LCS 2020 Rosters Have Shifted!
The 2020 League of Legends Championship Series spring split had a lot of surprises for all of us during its duration— we have had some visa issues with certain players, we have had some roster changes in the middle of the split, and of course we have had to deal with COVID-19, as the players, the production staff, and the viewers had to adjust to the transition to online play. Team Liquid, the last four splits’ champions, did not even make it to playoffs. Cloud9 had its first championship in six years, with a roster that not everyone was convinced of before the split started.
While COVID-19 still threatens the normalcy of our everyday lives and the normalcy of the flow of esports, online play is still on the table for the LCS. There have been, however, some changes between last split and this incoming one. Some rosters have changed, and whether or not it is for the better is left to be determined through the summer split.
Here are some of the major changes that have happened in some of our LCS teams:
Huni is a Free Agent
Korean superstar Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, previously of Fnatic, Immortals, SK Telecom T1, and Echo Fox fame, has been let go by Dignitas and is now a free agent. Huni has been a cornerstone of the teams he has been a part of in the LCS, and his aggressive play and diverse champion pool will be missed.
Without a team that is looking for an import top laner in the LCS, Huni might actually be out of a team for the summer split. However, the problem is that the Dignitas organization has not yet announced a new top laner for their main roster. While Dignitas could promote their academy top laner Samson “Lourlo” Jackson in the main roster, Dignitas might find itself to become an exploitable team by teams that find their stride in the early game without an aggressive laner that could exert a lot of pressure in the games’ earlier stages.
Kobbe out, Doublelift to TSM
With some recent rather surprising turn of events, Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup has left the TSM roster and has now moved back to Europe to be Misfits Gaming’s bot laner. Kobbe was a solid laner that served as a good insurance policy in team fights later on in the game. Several were excited about his transfer to TSM earlier on in the season, and to an extent he has delivered on the expected performance, being part of what sent TSM to a 4th place finish in the 2020 spring playoffs.
Kobbe was, of course, only transferred to Misfits Gaming because of a new opening in the free agent market: Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng was released from his contract with Team Liquid, and TSM have successfully acquired him. Doublelift was, before spring split, arguably the most dominant bottom laner in the LCS. The problem, however, is that in the spring split of this year, Doublelift has appeared to be out of form. Whether or not he returns to his previous dominant form is unknown, and we will have to wait and see in the summer.
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TL Overhauls Staff with Jatt as Head Coach, and Tactical to Starting Bot Laner
With the recent transfer of Doublelift to TSM, and Team Liquid’s failure to defend its title and keep their championship streak going, the organization has decided to make some adjustments to the roster and its coaching staff. First, following the loss of Doublelift, the team has had to promote Edward “Tactical” Ra to the main roster from the academy roster, while keeping the four other superstars in the roster. Tactical has started in some games in the regular season and has shown some promise and can bring some stability to the roster. With Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in as his lane partner, he is already under great guidance. Besides, any roster with Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong, Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, and CoreJJ should still be a legitimate contender for domestic championships and impressive international appearances.
Team Liquid has also acquired former shoutcaster and broadcast analyst Joshua “Jatt” Leesman as their head coach. This is Jatt’s first venture as a head coach, and the depth of his knowledge of the game will be tested as he attempts to bring a Doublelift-less Team Liquid back to glory. Former head coach Jang “Cain” Nu-ri now moves to a strategic coach position from his old head coach role, and the organization has also acquired Chris “Croissant” Sun as Assistant Coach. With several changes to the coaching staff and the loss of a core member of the team, Team Liquid’s playstyle might change for summer split and beyond. If that could help them get into playoffs again and go into Worlds after, then the sacrifices may be worth it.
There are obviously differences between remote online play and having the players play live in an arena, but given the current situation, we have no choice but to accept these current conditions and watch the games unfold in a setting that we are less familiar with.
Summer split is extremely important especially considering that Worlds comes right after, and this is the last chance especially for teams that did not make it so far in the spring split. For those who still want to prove themselves for this season, there is still one more chance.