The professional League of Legends offseason is still heating up, and countless rumors are already out in the ether. With that in mind, this year’s free agency period has the potential to be jam-packed with roster moves.
This offseason, teams across the globe will be looking to rebuild and re-tool their lineups, with more players poised to swap teams than ever before. Additionally, dozens of players are set to see their contracts expire in just a few days, setting up this upcoming offseason to be littered with buyouts, trades, and free agent signings across all four of game’s major regions.
Next week, the offseason is going to kick itself into high gear. Riot Games is opening the annual free agency window on Nov. 15, allowing unrestricted players across professional League to sign new contracts without restrictions.
And sure, the offseason is bound to see swaths of players sign new deals that may or may not pan out in the end, but there are only so many “matches made in heaven” to go around. Here are some of the most notable player-team deals that could be made next week in which both the player and the organization find exactly what they’re looking for.
Note that players who are on the trading block or who have been made available for a buyout are not included in our following list of free agents. While they technically will be available to move during the “free agency” period, their contracts do not designate them as unrestricted free agents. All of the players listed below will see their contracts with their respective teams expire on Nov. 15 at 6pm CT, according to Riot’s global League contract database.
Current team: TSM | Best fit: Team Liquid
Bjergsen has already confirmed that his near-decade-long tenure with TSM will conclude this offseason, and the former LCS MVP will be looking for a contract elsewhere. It’s unlikely that Bjergsen will find a home on a team outside of the LCS’ top half, as he’ll realistically only end up with a real World Championship contender. And no team is closer to building a top-tier international contender than Team Liquid. With All-Pro-caliber players at every position in 2021 and the finances to buy any player on the market heading into 2022, Liquid feels like the most probable destination for a player as talented (and as valuable) as Bjergsen. When your main goal is to reach Worlds, signing with the team that’s been there four years in a row feels like a reasonable plan for a player who wants to taste international success.
Current team: Schalke 04 | Best fit: G2 Esports
G2 Esports has made it known that the organization is looking to move on from Wunder in the top lane. It’s arguable that beyond him, there are not many better top laners on the free agent market this offseason than Schalke 04 top laner Broken Blade. G2 would have to pry top laners like Armut, Adam, and Odoamne from their respective teams’ cold, dead hands, so signing the Schalke star and kicking off their prospective “rebuild” with a proven piece like Broken Blade is a sizable first step. As a plus, Broken Blade owned G2 this season. His 4.3 KDA in nine games played against G2 this season was over a full point higher than his season average of 3.1, according to League stats site Oracle’s Elixir. Taking him away as a competitor could be just as valuable for G2 as it is to add him to its lineup.
Current team: EDward Gaming | Best fit: LNG Esports
Just one week after hoisting the Summoner’s Cup with EDward Gaming, Viper will enter free agency. And while the veteran AD carry still holds residency in Korea, it’s likely he’ll remain in the LPL, since he’s become a staple of the league over the last few seasons. EDG should make re-signing Viper a priority, but if it can’t follow through, fellow Worlds 2021 representatives LNG Esports would make a great landing spot for Viper. LNG came just one game away from a top-eight finish at Worlds this year, since they were marred throughout the tournament (as well as the regular season) by inconsistency. There aren’t many players in the world who define “consistency” as well as Viper does. Seeing him alongside a developing roster that features rapidly developing (and highly talented) solo laners in Ale and Icon, as well as one of, if not the best jungler in the world in Tarzan would be an absolute treat for LPL fans.
Current team: DWG KIA | Best fit: DWG KIA
ShowMaker, despite missing out on a World Championship title this season, is still the best player in the world. Re-signing its generational franchise player to a multi-year deal should be DWG KIA’s No. 1 priority heading into the 2022 season. That being said, the team has several other holes to fill, with jungler Canyon and support BeryL also entering free agency, while top laner Khan is set to retire. Even with those players being mentioned, though, ShowMaker should remain at the top of DWG KIA’s list, and it would be difficult seeing him land anywhere else.
Current team: Evil Geniuses | Best fit: Team BDS
After a year in which Evil Geniuses finished third in the LCS regular season, Jiizuke is the team’s only unrestricted free agent. The team could be looking to upgrade its firepower in the mid lane after nearly qualifying for Worlds, and as a result, Jiizuke might be on the way out. The four-year veteran still holds European residency heading into 2022, so if Jiizuke is looking for an avenue back into the LEC, an upstart team like BDS—one that’s looking for pieces to fill out a new roster—could be the perfect landing spot for the veteran.
Current team: Hanwha Life Esports | Best fit: Cloud9
It’s a longshot that Chovy would make it to Cloud9, but the move makes total sense on paper. With Perkz reportedly on the way out, the organization could have enough residual cash to buy the contract of any player it chooses. If Cloud9 is going to re-tool its roster, it can start by using its high budget to swap out one world-class mid laner for another—and Chovy is a top candidate. Whether the LCK All-Pro wants to actually come to North America is a different story, though. Chovy has carried three different Korean teams to Worlds in the last three years, so it’s fair to say that his best chance of getting back to the international stage would be in his home region. Still, the idea of a top-tier global organization adding a generational player to its ranks is nothing new in professional League. Plus, it’s likely a player like Chovy would naturally slot into the LCS, dominating the competition just as he has in Korea for years.
Current team: Team Liquid | Best fit: Team Liquid
After such a successful season with Team Liquid—one in which the team reached back-to-back LCS finals—it’s hard to imagine the team giving up on their most consistent player in Santorin. Still, Santorin is the team’s only unrestricted free agent this offseason, since the rest of the starting lineup is signed through at least 2022. While upgrades elsewhere on the Rift are optional for Liquid, keeping Santorin is a necessity, and it’s not likely he’s going to have a better chance of winning anywhere else—especially considering other top teams like Cloud9, 100 Thieves, and TSM all have their jungle position locked down for the foreseeable future.
Current team: FunPlus Phoenix | Best fit: DWG KIA
With a vacant slot in DWG KIA’s top lane after the retirement of Khan, a reunion with his old team almost feels too easy for Nuguri. Despite Nuguri’s move to FunPlus Phoenix being the blockbuster deal of the 2020 offseason, the star top laner only signed a one-year deal with the organization. The 22-year-old proved he can dominate the LCK as recently as one year ago, so it’s likely that if he heads back to his old stomping grounds next year, he’d fit in like he never left.
Current team: CLG | Best fit: Dignitas
Broxah proved himself as a natural leader during his time in North America, and if he’s looking to spend 2022 mentoring a developing roster, Dignitas could use the former world finalist’s assistance. It’s unlikely that Broxah re-ups his deal with CLG after such a disastrous season, as well as the organization’s recent promise to turn its attention towards a rebuild. Broxah, though, could make a lateral move and foster a different set of young players on Dignitas, potentially finding himself on the lineup of a sneaky playoff contender in the process.
Current team: Fnatic | Best fit: Team Liquid
Bwipo is arguably the most flexible player on the free agent market this offseason. With experience in both the top lane and jungle in 2021, Bwipo could attract buyers in need of a fill-in at either position. With that in mind, a team like Liquid, who is reportedly set to see current top laner Alphari depart after one season, could use an instant fill-in like Bwipo.
The professional League of Legends free agency period is set to begin on Nov. 15 at 6pm CT. Make sure to tune into the Dot Esports Free Agency Show at 5pm CT to stay up to date with the latest roster moves.
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