Post Worlds 2021, the LCS has also entered the off-season with one of the most exciting LCS Rosters shuffles of recent history. The region is heavily investing into foreign talent to bolster the scene and hopefully make an impact in 2022. Let’s take a look at the latest moves and what could this mean for the North American League.
The LCS always had a history of picking up talent from the other regions, one of these being EU. LEC players have always been high-priority targets, but this year things have changed. Not only did the organizations pick up some EU imports, but they were able to get some of the very best and top-tier players.
Out of the entire lot, only 100Thieves opted out to keep their entire roster from 2021, and re-sign them for the upcoming season. Every other organization decided to make severe roster moves this off-season.
Team Liquid made insane off-season transfers, probably the best ones in the League: they were able to get both Bwipo and Hans Sama. Together with Bjergsen’s return to competitive, TL’s roster looks very scary. Hans Sama and CoreJJ will form one of the best bot lanes in recent history and Bwipo will be very hungry to prove himself at top lane once again. There are still some question marks regarding CoreJJ’s residency status: if that fails by the beginning of the split, TL will have to quickly find a solution. Nevertheless, this roster is definitely championship material and we do not expect less than a 2nd place this upcoming split.
EG’s roster move was probably one of the least expected ones in this off-season. The organization managed to get their hands on Inspired, arguably the best jungler in the LEC last year. Despite re-signing with Rogue during Summer, EG was able to buy his contract for the upcoming year. He will surely be a strong addition to the team, but it will also depend on Canadian rookie jojopyun’s performance and support Vulcan. EG will be betting on them to carry the team to victory.
Speaking of Vulcan, Cloud9 not only lost him but they also lost Perkz, who will be going back to EU. To fill their spots, C9 promoted Academy support Isles and roleswapped their top laner Fudge to the mid lane. It is a very bold move, considering Fudge will have to adapt to a completely new role. The decision, however, was well-thought: Korean top laner Summit will be coming in as C9’s new top laner. Regarded as one of the best in the LCK in his role, he might make a very big difference individually.
The other interesting move is Berseker’s, coming in as the second ADC for the team. Previously playing for T1’s Academy team, the organization must’ve seen a big potential in him. The question will be on how the team and coaching staff will handle the coexistence with Zven, who will surely want to be the starting player.
EG and Cloud9 are making some bold moves in terms of roster setup, but we might see severe lack of synergy across lanes in both rosters.
TSM found themselves in a very weird situation, after recent drama around Reginald, and following Bjergsen’s departure. The part-owner willingly leaving his stake in the company and joining one of the biggest rivals is a huge warning for everyone. Nevertheless, TSM is doing everything they can to make a strong roster for 2022.
PowerofEvil left to join Immortals while SwordArt parted ways after only one year of stay. The organization signed Tactical from TL into the ADC role, as the two spots are yet to be announced. According to multiple sources, including IWD and Youngblood, it seems like TSM will have LPL’s Creme as their new mid laner. As for the support role, different sources have mentioned different names, but the main two candidates are Ignar (according to Travis Gafford) and G2’s former support Mikyx (according to Pablo Suárez).
With that being said, nothing is certain yet, so we’ll have to wait a little longer to know what is TSM’s potential for the upcoming 2022 Spring Split.
GGs are doing yet another roster experiment for the upcoming season. The organization decided to extend contracts with Licorice and Ablazeolive, while Olleh returns to the LCS as their starting support. The interesting move comes with the potential signing of Mouz jungler Pridestalkr, and former TSM ADC Lost as the final two players on the roster. Considering how the new roster looks, GGs are once again re-building from almost zero as we get a blend of non-premier league players meeting un-retired former players.
Time will tell if this is the winning formula for the Guardians, considering they do a wacky rebuild of their roster almost every season.
At the bottom of the league we have three organizations that are making mediocre moves and trying to scrape by this off-season. Compared to their counterparts, these three teams made some big roster moves but neither of their rosters seem season winning on paper.
CLG decided to go with Luger, Jenkins, Contractz, Palafox and Poome as their starting five coming into next season. Neither of their newly signed players has had an impressive season in the last four splits, leaving plenty of question marks about performance in the upcoming season.
Dignitas is one of the more peculiar teams this off-season, as they are signing both fomre PSG jungler River and SK mid Blue to their roster. Neo and Fakegod retained their spots on the roster, while the support is graced by Biofrost. The new roster seems too lackluster on paper, and we might be in for either a horrible showing come February, or one of the most inspiring winning runs in recent LCS history.
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