Free Agency Breakdown: Roster Transfers ahead of LEC 2023 Season
There has been a lot going on, but we’re here to help you out. Let’s take a look at the biggest names and transfers that have been circulating in the LEC and what could this mean for the teams.
After more than one month of action, the League of Legends World Championship finally came to an end. DRX made the greatest miracle run we’ve ever witnessed in League and maybe esports history, taking down T1 in the finals at San Francisco. While DRX will be looking to celebrate their victory, other teams have already been on the move to prepare for the upcoming season. In particular, the LEC has been rather eventful, with lots of rumors and verbal agreements ahead of the start of the free agency period, which is set to start on November 21st.
Two new organizations entering the lec in 2023 – KOI and Team Heretics
Just like last year, the LEC will be welcoming two new organizations in the upcoming season. Team Heretics is joining the league, having bought the franchise spot from Misfits Gaming. The latter has shifted to working with creative talents, making them unable to also sustain the competitions in the League community.
As for the other organization, KOI have joined forces with Rogue, the latest LEC Summer Champions. The two have announced a ‘strategic alliance’ and they will now compete under the KOI brand, but according to multiple reports, Rogue should retain its management structure and operations from last year. Currently the team hasn’t made any official announcement regarding its team, but one thing is certain. The top laner Odoamne will be leaving the team, having reached a verbal agreement with Excel Esports, according to the investigative journalist Alejandro Gomis. In his stead, KOI is looking to field former Vitality top laner Szygenda.
For Team Heretics, instead, the team has found its bot lane and its mid laner. According to Brieuc Seeger (LEC Wooloo), Jackspektra will be promoted and make his debut in the LEC, together with former Misfits player Mersa in the bot lane, as reported by Eros of Blix.gg. The same journalist also mentioned that former EG coach Peter Dun will be joining the team. Korean mid laner Ruby will be playing for HRTS, having played in UOL Sexy Edition last season.
- Top: Szygenda (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- Jng: Malrang
- Mid: Larssen
- ADC: Comp
- Supp: Trymbi
- Top: Evi
- Jng: Jankos
- Mid: Ruby (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- ADC: Jackspektra (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- Supp: Mersa (source: Eros)
Excel esports making big moves, SK reportedly also having full roster decided
Speaking of Excel Esports, the team decided to go big into this offseason. The only player they retained from last year is their ADC Patrik and will have four new players around him. We already mentioned Odoamne as the new top laner: he will be joined by Vetheo, Xerxe and Targamas. The French mid laner comes from MSF, Xerxe from Astralis while Targamas swapped with Mikyx who is heading to G2 again (which we will see later). Based on the individual players, XL is looking to be at least a contender for playoffs. All players in the roster had a solid 2022 season and it looks well-rounded across the roles.
XL is not the only one with a full roster, since SK have also reached agreements with players in every role. According to Alejandro Gomis, Irrelevant and Markoon will be joining. Exakick and Doss are also locked in for next season, as reported by Brieuc Seeger. Sertuss is likely staying as SK’s mid laner.
- Top: Odoamne (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- Jng: Xerxe (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- Mid: Vetheo (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- ADC: Patrik
- Supp: Targamas (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- Top: Irrelevant (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- Jng: Markoon (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- Mid: Sertuss (source: Eros)
- ADC: Exakick (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- Supp: Doss (source: Brieuc Seeger)
Astralis and Team BDS – mix of veterans and rookies
The two teams that finished ninth and tenth in the LEC Summer Split are looking to better their results by combining some veterans with new rookies.
Astralis will be keeping their ADC Kobbe (according to Eros) and former XL player Finn will be the starting top laner (Alejandro Gomis). The most recent rumor by Brieuc Seeger is that KCorp’s jungler 113 will be making his LEC debut with Astralis in 2023. It is unclear if mid laner and support will have changes, but both Dajor and JeongHoon are still under contract with the organization.
Team BDS will likely field a completely new team for 2023, even though most players have been promoted from BDS’ academy squad. Adam and Crownie will both make their return to the LEC after sitting out last year, with Labrov joining from Vitality. The two bot laners will reunite after having played together on VIT in 2021. In the jungle position, French player Sheo will make his LEC debut, having achieved a best result of second place at the Summer European Master.
- Top: Finn (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- Jng: 113 (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- Mid: Dajor
- ADC: Kobbe (source: Eros)
- Supp: JeongHoon
- Top: Adam (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- Jng: Sheo (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- Mid: ????
