The LCS offseason has reached a fever pitch with Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses making major acquisitions in Free Agency. The domino of Jake “Xmithie” Puchero has now fallen as TL’s former jungler makes his return to Immortals, who have regained their place in the LCS with the buyout of OpTic Gaming’s slot. Replacing Xmithie between the lanes is none other than German jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen as he makes his way across the pond to compete in North America.
Elsewhere in the league, Counter Logic Gaming have been making moves in multiple lanes as they announced a trade for Andy “Smoothie” Ta in return for Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. They have also bought out the contract for Lee “Crown” Min-ho as they now possess two of the most consistent import solo laners the region has to offer. After FlyQuest announced the return of a few of their staple players, they added to the hype in a big way with the surprise acquisition of Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun to the team.
These roster round-ups will surely be influential for your 2020 LCS bets. So let’s have a better look at what’s been going down.
Let the chips fall where they may
The LCS offseason is a very vitriolic time in esports. With some of the best LoL players lobbying their options and looking to maximize their prospects, the amount of moves being made has hit a break-neck pace. Team Liquid’s signing of Broxah was the first fundamental domino to fall, but one has to question whether or not this was a definitive upgrade from Xmithie.
While Broxah has reached great heights as a member of Fnatic and brings a wide depth of international experience over to Team Liquid, his gameplay was under scrutiny for large swaths of the 2019 season as some EU pundits questioned his overall impact to the team. Critics such as Kelsey Moser and Michael “Veteran” Archer claimed that Broxah’s talent wasn’t even top five material during the Summer Split of 2019, and one wonders whether or not Team Liquid could have cashed out on a different talent if importing was once again the option.
Now that Team Liquid’s identity for 2020 has been set, other teams in the league have a barometer to measure themselves with when it comes to their strength. Evil Geniuses have come out the gate swinging with their big name acquisitions of Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam and Bae “Bang” Jun-sik. With the capital behind them and a long standing reputation in eSports, EG have taken a firm grasp of the offseason and are now two solo laners away from compromising a virtuous lineup.
CLG pickup Crown, IgNar to FlyQuest
After much speculation of which direction CLG were willing to go in 2020, parting ways with Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage was a smart move for deciding their roster. Bringing in Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min late last season gave CLG a much needed rejuvenation, and they’re undoubtedly looking to compound his influence with another Korean talent that can keep up.
Adding Smoothie to the mix and keeping Stixxay on CLG will be paramount to their success, but finding a much needed upgrade at the jungle position will truly take CLG to the next level if they are unwilling to wait on Wiggily’s development. Wiggily enjoyed spells of success during the regular season, but when everything was on the line in big moments, Wiggily disappeared from the limelight and CLG’s performances dipped severely in playoffs because of it.
FlyQuest picking up IgNar to pair alongside WildTurtle has breathed a new dynamic into this offseason. No one was expecting FlyQuest to be one of the best LoL teams making international signings, but IgNar’s addition to the team is a sign that they are taking a serious step to win games and develop synergy with playmaking ability. Both Pobelter and IgNar will be able to complement each other with their selfless play styles. If FlyQuest can add onto this signing with an upgrade at top lane, they can consider themselves a serious contender for playoffs once the synergy develops in bot.