The 2018 NA LCS Rosters are in – Here’s how they look
The 2018 NA LCS Rosters are in – Here’s how they look
Some teams are hardly recognizable, some teams are new power house combinations, and some teams look surprisingly like old teams but with new branding. The 2018 rosters are here, and to say they are exciting is an understatement. Fans of the old teams are most certainly going to have some internal struggles as iconic members have left for new teams or disappeared from the scene altogether. 2018 will be an all new game, and it’s unlikely the titans of the past will keep their spots.
Hauntzer (Top) MikeYeung (Jungle) Bjergsen (Mid) Zven (ADC) Mithy (Support)
TSM is one of the most iconic teams in the world, and they know it. But little of the most iconic TSM has survived. Hauntzer, the often overlooked shot-caller of the team has kept his role, and Bjergsen, the always humble Faker-of-NA. has remained, but that’s it. Doublelift, who found his fame on TSM and boosted the teams popularity, and Biofrost have been swapped for G2’s bot lane combo Zven and Mithy. When they met in Rift Rivals, G2’s bot lane had the upper hand, but just barely. Probably the biggest news is that Svenskeren, the jungler with TSM for their most popular years, was swapped out with MikeYeung, the rookie all-star from Phoenix1. Although Mike has shown amazing promise, it seems unlikely he will have the synergy that Svenskeren brought.
Licorice (Top) Svenskeren (Jungle) Jensen (Mid) Sneaky (ADC) Smoothie (Support)
C9 can definitely boast that they have stayed the truest. The all-stars of the team in Jensen, Sneaky, and Smoothie have all remained. That’s a good thing for fans, as this trio made up the bulk of C9 strategy and plays. Contractz has been swapped out for Svenskeren, which is arguably an upgrade, as Contractz played consistent and well but never amazingly. The biggest shakeup, though, is in Licorice. C9 has always been eager to test out new players, something evidenced in their Scouting Grounds showing, and Licorice has had a home in the C9 Challenger for some time. He could be the hidden ace in the hole, something that finally propels C9 past TSM, or they could just be heavily experimenting with their top-lane since they also first picked top-laner League in the Scouting Grounds.
Darshan (Top) Reignover (Jungle) Huhi (Mid) Stixxay (ADC) Biofrost (Support)
For many CLG fans, the dream is dead. Though Stixxay, Darshan, and Huhi remain, Aphromoo – the shotcaller and leader of CLG for many years – has departed. Few players are as iconic to their team as Aphromoo was to CLG, and his friendship and antics with Huhi were known across the streaming world. Biofrost has joined to replace him, but while Biofrost has always been a consistent player, he has never been the aggressive, decisive support that Aphromoo was, meaning the burden will have to fall to one of the other members. Many speculate if Reignover, their new jungler, was brought in to help fulfill this role, as he is much more of an aggressive Xmithie style than Omargod’s more reserved jungle play. It will be interesting to see who steps to the plate as the new leader of CLG.
Impact (Top) Xmithie (Jungle) Pobelter (Mid) Doublelift (ADC) Olleh (Support)
Team Liquid’s lineup is… interesting. And by interesting we mean Immortals. While it was rumored TL had picked up Flame as well, TL has still managed to snag Xmithie, Pobelter, and Olleh. After Immortals was not picked up for the 2018 year, fans the world over were baffled what would happen with the players that nearly won the NA LCS finals and made it to Worlds, and TL answered that question. Pobelter proved his dedication by rocketing his way up the Korean Challenger list alongside Olleh in preparation for Worlds. He secured the #4 spot, and has consistently been a well-rounded, top-tier mid. Olleh joins him as arguably the best support in NA supporting arguably the best ADC in NA – Doublelift. With C9’s Impact finishing their roster, TL might be the dark horse that will stampede through all of NA.
Huni (Top) Dardoch (Jungle) Fenix (Mid) Altec (ADC) Adrian (Support)
Remember the old Echo Fox lineup? Neither does Echo Fox. After finishing 8th, team Rick Fox didn’t just organize the team; they burned it. Echo Fox’s new lineup features Huni of SKT, Fenix from the Challenger team Gold Coin United, and Dardoch, Altec, and Adrian from basically every team ever. Echo Fox’s lineup doesn’t feel crafted so much as gathered from what was left lying around on the floor. Dardoch has had problems on every team he has ever played on because of his attitude while Adrian and Altec have changed hands more than pocket change. Perhaps Rick Fox is hoping Huni can bring some SKT magic and shape his team up, but for now, they are looking a lot like the fat, out of shape team at the beginning of an inspirational sports movie.