- ADC: Crownie (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- Supp: Labrov (source: Brieuc Seeger)
MAD Lions building around Elyoya, Rekkles returning to fnatic
MAD Lions have had quite an eventful offseason so far. Elyoya was wanted by a lot of teams, including teams like G2 and FNC, but no one was able to satisfy the buyout price set by the Spanish organization. Thus, the jungler will be staying in the team, as he is going to be the core of MAD for next year.
Based on the various rumors, Carzzy is set to return after a disappointing year on Vitality. He will be partnering with former Fnatic support Hylissang and the Korean top laner Chasy who previously played on X7 Esports. Nisqy is still under contract with the organization until 2024 so he will likely remain as the mid laner.
This is probably one of the biggest returns in LEC history. After spending one year on Karmine Corp, Rekkles will make his way back into Europe’s top league as Fnatic’s ADC. Unfortunately for Upset, he will likely be sitting out in the first part of the season since he wasn’t able to find a new home.
With hylissang gone, however, it is still unsure who is going to side with Rekkles down in the bottom lane. Regarding the other roles, Fnatic will likely stick to the same top side of the map, as they weren’t able to find any stronger upgrades.
- Top: Chasy (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- Jng: Elyoya (source: Yohan Markov)
- Mid: Niqsy (not confirmed)
- ADC: Carzzy (source: Yohan Markov)
- Supp: Hylissang (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- Top: Wunder
- Jng: Razork
- Mid: Humanoid
- ADC: Rekkles (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- Supp: Rhuckz
G2 and Vitality taking a gamble with new risng talents
Vitality was one of the most hyped rosters in the LEC last year, with what was supposed to be one of the most stacked rosters in recent history. That being said, we all know how it went, with the team missing playoffs in one of the most unlikely scenarios.
This year, however, there’s even more hype compared to 2022. Chinese jungler Bo should finally make his debut in the LEC. He’s been dominating the soloQ ladder and people have claimed there’s no one else even close to him.
In the bottom lane, Vitality have picked up Neon from MSF and Kaiser from MAD Lions: while they might not be the number ones in their roles, they were solid players in 2022. To round off the roster, Vitality brought in T1 Challengers’ top laner Photon, another hyped player. Considered one of the best in second Korean League, he might be yet another player to make his name famous in EU like Malrang.
That leaves us with G2 Esports. The most decorated European organization made another revamp for 2023. Jankos has left G2 and will be replaced by Yike, one of the best rising talents from the ERLs. In the bottom lane, Flakked and Targamas will be both leaving G2. The latter, as previously mentioned, joined XL while the Spanish ADC will head to Team Heretics Academy to play in the Spanish ERL.
In their stead, G2 picked up former Team Liquid ADC Hans Sama and re-hired Mikyx after he was bought out from XL last year. BrokenBlade and caPs are the only two players that will remain from the 2022 roster.
- Top: Photon (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- Jng: Bo / Haru
- Mid: Perkz
- ADC: Neon (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- Supp: Kaiser (source: Eros)
- Top: BrokenBlade
- Jng: Yike (source: Alejandro Gomis)
- Mid: caPs
- ADC: Hans Sama (source: Brieuc Seeger)
- Supp: Mikyx (source: Brieuc Seeger)
Now that the 2021 Season is over, all the teams in the world will be looking around to make changes and upgrade their roster in the off-season. The hype for the LEC has been very high, as various rumors have been spreading in the last weeks prior to the free agency period.
Let’s take a look at some of the major transfers in the LEC and what could this mean for the teams.
LEC will have a new organization in 2022 – Team BDS
Following the collapse of the German organization Schalke 04, the LEC found itself with a vacant team to fill. The spot was taken by Team BDS, a Swiss organization that competed in the LFL last year.
The team is looking to build a roster full of youngsters, hoping to see their exploit throughout the year. While no player has been confirmed by the org yet, there are rumors that the team has been decided.
Starting from the coaching staff, it seems like former G2 Head Coach Grabbz will be joining BDS. After how the G2 season went, this might be the redemption arc for Grabbz who will have the chance to produce strong results with a very young team.
In the top lane, BDS is looking to pick up Fnatic’s top laner Adam, reuniting him with some of the KCorp players. Jungler Cinkrof, as well as ADC xMatty, will be the new rookies joining the LEC. To round off the roster, BDS will likely pick up the mid-support duo from last year’s Schalke 04 NUCLEARINT and LIMIT.
It will be a very good opportunity for all the players, as they are looking to establish themselves in the LEC and become the next superstars. For the first split in 2022, however, expectations will not be high: we’ll have to see how the team, if confirmed, will perform.
Rekkles leaves the LEC for LFL team KCorp (CONFIRMED)
Speaking of KCorp, this might be one of the most important moves for Europe in recent years from a competitive perspective, showing how the gap between ERLs and LEC might be smaller than people think.
