LCS 2020 Bot Lane Power Ranking: Team SoloMid, Cloud9 and CLG shuffle positions
The 2020 Free Agency window has brought a lot of changes to the bot lanes of more than half the teams in LCS currently.
The League of Legends news making its way across social media has dramatically shifted the power dynamic for a host of teams next year as Counter Logic Gaming, Cloud9 and Team SoloMid have all made significant roster overhauls to reconsolidate their efforts in order to defeat Team Liquid.
Emerging teams like 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses, FlyQuest and Immortals have also made ambitious moves in order to secure talent in the bot lane, but can their efforts be consistent enough to topple the best teams in the league?
This Power Ranking for the 2020 preseason is a prospective list as some LCS rosters are still far from being completed. Regardless of that fact, bot lane synergy in League of Legends continues to be a determinant factor in success, and most of them being announced already can give us a solid indication of roster strength as teams finalize their decisions.
1. Team Liquid – Doublelift & CoreJJ
With all the changes being made in the LCS around the four time reigning champions, it makes sense for Team Liquid to find themselves as the strongest bot side in the league once again. Doublelift and CoreJJ are the consensus best ADC and Support in North America and the changing landscape in Spring will only solidify their position as the rest of the teams play catch up.
Despite once again failing to get out of Group Stage for a successive year, the faults for this team rarely stemmed from the bot side of the map as Doublelift and CoreJJ getting ahead of the competition has remained their best win condition. When it comes to North America, Team Liquid’s veteran prowess and mechanical ability are still levels ahead of the competition. Both Doublelift and CoreJJ are the barometer of success for the rest of the bot lane duos looking to make their way up this LCS Bot Lane Power Ranking as the 2020 season progresses.
2. Cloud9 – Zven & Vulcan
At first, Cloud9’s revamp in 2020 seems like a step backwards, but the marquee signings of Vulcan and Zven could prove to be their biggest asset alongside their star top laner Licorice. Vulcan was quite possibly the most highly sought after native Support player after his amazing 2019 season.
Vulcan has received praise from the most elite bot laners in the league and his stock is only growing higher as Cloud9 were able to sign him at a relatively low salary.
Zven’s inclusion into C9 is also an uncharacteristic addition to the team. C9 have typically used their import roles on the top side of the map, but adding Zven gives them a completely new identity as both Zven and Vulcan have been known for their consistency in lane and teamfights.
With Zven officially closing the first chapter of his North American journey, the new pastures at C9 could give him a well needed boost to his career with their world-class coaching structure in place.
3. Team SoloMid – Kobbe & Biofrost
Team SoloMid made a splash in Free Agency quite early on with the trade for Smoothie to CLG in return for Biofrost. The Canadian Support made his debut for TSM back in 2016, and returns to the team that put him on the map with a newfound confidence in the leadership role he attained at Counter Logic Gaming.
Biofrost’s return will be a boost to TSM’s profile, but synergy with his newly imported duo will need to develop in order for them to assert their place atop the Bot Lane Power Ranking.
Kobbe’s inclusion into this newly reformed TSM roster does draw interest, but there is plenty left to prove for an import ADC making his way across the Atlantic. TSM’s imports in the bot lane have underperformed historically since 2016.
Although Kobbe looked like a world beater as a part of Splyce last year, his efforts were aided by the fact that his entire team played for him, and there’s no guarantee those same conditions will apply as a member of TSM. Laning phase leaves much to be desired for an ADC of Kobbe’s caliber, but Biofrost’s unique laning ability may be able to assuage those issues.
4. Counter Logic Gaming – Stixxay & Smoothie
With most of the top teams switching around unknown commodities in the bot lane, Counter Logic Gaming’s intuitive approach is a breath of fresh air given the names that were available. Now that Biofrost is off the roster and the need for a vocal team captain back on the table, the addition of Smoothie can be a valuable piece to a team that is in desperate need of a vocal presence.
Smoothie’s shotcalling has been heralded by former teammates before, but the same has not been said about his mechanical ability. Pairing up with a technically clean AD carry like Stixxay will force Smoothie to redefine his role as he will have to rely on finesse and proper synergy to maximize his success on CLG.
The immediate upside with this duo remains in their native strength as solid North American talents with their import solo laners around them. If Stixxay and Smoothie live up to their full potential, they could easily contest with the top three bot lanes on any given night.
5. 100 Thieves – Cody Sun & Stunt
100 Thieves’ Free Agency action this offseason was more modest than in years prior, but that didn’t stop them from securing some quality players in an efficient manner. The rebuild of 100 Thieves World Championship qualifying roster has officially begun with Ssumday and Meteos returning to the forefront, but the real value pickups have come from their bot lane acquisitions of Cody Sun and Stunt.
Cody Sun enjoyed a career renaissance in 2019 as a member of Clutch Gaming. As of this year, Cody Sun joined an elite list of AD carries alongside Sneaky and Doublelift as the only North American bot laners to attend the last three consecutive World Championships, and Cody Sun accomplished that feat as a member of a different team each time.
While Stunt hasn’t received the same amount of praise in his limited time in the LCS, his consistency has remained a strong point as he’s maneuvered across a variety of bottom level teams without ever being cast off as the weakest link.
On the Brink: Evil Geniuses, FlyQuest
For the rest of the teams formulating their rosters next season, there is still plenty left to be desired as notable Free Agents like Sneaky, Pobelter and Aphromoo have yet to be signed. Evil Geniuses’ bot lane has potential on paper, but there is no guarantee that Zeyzal is a definitive upgrade over the likes of a prime Aphromoo and much is left to be desired for the overall potential of this EG lineup. Faith in imports has been fools gold for most teams in LCS and LEC, but Evil Geniuses have faith they can turn previous misfortune around with the signings they’ve made so far.
FlyQuest made headlines this offseason resigning their franchise player WildTurtle to a rumored 700k contract, and pairing him alongside a battle tested Support like IgNar may be the tipping point that gets his performances back to a higher level. As the rest of these lineups finish getting announced, the prospective success of each bot lane will soon take shape.