A tumultuous offseason has led to old powerhouse teams falling off and newer upstarts rising to take their place. These three teams are the ones with the most potential, and certainly ones you should watch as the league restarts.
The LCS starts up in just a couple weeks, and already the fans are starting to get hyped to watch their favorite teams perform. Not all teams are equally exciting, however.
Some, like Team SoloMid and Team Liquid, have their usual expectations of success; others, like the Golden Guardians, aren’t predicted to do much better than they did last season. However, there are a few teams that look to shake up the league with their new rosters. The following squads are the ones you should be paying the most attention to in the coming weeks.
Last split was a case of “so close, and yet so far” for FlyQuest. They performed better than anyone expected and managed to make playoffs, but unfortunately was unable to find any purchase against 100 Thieves and went down in three games. It was a disappointing end to the season, but fans certainly weren’t upset with how well FQ did.
This year looks to be the year FlyQuest finally gets over the hill. Eugene “Pobelter” Park is almost assuredly an upgrade over Hai “Hai” Du Lam, and gives the roster the mid lane pressure they’ve been sorely lacking. With Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen helping to get Pobelter and Jason “WildTurtle” Tran ahead, FlyQuest should have multiple threats and playstyles they can bring to bear against the competition.
The other reason to keep an eye on FlyQuest is Omran “V1per” Shoura. The level of talent among the LCS top laners is quite high, which means that the organization must at least believe that V1per can hold down his lane. It’ll certainly be interesting to watch the rookie compete against the likes of Impact and Huni – especially if he starts showing that he can not only go even but win these tough matchups.
2. Clutch Gaming
It’s out with the old, in with the new for Clutch. Half of their starting roster, including Colin “Solo” Earnest, Apollo “Apollo” Price, and Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent, have all left the squad to join up with Echo Fox. That could have left Clutch in the dust, scrambling for players, but they instead managed to upgrade with some smart acquisitions. Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon is a massive bump to their threat potential, giving Clutch the ability to play around top lane instead of focusing on Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin.
Meanwhile, swapping out Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten for Tanner “Damonte” Damonte is a downgrade, but one without too many consequences. All Damonte really has to do is not die to his opposing mid while he waits for Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo to feed his side laners. This lends itself to a dynamic team composition that’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
1. 100 Thieves
The Thieves outdid themselves last year with their performances during the LCS. No one expected them to take second in the Spring Split, and certainly, no one expected them to be able to make it to Worlds. Now that they’ve proven themselves, the Thieves are definitely one to watch, as there’s a good chance they manage to take home an LCS title this split.
On top of that, 100T has possibly the biggest off-season acquisition in the League. Picking up former World champion Bae “Bang” Jun-sik is a massive buff to their bot lane, which should help relieve some of the pressure that otherwise would be directed at their new mid laner Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun. That change alone might be enough to push 100 Thieves over the top and certainly makes them worth watching.
What teams are you most excited to watch in the upcoming LCS split? Any teams you think deserve to be on this list?
The LCS returns Saturday, January 26 at 5 PM EST.