Former G2 carry Martin “Rekkles” Larsson will be playing as the new marksman for the LFL team KCorp. Following a very disappointing year, owner Ocelote announced that he was going to trade Wunder, Mikyx and Rekkles for the following season. With all the teams already in negotiation with other players, Rekkles had no place to stay in LEC.
As a result, Rekkles signed with the LFL team KCorp, who has been making a name for themselves in the past few years. The French ERL is having great success, with huge viewership numbers as well as talent flowing in and out from their league.
Rekkles’ presence will likely further increase the interest in the region, benefitting all the teams competing. Nonetheless, the roster move marks a unprecedented move in League of Legends history.
Perkz, Carzzy and Alphari set to join Vitality for a super roster
After their brief experience in NA in 2021, Perkz and Alphari are looking to return to EU, hoping to have a higher competition and aim to perform well at Worlds.
Initially, Perkz and Cloud9 were in negotiation to transfer him to Fnatic but the deal didn’t go through for economic reasons. As a result, Vitality stepped in to satisfy the economic needs and gave decisional power to Perkz in order to put together a strong team.
With jungler Selfmade as well as support Labrov confirmed for next year, Vitality will create a super team that will compete for the championship. Not only Perkz and Alphari will be joining Vitality, but the French organization is in talks to get MAD Lions’ ADC Carzzy.
If Vitality will end up with such a lineup, things will get a lot more interesting in the LEC, as a new contender will be joining the fray.
Hans Sama and Bwipo set to join Team Liquid in the LCS, Inspired going to Evil Geniuses
With Alphari leaving Team Liquid, the North American organization is looking for a substitute. That potential candidate seems like to be Bwipo, after a disastrous end of the year in Fnatic.
The top laner isn’t the only EU player wanted by TL. Rogue’s ADC Hans Sama has also been a very high priority since support CoreJJ will likely become a resident.
If these rumors will become true, together with Bjergsen joining the team, then Team Liquid will become a very scary contender, not only domestically but also internationally.
Despite re-signing with Rogue during Summer, Inspired is also rumored to join Evil Geniuses. The American organization is setting to buy his contract: if both deals go through, then Rogue will have to find two new star players to fill the roster. There is no information on who RGE will sign, but rumors state that the team is at least considering Malrang, DWG Kia’s substitute jungler.
New botlane for G2, Nisqy will be teamless
We previously mentioned that G2 will revamp their bot lane, replacing Rekkles and Mikyx, likely with MAD Lions’ Academy ADC Flakked and Targamas, KCorp’s support.
There will be lot of pressure for these two rookies, as they will have to perform in one of the best teams in LEC history. Nonetheless, it will be important to understand G2’s goal for this year: are they still aiming for a top spot in the LEC or are they rebuilding? With Caps and Jankos remaining, the first seems a lot more likely. They might need some time to work things out, but we expect G2 to be ready to fight in Summer.
To round off the major roster changes so far, we need to talk about Nisqy. Following his poor performance at Worlds, the Belgian player will likely be teamless next year.
The player mentioned on social media how he was disappointed with the team’s poor time management, as he was basically left no options. Despite not knowing who Fnatic will replace him with, Nisqy seems like he won’t be playing competitively next split.
Only the transfers marked as confirmed have been, well confirmed. Everything else is based on strong rumors but we cant be certain until the organizations confirm the transfers themselves.
We are now 10 days into the League of Legends Free Agency period and “drama” has been happening in all four major competitive regions. Today we kick off our Free Agency Breakdown for the LEC as we track down all transfers, rumors and lineups leading up to the 2020 Spring Split.
The European league is currently having the most peaceful off-season in years. Roster swaps are scarce as teams are mostly extending contracts and marginally refreshing rosters. An exception to this are teams Mad Lions (formerly Splyce) and Schalke04 who went on to rebuild their entire rosters for 2020. SK-Gaming had many contracts expire and did not opt-out into renewing them as well as not announcing new additions as of yet.
The current LEC roster breakdown looks like this:
If it works…
Straight out the gate we notice LoL Worlds 2019 finalists G2 did not make any changes to their 2020 roster. The starting five are all contracted until 2021 and the only change coming from the roster is that they released the meme god Hampus “promisq” Abrahamsson into the wild. On the 25th of November, Promisq announced he was not able to land a team for the LEC 2020 Spring split, but that he is still actively looking for an Academy/National team to join.
The upstart Rogue hasn’t made huge changes to their roster also. Their first LEC season was “not great, not terrible” as they rallied heavily into summer and are seeking to become a staple top4 of the league in 2020. They did however sign Draven god Hans Sama to their roster during this Free Agency period, and are now fielding a full roster signed until 2021.
