The League of Legends offseason is sort of over, with the LCS and LEC on the verge of returning for the 2021 season. Now all of the rosters have been locked in, Dexerto takes a have a look at the largest winners and losers of LoL free company.
The 2020/21 offseason could have been one of many largest in League historical past. Quite a lot of high-profile veterans, together with Bjergsen, Doublelift, referred to as time on their storied careers, and dominoes fell throughout each North America and Europe in a large roster reshuffle.
Within the LCS, practically each roster seems to be totally different; solely the Golden Guardians core lineup really caught collectively, and even they are going to be flying a unique banner.
Two of the largest shifts in energy had been sparked from G2 Esports.
The primary was letting eight-time LEC champ Luka ‘Perkz’ Perković go away for North America. The second was their transfer to exchange him; the perennial winners lured Fnatic’s Martin ‘Rekkles’ Larsen to the black and silver heading into 2021.
Right here’s our picks for the largest winners & losers of the 2020/21 offseason.
For a crew that so usually “loses the offseason” — at the very least in accordance with LoL followers — Spring 2020 champs Cloud9 have finished fairly effectively coming into the 2021 season.
The perennial LCS heavy hitters really solely made two adjustments to their beginning lineup, however they had been huge ones. Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer and poster boy Eric “Licorice” Ritchie out, increase high laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami and Perkz, the self-appointed king of Europe, in.
And that’s all Cloud9 wanted to “win” the offseason this time round.
We may be fast on Fudge. He’s a rising star, and moved from Australia final 12 months. He’s been tearing up Academy, and is anticipated to do the identical within the LCS.
Then there’s Perkz. His report speaks for itself; eight LEC titles, one Worlds ultimate, and semifinal finishes both facet. The one query concerning the Croatian is the very fact he’s performed ADC for many of the final two years. A transparent ‘winner’ for positive.
Funnily sufficient, G2 Esports are one other huge winner from the 2020/21 offseason, regardless of shedding Perkz to Cloud9. Merely put, shedding a role-swapped mid laner enjoying ADC, and choosing up Europe’s finest bot laner in his place, can solely be a constructive for the crew.
The defending LEC champs are shedding their non secular chief and captain, however Rekkles has by no means been one to pull down his groups.
If he can deliver the identical rock-solid performances he dished out for Fnatic over the previous seven years, whereas the remainder of the G2 Esports lineup do what they do finest — sow chaos — then G2 ought to win one other title in 2021.
Nadeshot’s purple and white 100 Thieves are my choose of the litter for offseason winners. The Golden Guardians roster from 2020 was well-equipped to go to Worlds, and however for one small slip-up towards Workforce SoloMid, they might have made it too.
Now, heading into 2021, they’ve saved the core collectively, and been handed a monster improve within the high lane in addition. Can ‘Nearer’ Çelik, Victor ‘FBI’ Huang, Tanner ‘Damonte’ Damonte, and Choi ‘huhi’ Jae-hyun have all made the transfer to 100 Thieves on long-term offers.
Add in Kim ‘Ssumday’ Chang-ho, and that’s a killer LCS lineup.
Anticipate 100 Thieves to be difficult for his or her first North American title by the top of this season. With a lot upheaval within the LCS, to have 4 of the identical lineup collectively off the bat will show key, and Ssumday is simply the cherry on high.
The ultimate winner could also be an out of doors choose for some: SK Gaming. The German org overhauled its 2020 roster, and picked up quite a few thrilling younger European Masters stars.
This will get a giant inexperienced tick of approval on our finish. These aren’t names many individuals may have heard of within the wider League of Legends group however increase rookies like Ersin ‘Blue’ Gören, Jean ‘Jezu’ Massol, and Kristian ‘Tynx’ Hansen are aiming to impress.
Treatz and Jenax are extra identified portions, however mixing this huge mixing pot of younger European expertise collectively ought to be an thrilling rollercoaster for SK Gaming followers. Dexerto has feeling SK ought to make playoffs with a burst, like MAD final season.
The one concern could be an identical flame-out, just like the MAD Lions suffered at Worlds in late 2020, however with Jenax and Treatz bringing expertise, it ought to all work out okay.
If 100 Thieves had been one of many largest winners of the offseason, then Golden Guardians should be one of many losers. It is smart, with house owners the Golden State Warriors pulling again funding in 2021 to take care of the NBA’s crowdless state of affairs, however continues to be a loss.
As talked about earlier than, GGS got here very near Worlds final 12 months. With out double elimination, they principally would have been a shoo-in. As an alternative, they needed to watch from dwelling as TSM flew to Shanghai of their stead, then they misplaced that star-studded roster in addition.
There’s little to like concerning the new lineup too. Academy pickups like Ablazeolive are attention-grabbing however, sadly, recent faces received’t win titles this 12 months.
It’s type of laborious to decrease expectations after you ran aground in tenth, however Astralis have managed to do it. Choosing up children is a good suggestion, however when your veteran core is Nukeduck and promise it’s laborious to get excited.
Astralis had been picked clear by Workforce Liquid, Fnatic, and Immortals within the offseason. They seem like they’re simply attempting to make up numbers within the LEC once more this 12 months.
Jeskla could possibly be a vibrant spot, however there’s query marks over the Swede till he performs, and having promisq as help received’t assist something. Astralis excel at CSGO, positive, however seems to be to have missed the mark once more in League of Legends.
Now, on paper, Fnatic haven’t finished too badly. Elias ‘Upset’ Lipp is considered a strong European ADC. Nisqy could possibly be an improve over Tim ‘Nemesis’ Lipovšek. Any offseason that sees you hand your finest participant off to your rivals is a loss, nevertheless, and one which Fnatic is aware of all too effectively.
For the reason that LEC veterans gave G2 Esports their mid laner, Caps, they’ve misplaced 4 seasons in a row to their arch-enemies. Now they’ve let Rekkles go too, and neither of their new signings ought to bridge the hole that simply received even larger.
Fnatic could have upgraded total, and could possibly be a transparent second-place crew if all the pieces goes in accordance with script. The percentages are towards them to interrupt that mould.
And so we get to TSM, and their 2021 roster. This might effectively be a coinflip lineup, and the defending North American champs may effectively have been dubbed “winners” if the crew’s rivals hadn’t recruited so effectively. There are some points although.
The primary is Heo ‘Huni’ Seung-hoon. The South Korean high laner has a listing of achievements any League star could be pleased with, together with a Worlds ultimate and a number of home titles, however is way from his glory days coming into 2021. To most, he’s a foul pickup for TSM.
That is particularly stark when Licorice and Affect had been obtainable.
TSM additionally misplaced two of their biggest ever stars, Bjergsen and Doublelift, forward of 2021. That in itself makes the brand new season a troublesome ask, as they appear to seek out their ft in a brand new period. Solely jungler Mingyi ‘Spica’ Lu stays from the 2020 lineup in a large overhaul.
Tristan ‘PowerofEvil’ Schrage, Hu’ SwordArt’ Shuo-Chieh, and Lawrence ‘Misplaced’ Hui are all strong. Whether or not they work collectively, effectively, that we’ll see.
So there you have got it; all of the winners and losers from the LCS and LEC heading into the brand new 12 months. Europe’s premier competitors is about to start on Jan. 22, whereas the LCS begins per week earlier with their preseason “Lock In” event on Jan. 15.