The LCS will undoubtedly undergo another wild offseason after a disappointing showing at Worlds 2019. All three LCS seeds failed to qualify for the knockout stage, a step back from the previous year. Cloud 9 made semis at Worlds 2018 and Team Liquid finished 2nd at MSI 2019. Fans became hopeful that North America can finally compete with the rest of the major regions. Unfortunately, all three of them failed to get over the hump. Granted, Clutch Gaming went to the dreaded Group of Death and Cloud 9 played as well as they could’ve. That left Team Liquid as the last NA team alive. Sadly, on the final day of groups, TL lost the deciding game against defending champions Invictus Gaming.
With another “losing” season for NA, there’s no doubt teams will try to bolster their rosters for the upcoming season. The 10th season of League of Legends will undoubtedly be historic. Riot Games announced shortly after FPX’s coronation that Worlds 2020 will be the biggest esports event in history. Despite the frustration and disappointment, I do believe that this year went pretty well, all things considered. On top of that, there are countless things I’m excited for in the upcoming season. Let’s start that with the potential rosters we’ll see in the LCS in Spring 2020.
- Ssumday, FakeGod
- Amazing, Anda
- Ryu, Soligo
It’s bewildering that someone like Ssumday spent most of the summer split on the bench. To be fair, 100T almost made it to playoffs after fielding in Ryu and Amazing. FakeGod definitely played well for a rookie and the team showed bright spots here and there. However, their bot lane’s performance left much to be desired. If you told me three years ago that a Bang-Aphromoo duo would play worse than most bot lane duos in NA, I’d laugh. Sadly, the bot lane remains the biggest hole for this team. They will surely stick with two-time World Champion Bang if they decide to move on from this roster. They are probably looking for a resident mid as well, given Ssumday and Bang’s import status and no other resident jungler being available.
For the support position, they may want to look at Smoothie or Olleh. I don’t think CLG will be willing to part ways with Biofrost, having been designated team captain last year. For the mid lane position, they will have to dig deep into the amateur scene because this is where NA talent is quite shallow. If they can take Insanity from Team Liquid, I think he’d be a decent upgrade to Soligo.
Voting for the 2019 All-Star Event is now open! #AllStar2019
Learn more at: https://t.co/319h8aZ3wA
— lolesports (@lolesports) November 13, 2019
Cloud 9 basically declared a rebuilding phase. They already moved players to other teams ahead of the free agency. They moved Summer MVP Svenskeren, along with Kumo, Deftly and Zeyzal, to Evil Geniuses, the new owners of the Echo Fox slot. After several years of domestic runner-up finishes and typical NA outings internationally, they’re finally calling it quits. There are also rumors of Licorice and Sneaky leaving for other teams but nothing is confirmed yet. It would be a sad day for long-time C9 fans to see the last of the original C9 squad to leave the team. However, Cloud 9 built a reputation for scouting and training great talents from the amateur scene. I believe they’ll go for an all-rookie team in 2020, save for maybe Blaber.
All rookies except for Blaber. They might sign a few talents from scouting grounds or trade their proven players for academy players.
Counter Logic Gaming
- Power of Evil
Counter Logic Gaming made great strides in the summer split after signing top laner Ruin. They finished 3rd place, beating Clutch Gaming (now Dignitas) in the third-place match. However, they failed to make it to Worlds after losing in the second round of the gauntlet to the eventual winners. I believe CLG’s roster has the potential to contend domestically and even maybe perform internationally. However, their ceiling will depend on the growth of Ruin and Wiggily. With Cloud 9 out of the picture, it might be CLG’s time to challenge Team Liquid for the North American title.
None. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This team honestly could’ve made it to Worlds and performed as well as Clutch Gaming did. They have a well-balanced team with win conditions on all three lanes. If there’s anything I’d change, it would probably Stixxay. He hasn’t made a leap after a promising rookie split where he won the title with Aphromoo. If Cody Sun is available, he’d be a huge upgrade to this team.
- Cody Sun
Welcome back to the LCS, Dignitas! Their first Worlds appearance ended how everyone expected, 0-6 in the Group of Death. Luckily for them, they can build off of this and continue to improve as a team. They gave Team Liquid a scare in the semis of Summer and they managed to take down perennial Worlds attendee Team Solo Mid in the gauntlet. They’ve already locked up Huni in a massive deal and they will most likely cash in on the best available talent for the 2020 season.
They have arguably the best native mid laner in Damonte and he’s got plenty of room to improve. Vulcan is likely to leave, as per rumors, so I think signing Aphromoo can boost this team’s chances of winning their first title. If they decide to sign an import, they can look to signing soon to be free agent Xmithie and fill their support role with someone like Tusin.