Fnatic mildly refresh their roster also coming into 2020. In the lead-up to Free Agency a lot of rumors were spawned about the roster falling apart and huge changes coming in the offseason. It was rumored that Rekkles would be leaving to the LCS and Nemesis would go play for SK-Gaming together with Selfmade, Hylissang would get booted and Broxah would go to North America. In the end most of the rumors were incorrect as Fnatic kept ⅘ of their roster and only released Broxah to Team Liquid. Selfmade came over from SK-Gaming to rejoin his former teammate Nemesis and round out the 2020 Fnatic Roster. On the coaching side, Youngbuck has also left the roster and went on to join ExceL. The new coach of Fnatic is yet to be announced. Rumors are that Alfonso “Mithy” Rodríguez will be the new coach, but it is yet to be confirmed.
If it doesn’t work…
The following three rosters are going to rebuild their rosters partially coming into next season.
First up, Origen. The team released their botlane in the offseason and replaced them with former S04 AD Carry Elias “Upset” Lipp and MAMMOTH’s support Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw. Destiny is also the first OCE player to be signed by an LEC team in the history of the league. The jungle position was reinforced with Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir moving over from Splyce. As far as we know, Kold is still under contract with Origen as a jungler but his status is still set to inactive. All in all, Origen was the fastest team to make roster moves and fully announce their 2020 roster only days into the Free Agency Period.
Similarly to Origen, Schalke04 is also refreshing their 2020 roster. They also released their botlane duo and have only signed an ADC so far. FORG1VEN will be making his triumphant return to the league after taking a 2 year hiatus due to his mandatory military service. His support is still not announced as Schalke is still evaluating all options. SK-Gaming’s Support Han “Dreams” Min-kook is likely going to join Schalke next season based on rumors.
SK-Gaming was left without an ADC and Jungler in the offseason. After releasing Selfmade to Fnatic and Pirean as a Free Agent. The team has not made any announcements on their 2020 roster as of yet. Former S04 Jungler Kim “Trick” Gang-yun was rumored to have signed with SK for the next season, but this is yet to be confirmed by the organization. The ADC role is yet to be filled.
Misfits, ExceL and Vitality all have players still on contract all the way through next season.
After Misfits updated their Academy roster up to the LEC last summer they are still evaluating their options for 2020 while also releasing some of the players singed earlier. Maxlore, SoaZ and Gorilla all left after being bumped down from the starting lineup and we know Hans Sama left recently. This means only Febiven remains from the original 2019 Spring “Super Team”. No new additions to the roster have been announced as of yet.
Vitality has only lost Jizuke this off-season. After having a horrible Summer Split the Italian stallion is now seeking a new organization to continue his career. The team still has their Academy jungler Lucas “Saken” Fayard to bump up to the main roster. Rumors are that Vitality is also completing a deal with Vodafone Giants midlaner Aljoša “Milica” Kovandžić, but the deal is yet to be confirmed by the team.
ExceL have retained most of their players from the previous season, but have swapped their coach leading into 2020. The team has not announced any roster additions as of yet, but rumors are that Tore “Norskeren” Eilertsen will be signing with the team. He would also change his name to Tore for the upcoming season.
The Splyce Story
Lastly, we arrive at Splyce and the story surrounding the players and squad for next season. Back in November 2018, OverActive Media Group fully acquired Splyce and added the team in their expanding portfolio featuring teams like Toronto Defiant and Toronto Ultra. Back in May 2019, MAD Lions Esports Club was also acquired by said company hinting at at the marriage between the European teams.
In September of this year it was announced that Splyce’s offices in Rochester would be closed and the employees sacked. Marty Strenczewilk co-founder of Splyce is the only remaining employee that is still working for the company. With OverActive owning both the Mad Lions and Splyce they have opted out to fully eliminate the Splyce brand from the European scene and continue the LEC story as Mad Lions coming into next season.
The Worlds 2019 quarter-finalist roster of Splyce has largely been released. Kobbe has signed with TSM, Xerxe to Origen and Norskeren probably to Excel. Vizicsacsi announced this retirement in the off-season and the only remaining player on the roster is Humanoid. The 2020 Mad Lions roster will likely feature a team build around Humanoid and Academy toplaner Andrei “Orome” Popa. Three new players are rumored to complete the roster. Former mousesports players Shadow & Gistick are rumored as new additions to the roster with Berlin International Gaming AD carry Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság rounding out the roster.
There is still much that could change before teams have to put down their final LEC rosters. Keep checking our LoL news section for more updates after the Free Agency period is complete. Next time we will take a look at the LCS Free Agency and everything that goes on in the North American scene.