Team Dignitas fell in the first round of the 2017 Spring Split Playoffs, suffering a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Phoenix1. Although the split ended on a low note, Team Dignitas have shown significant improvement since the midway point of the season. Looking forward, Team Dignitas should continue on the new path they have forged with Head Coach David “Cop” Roberson, continuing their upward trajectory next split.
Team Dignitas was one of the most active organizations in the off-season. The former Apex Gaming upgraded their AD Carry position with the addition of Benjamin “LOD” deMunck, whilst also adding heralded Korean jungler Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun, once considered amongst the top two junglers in the LCK.
Team Dignitas made arguably the biggest acquisition of the off-season when they signed one of Korea’s best top laners in Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho to complete a roster loaded with talent. The organisation additionally revamped their coaching staff in an attempt to better embed their new-found Korean talent and allow them to thrive.
Expectations were high for the new roster, with some “experts” such as Duncan “Thorin” Shields pegging them as a top two team in North America. While the talent was undeniable, the squad failed to find their rhythm under their new coaching staff. After falling to the bottom of the standings with a 1-6 start, Team Dignitas found themselves threatened with relegation halfway through the split and realized major changes were necessary.
A major change for the organization came with the hiring of Cop, and his promotion to Head Coach of the organization. The change was almost immediate, with Dignitas surging in the second half of the split to an 8-3 record and finishing 9-9. Along with Cop’s arrival, DIG saw the emergence of mid laner Jang “Keane” Lae-young. The rise in Keane’s play was a major factor in allowing Team Dignitas to storm back and finish the split .500 and in the sixth playoff position.
Still, their late season success did not translate to the playoffs, where they were cleanly dispatched by third-seeded Phoenix1. Whilst P1 advanced comfortably, the series was far closer than the scoreline would indicate and should not cause the Team Dignitas organization or their fanbase any concern moving into the next split.
Team Dignitas struggled throughout the split to translate early and mid game advantages into late game decisions that would allow them to close out victories. Multiple times they would build significant leads, only to watch their advantage slowly dissipate as their opponents stalled the game out, leaving DIG unsure of what their next move should be.
Cop’s arrival has started to address some of the roster’s prevailing issues and their strong finish to the season should be indicative of the team’s potential moving into the next split. With multiple new roster additions (including multiple members with limited English proficiency), this roster was always going to take time to develop as a cohesive unit. As team communication and synergy continues to improve, Team Dignitas should expect to challenge for a spot near the top of the standings, competing for an invaluable World Championship seed.
While a select handful of players get most of the attention, others often fall through the cracks. We highlight two players from each role that we should be talking more about...
There is likely no bigger surprise in Top Lane this split than the play of Zig. The only current starter on Phoenix1's roster last split, ZIg has found considerable success on the newly formed roster. With signature picks such as Kled, Meteos's arrival has opened Zig to play more of a carry style in the top lane.
The most consistent player on a roster that has fallen apart, many questioned the decision to keep Lourlo at the beginning of the split. Now a solid foundation for Liquid to build upon in the future, Lourlo has taken over a larger role in shot-calling and as a leader on the team. Lourlo provides additional value with his NA residency in a region flooded with import Top laners.
The best player on the worst team, the argument could be made for Lira as a top three jungler in the NA LCS. His aggressive play style often gives his team an early advantage, without sacrificing CS through his efficient pathing. If EnVyUs are relegated, expect multiple teams to come calling for his services.
The often-criticized Meteos has given a talented Phoenix1 roster the catalyzing presence needed to push it towards the top of the standings. Whether scrutinized for a perceived limited champion pool or his controlling play style, Meteos continues to defy critics with results on the rift. His steady play has unlocked his teammates and created a contender for the NA LCS title.
When things begin to go wrong for CLG, the finger is usually quickly pointed at Huhi. While not a star in the NA LCS, Huhi draws bans for some of his pocket picks such as Aurelion Sol nearly every game and can have explosive performances. Huhi has also been a consistent performer on the International stage, amassing a KDA of 6.17 against G2's Perkz last season.
Known for his experimental picks and off-meta strategies, Keane is an invaluable member of the Team Dignitas roster. His bilingualism will be essential as the team embed two Korean talents into the squad.
When people talk about NA's best ADCs, Stixxay needs to be included in that conversation. The MSI's most outstanding ADC, Stixxay surprised everyone when he replaced Doublelift on CLG and they appeared better off for it, capturing the NA LCS title. A team player with solid mechanics, Stixxay is the type of player that could make almost any team better.
A player who has bounced in and out of the LCS, not much was expected of Altec heading in to this split. While most of the attention is deservedly given to team leader Hai, Altec has quietly had a very strong season for FlyQuest. In the top half of all ADCs in KDA, Altec has still been able to turn in multiple strong performances during their recent slide.
A veteran of the LCS scene, Xpecial brings a wealth of experience and leadership to a Dignitas. Though he struggled out of the gate, the emergence of Stunt seemed to give him the necessary push to bring Xpecial back to form. As playoffs approach, Xpecial and his lane partner LOD are a duo to watch.
Possible NA's best support, Smoothie rarely receives the due attention on a Cloud9 roster loaded with stars such as Jensen and Impact. Able to excel with a variety of champions and play styles, Smoothie has developed into a consistent performer for Cloud9. Along with his duo Sneaky, Cloud9's bot lane may be NA's best.