and never really gelled with the rest of the squad. TSM have chosen to reintroduce Mingyi “Spica” Lu to the line-up after controversially utilizing the rookie jungler to limited success in last year’s gauntlet, though it’s a positive reflection on the team for sticking with their rookie talent who has hopefully grown tremendously over the past six months.
The other, more obvious, runback that TSM has opted into is reintroducing Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng to the roster, reuniting him with former teammates Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. The TSM bottom half of the map from their 2016-2017 dominance is now reassembled, with each individual growing in a way that hopefully facilitates some new magic happening this time around. Hopefully.
Golden Guardians have a whole different issue; they banked on C9 Academy’s star players Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer and Yuri “Keith” Jew to bring home the gold, and to their credit the organisation took a handful of upset wins and secured a playoffs berth with a roster that looked relatively unimpressive on paper.
However, they roleswapped Keith to do so, and have now decided to roleswap him back – giving the veteran marksman playtime in Academy over promising rookie Alexander “Gorica” Gorica and essentially wasting a split’s worth of development for both Keith and the rest of the squad, especially considering that the team is now readjusting to working with their support of yesteryear in Jae-hyun “Huhi” Choi.
Both of these teams are in full rebuild and trying to find a formula that works after a very, very underwhelming Spring.
Change is good, but we aren’t taking it
- No, the teams are underwhelming. 100%, 1 vote1 vote 100%1 vote - 100% of all votes
- Yes, I like the rosters this time around. 0%, 0 votes0 votes0 votes - 0% of all votes
Unlike the other organizations here, CLG – a team that I hold close to my heart – haven’t announced any intentions to change up their roster for Summer, and this is after an awful Spring that saw the squad take a solid tenth place for most of the split. Apparently, Eugene “Pobelter” Park’s introduction to the line-up mid-Spring was enough of a change that the team is now happy with their chances of making a shot at a Worlds seed, but crucial footing needs to be found and fundamentals need to be built on if this line-up is going to make any sort of contest for top three.
Speaking of top teams needing to pick up the pieces, Team Liquid had an abysmal Spring. Marred by visa issues, internal conflict, and sickness, the reigning champions of seasons past fell incredibly flat and disappointed fans around the world during the first half of 2020. With the re-introduction of promising rookie marksman Edward “Tactical” Ra – who steps in to fill Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng’s tremendously large shoes – the team is looking to make a convincing case for yet another trophy. Many, many obstacles stand in their way, however, as the team was unable to even make playoffs in Spring.
The middle of the pack organizations seem more open to change than most, and some rosters are still yet to be confirmed. Time will tell how things work out, as the LCS Summer Split rapidly approaches.