Flame (Top) Anda (Jungle) Fly (Mid) WildTurtle (ADC) Stunt (Support)
Flyquest surprised many by making it into the 2018 lineup following their middling performance all split. Like Echo Fox, Flyquest has trash-canned almost their entire lineup, keeping only WildTurtle (who they got from TSM anyway). While the lineup makes a bit more sense than Echo Fox, with Flame and Anda both hailing from Immortals and WildTurtle having been their previous ADC, they definitely look like a boat without a compass. Stunt and Fly both seem like fillers for spots, not expertly picked mid-laners and supports. There is a bit of suspicion that they might have just picked up Fly because his name is in the team, especially considering his 2017 season was the worst of his entire life and it put him at the worst CS of any mid-laner. Seems fishy.
Solo (Top) Lira (Jungle) Febiven (Mid) Apollo (ADC) Hakuho (Support)
Clutch Gaming is built on the ashes of EnVyUs. Having come in 6th in the Summer Split, NV was hardly a slouch among the NA LCS. This was especially true of Hakuho and Apollo in the bot lane and Lira in the jungle, a trio that nearly took down CLG in their prime. Clutch must have been watching the same game we were since the only members of NV they took were those three. At the mid lane, they put Febiven, an EU star that helped Fnatic have the world breaking 2015 run where they went completely undefeated. Clutch may have run out of slots after Febiven, because their top-laner Solo is a relative unknown, but if the rest of his team can get him to fall into place, they might just be one of the more formidable teams, especially with the NV trio leading the charge.
Lourlo (Top) Contractz (Jungle) Hai (Mid) Deftly (ADC) Matt (Support)
Unlike some of the other teams, Golden Guardians looks like a team of puzzle pieces that never quite fit apart, but they may all fit together. Lourlo has come and gone from teams, but his performance in top lane, especially as a carry, has always been massively impressive. Coupled with the stability of Contractz in the jungle and Matt as support, the pillars of the team are solid. It may fall to these two in particular to balance the lanes and team fights, something they have done admirably for their teams in the past. 2018 may also finally be Hai’s year. Hai has never been a bad mid-laner, but he has seemed like one that just can’t quite match with the best, though his strategies are often bold and progressive. With relative new comer Deftly as ADC, Hai and Lourlo are clearly the power on the team with Contractz and Matt serving as the glue to hold them together.
Zig (Top) Akaadian (Jungle) PowerofEvil (Mid) Arrow (ADC) LemonNation (Support)
It’s little surprise that PowerofEvil was sniped from Misfits. After their performance at Worlds nearly toppling SKT, teams must have been scrambling to pick him up. Joined by Akaadian, one of the most underrated junglers in NA, and Zig in the top lane – known for bringing Kled to the meta – Optic is definitely top heavy in aggression. Arrow also joins former teammate Zig alongside Lemonnation, who Optic may be hoping will use his ever-present notebook alongside PowerofEvil to make some truly crazy comps. In fact, with Lemonnaton and PowerofEvil’s history, Optic may be the team to watch for wild and crazy comps. We just hope they work more like Misfits and less like Flyquest.
Ssumday (Top) Meteos (Jungle) Ryu (Mid) Cody Sun (ADC) Aphromoo (Support)
The hype train has a name, and that name is 100 Thieves. Of all the new rosters and teams, this is by far the most exciting. Aphromoo leads the team alongside Cody Sun in the bot lane, two of the best bot laners to grace NA but never together. Ryu will be taking mid lane for the team as an extremely undervalued mid laner, one who has gone toe-to-toe with Jensen and Bjergsen and even beaten them on occassion. Meteos, the hype jungler before MikeYeung took the scene, is also returning to the LCS after teasing retirement from the sport. His Zac plays and precision mechanics are something many fans fell immediately in love with (just like Sneaky did, it’s a weird relationship). Ssumday is the final cog in place, the top laner that carried Dignitas to many a victory. If any team has all the pieces to destroy competition, it is this one.
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