The NA LCS Teams Waiting Until The Midnight Hour To Make Late Roster Swaps
With less than a week remaining before rosters must be submitted, teams in the NA LCS have already made multiple moves in their starting rosters as they prepare for the 2017 Summer Split. Whether to resolve internal conflicts or increase their individual talent levels, by the beginning of the split around half of the rosters in the NA LCS should see changes. We take a look at some of the moves that have and will likely happen.
This off-season’s biggest move has easily been the swap of junglers between Counter Logic Gaming and Immortals. With Jake “Xmithie” Puchero leaving CLG to replace the highly talented Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, signs of continued troubles with Dardoch as a team player were confirmed by a video released by the Immortals organization.
Xmithie brings a level and experienced presence to a young Immortals team that struggled in the spring split. Dardoch will provide a dynamic jungler who makes CLG a very dangerous team if he is able to fix some of his issues in and out of game. While the most exciting move of the off-season so far (and likely the move with the biggest impact), many other teams have or may still yet make changes to their starting roster.
Over the last split, there has been no team with more movement or speculation surrounding their roster than Team Liquid. Starting nine different players (one with two roles), Team Liquid could not find a recipe for success until very late in the season with the addition of veteran shot-calling presence Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. With Doublelift returning to Team SoloMid, their roster has once again been thrown into disarray.
The most likely scenario for Team Liquid, is a return to the starting AD carry position for Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin. With a meta shifting back toward carry oriented ADC picks, Piglet can once again be the aggressive carry force he wants to be for a Team Liquid roster desperate for players with carry potential. This would leave a hole in the mid lane and no import slot available, severely limiting Team Liquid’s options. Possible replacements could include former starting mid laner Greyson “GoldenGlue” Gilmer and former Team 8 and current TLA mid laner Andrew “Slooshi” Pham.
Another NA LCS team that has already been active between splits is Team EnVyUs, who very quickly parted ways with starting mid laner Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo at the end of the split after barely avoiding relegation. To replace their former Korean mid laner, NV signed both former Fnatic Academy mid Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer and former Phoenix1’s Choi “Pirean” Jun-sik. Ninja had clearly been underperforming, and Nisqy (the likely starter) brings fresh talent that NV hopes will develop into another top European mid within the NA LCS.
For NV, the changes in their starting roster may not end in the mid lane. Outside of starting jungler Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo, the rest of the team’s lanes were underwhelming at best and it would not be surprising to see any of their other starters replaced. Top laner Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong was one of the weakest players in his position, and ADC Apollo “Apollo” Price should struggle even more as the meta shifts towards hyper-carries in the bot lane.
The final team likely to make changes to their roster is another organisation who failed to make the playoffs, Echo Fox. The obvious move for the team to make focuses around the poor play of their bot lane, specifically their ADC Yuri “Keith” Jew. Fans lamented Keith’s consistently horrid performance throughout the split, featuring countless overextensions, misguided 1v1s, and failed skill shots.
With multiple ADC talents still left unsigned, including Johnny “Altec” Ru and Raymond “Deftly” Griffin, it should be easy for Echo Fox to find a NA player to challenge Keith for the starting position. With a stronger ADC, Echo Fox may be able to deliver upon the flashes of promise it showed in the spring split that included a 2-0 series sweep of the eventual champions TSM.
With less than a week to go before rosters must be submitted, the roster swaps for the NA LCS are far from finished. With multiple teams having holes in their roster or obvious weak points, they cannot afford to enter another split with a similar roster and expect different results. Still, with limited talent available in the middle of the split, who exactly will fill these holes remains to be seen.