Welcome back to the LCS as well, Evil Geniuses! Already making their offseason moves, EG arranged a deal with Cloud 9 to acquire Svenskeren, Kumo, Deftly and Zeyzal. Though not guaranteed to start, Svenskeren and Zeyzal are top NA talents for their respective positions and I doubt they’ll be able to find anyone worth starting over them.
They can still get an import and depending on the coming days, their needs might change. Personally, I’d love to see Ssumday on this team. An academy ADC like Shoryu will definitely get EG started on the right track. For the mid lane, if they get a native top laner, Crown is reportedly leaving Optic Gaming and he’d be a great pickup.
“…these teams are competing for the title of best region in the world, and that wasn’t even a conversation for the past five years.” #Worlds2019
— lolesports (@lolesports) November 15, 2019
This team massively underperformed in summer after a promising showing in spring. The entire team played like headless chickens for the entire split and that’s the first problem they should address. The players themselves are all capable of competing against the likes of Team Liquid, even if they’re not as promising if you look at the rest of the world. For Flyquest, the best move forward would probably be going all-academy as well.
V1per is their best player moving forward and should build their roster around him. Wildturtle is more than capable of going toe-to-toe against the best ADC’s in NA, so no need to replace him right away. JayJ will probably be replaced first, with the rumors of Olleh joining FQ.
Another team that could’ve made playoffs but ultimately fell short. There are rumors of Goldenglue joining the team, and Froggen isn’t willing to share his spot. In my opinion, the jungle spot and the bot lane duo should be the main focus for the offseason. Many times during the season, they were constantly exploited, leaving the solo laner little chance to carry the game.
If Froggen leaves, that’s a free import slot they can use on Crown or a new import from Europe or Korea. Naehyun is rumored to be joining an NA team and it’s probably this one. I’ll give Huhi a whole split, maybe even a whole season, to judge whether his role swap worked or not. As for the jungle role, I can only think of Xmithie here. No other native jungler can match his level of play, except maybe Dardoch.
Another team coming back. Welcome home, Immortals! There are rumors of Crown wanting to leave the team. I can’t blame him. Despite qualifying for playoffs last Summer, the team never really had that much chance against the better teams. Dhokla is one of the worst top laners in North America and their bot lane duo isn’t that much better. If Immortals wants to recreate the magic of their 2016 roster, they’re going to have to start from scratch.
They’ve reportedly signed Dhokla to a deal so he’s probably a lock. Allorim is there for backup as well. If they decide to push forward, they have to keep Meteos. That leaves the bottom half of the map-wide open. Fortunately, they’ll have two import slots if they decide to part ways with Crown and Arrow. However, even if they manage to get another Korean import, it would likely be Kuzan, an SKT trainee or a player from CK at best.
The best team in North America won’t need changes for another title. However, this team wasn’t built to win in NA. It was made for Worlds. That said, Steve won’t hesitate to empty his pockets for big names. I’m sure he already called Faker right after they got eliminated by G2, as he does every year.
Xmithie will be a free agent soon but he shouldn’t necessarily be out of the team. They’re reportedly looking for a big-time Korean jungler, though. If that fails, they might sign Fnatic’s Broxah who honestly is a decent upgrade to Xmithie, in my opinion. If they do find a Korean jungler, it would either be Tarzan, Clid or Haru, because anyone else won’t bring them closer to Worlds. Additionally, I wonder if they’re willing to give up on the Jensen experiment after just a year?
- Broken Blade
Last but not least, TSM is the team that needs this offseason the most. A lot of fans were worried that Bjergsen might leave his long-time team after five years of not winning Worlds. However, he’s now tied to the org for life, as he’s now a part-owner. On the other hand, everyone not named Bjergsen is probably going to get booted. Knowing Reginald, he’s not too keen on the term “rebuilding” and he’ll probably try to put together another team to challenge Team Liquid.
If Xmithie leaves TL, this is the best team he can join. No other mid laner can match Jensen domestically and if TL ever signs Broxah or a Korean jungler, Xmithie will have nightmares dealing with that duo. Zven is also probably gone too. If TSM decides to go academy, their own academy ADC Tactical has huge upside for them. That will free up an import slot for support if Smoothie decides to leave. If not, they’re basically forced to import an ADC. OG’s Patrik is reportedly being replaced by Upset, so he might be up for a stint in NA. Also, the potential for an even crazier signing would be Rekkles. He’s allegedly in a feud with Broxah and if ever Fnatic decides to keep him, Rekkles might opt to leave. That would be a spicy story to write about.
2020 isn’t over yet, folks. We still have the All-Star Event on December. Make sure to check out Game Life for more League news.