With the LCS Spring Split just weeks away, and roster now locked into place. We take a look at the sides we think will be making up the top five of the table and our ones-to-watch.
5 – FlyQuest
Entering the list at the 5th spot is FlyQuest. The North American surprise at Worlds 2020, FlyQuest almost made it to the knockout rounds, a feat nobody expected. While the lineup is a lot different than it was in 2020, the new additions should see FlyQuest once again contest for a playoff spot in the Spring Split.
The most notable difference is the signing of top laner, Licorice who was joined by former Cloud9 members Palafox and Diamond. These three are joined by two hot prospects in ADC Johnsun and jungler Josedeodo. Johnsun, in particular, stands out as a top performer in 2020, even though he was on a poorly performing Dignitas side. FlyQuest looks like a side that has the makings of playoffs hopefully, and if things can gel quick enough could even be an outsider for the top spot.
4 – Team SoloMid
Team SoloMid (TSM) looked to be having a poor end to their 2020 season heading into the playoffs. However, due to the LCS playoff format allowing eight of the ten sides to have a shot at Worlds, TSM found their form and secured an LCS title. TSM has made some big changes in the off-season, with a new top lane, mid and bot lane being brought in for 2021.
Of the additions, the most notable is Huni. The former Fnatic and SKT top laner has struggled since moving to North America, but his recent NA Status (meaning he no longer takes up one of only two import slots) has seemingly given TSM cause to take a shot at him. If Huni can find the form of his time in Europe, TSM might have pulled off the signing of the season. The side’s other notable change is in the mid lane. With former mid laner Bjergsen retiring and moving into the coach role, PowerOfEvil has moved to the side to take on the task. Much like Huni, PowerOfEvil was praised during his time in Europe but has struggled to make an impact in the LCS. Though his 2020 Summer Split showing is likely why TSM brought him into the side
3 – Evil Geniuses
A surprise pick in the third spot as Evil Geniuses looks like they might just be a team to fear. Going by their motto “Living Evil”, Evil Geniuses have certainly turned heads with the way they market the roster, however, they’ve not always lived up to it on the Rift. In 2021, however, the roster is looking stronger and might even be a dark horse for a title shot.
The two major additions to the roster come in the form of Impact and IgNar. Two players who could be regarded as the best in their given role in the LCS. Jiizuke also returns to the starting spot after yo-yo-ing between LCS and Academy in the tail end of 2021. Svenskeren is also a reliable player in the jungle and should give each lane the support they need. Deftly is the final addition to the roster, who replaces Bang. Bang was a decent performer in 2020, so his removal caused some confusion amongst fans. The only obvious solution is that Deftly has been chosen to better match the aggressive playstyle of IgNar, though that remains to be seen.
2 – Team Liquid
Team Liquid nearly had it in 2020, and after a solid showing at the play-in stage of Worlds 2020, it looked like they might make it out of the group stage. Sadly for the LCS, they couldn’t manage it which might explain the slight roster change for 2021.
The major addition comes in the form of star UK import Alphari. The Welshman has quietly become one of the best top lakers in the region so it wasn’t a surprise to see a side in the LCS snap him up. Santorin was the jungle pickup for Team Liquid as he joins from FlyQuest, who as we mentioned earlier in this article, had a lot of success in 2020. The rest of the roster remains the same, with mid laner Jensen and bot lane duo Tactical and CoreJJ, who all did great at Worlds remain on the roster. All-in-all, Team Liquid will be a solid side in 2021, and likely a favourite for some to win the Spring Split.
1 – Cloud9
Cloud9 fans are probably still unable to compute the fact that they never won the 2020 Spring Split. After going through most of the 2020 season unbeaten, it all fell apart for Cloud9 when it mattered most. While they made it to the playoffs, the side lacked the critical edge to make it to Worlds, ending the season in disappointment.
While some fans may have been going into 2021 worried about what Cloud9 would show up, the addition of G2 Esports’ star man, Perkz, will be seen as a massive coup for the team. Perkz has been one of the most essential parts of the G2 rosters since he joined, winning almost every title on the way. In fact, Perkz was so important to G2, that when they signed Caps from Fnatic he moved to the ADC role to allow Caps to join. Zven and Vulcan proved that they have what it takes to mix it with the top bot lanes in the league, alongside Blader they made up one of the best sides the LCS has had in recent years. Top laner Fudge is another new addition to the roster and might be a cause for concern. If he can settle in and help the side, then Cloud9 should easily take the Spring Split.