The opening weekend of a League of Legends region is always exciting, but even more so for LCS enthusiasts who have been waiting to see the new iterations of their favorite teams. The 2022 Lock In might have given them a taste of what’s to come, but this will be the first time that (almost) every lineup in the league will have every player available and ready to compete.
Organizations like TSM, Cloud9, and Golden Guardians have all finally taken the stage with their true starting rosters, while other squads like Team Dignitas, 100 Thieves, and Evil Geniuses are all looking to build upon the great work they started with through the month of January.
It might only be a two-game sample size, but kicking off the split on a high note will always be a good sign for any team, no matter what expectations were set ahead of them. Here is Dot Esports’ Team of the Week for the first week of the 2022 LCS Spring Split.
It was only a matter of time before Smite supports made their way into the top lane of the LCS. In the hands of Kumo, FlyQuest’s top laner, this strategy made the lives of both CLG and Golden Guardians miserable.
As someone known to play more aggressive solo-carry champions like Gwen and Gangplank, seeing Kumo playing Janna and Karma was jarring but ultimately exactly what FlyQuest needed to end the first weekend of the 2022 Spring Split undefeated and tied for first with three other teams. It certainly wasn’t an easy path to victory in either of these games, but with an extra layer of protection coming from the top lane, the team’s carries thrived.
Though his statistics may be incredibly low after this weekend, like his current average -1,801 gold differential at 10 minutes, it’s his proactive gameplay that deserves the attention. By being the first player in the LCS to institute this strategy, Kumo successfully showed both fans and the rest of the playing field why this strategy is being touted as one of the most profound meta changes in recent League history. For being a major factor in bringing FlyQuest to the top through the beloved Smite support top picks, Kumo earns the spot as the top laner of the week.
Following 100 Thieves’ unceremonious exit from the LCS Lock In playoffs, the reigning champions have seemingly turned around their luck, with Closer’s performance being integral to the team’s 2-0 start.
In two landslide victories against Team Liquid and CLG, Closer shined on Xin Zhao. Though finding rather middling differentials, Closer acted as one of the best lane enablers and teamfight junglers in the LCS. Closer leads among junglers in KDA (21.0) while also maintaining an impressive damage per minute (370), according to Oracle’s Elixir. Closer’s jungle presence has also helped 100 Thieves maintain impressive control rates over dragons (73 percent), Heralds (75 percent), and Barons (100 percent).
Excelling on hard engage champions, Closer has gotten off to such a strong start when allotted one of his comfort champions; the Turkish jungler has a 71-percent all-time winrate on the champion. After his success in week one, it is likely that Closer will be forced off of Xin Zhao to branch out in week two. One of four undefeated teams in the LCS, 100 Thieves will rely on its star jungler to remain at the top of the LCS.
With notches against Immortals and TSM under their belt, Dignitas have continued their surprisingly strong play from the 2022 LCS Lock In into the Spring Split. One of the unforeseen developments on this roster is the team’s new mid laner Blue, who many people looked at as an underwhelming signing following a disappointing LEC debut with SK Gaming. But a clean slate can do wonders for players trying to reinvent themselves, especially with expectations like these.
This past weekend, Blue was an essential cog in the Dignitas machine, providing plenty of pressure on picks like Viktor and LeBlanc. He looked much more confident in himself than when we saw him in Europe, and with the support of his teammates, he made daring plays that would lead to even greater advantages. Through the two matches, Blue collected nine kills and 12 assists without dying, and even had the second-highest average damage to champions per minute among LCS mid laners, according to Oracle’s Elixir.
In week two, Blue will have yet another test of strength on his plate when he faces off against Evil Geniuses and their star mid laner prospect Jojopyun. The gifted 17-year-old has impressed many fans and analysts with his aggressive decision-making, and should be a welcome challenge for a team trying to prove themselves.
The first weekend of the 2022 LCS Spring Split was owned by young guns at the AD carry position, with names like Neo, Johnsun, and Berserker all hitting their stride right from the jump this season. Among the players in the league’s next class of stars, though, none had a stronger debut weekend of 2022 than FBI. His league-leading 32.0 KDA helped carry 100 Thieves to a perfect 2-0 weekend, while his 30-percent damage share was the third-highest among all AD carries in the league, according to Oracle’s Elixir.
Throughout the 2021 season, 100 Thieves leaned on FBI to shoulder a strong portion of the team’s weight from minute one. And if his first impressions in 2022 are worth anything, it’s likely that 100 Thieves are going to dip back into the FBI well whenever they can this season.
Expectations were initially low for Biofrost after he opted to sit out of competitive League in 2021 before making a comeback with Dignitas this year. But the Canadian support has maintained his level of play from the Lock In tournament after he led all supports in the first week with a 27 KDA.
Biofrost’s 25 assists through two games was a testament to his unrivaled early game presence, where he held a 100-percent first-blood participation rate and an 84.4-percent kill-participation rate, second among supports behind Immortals’ Destiny.
Dignitas have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2022 season, and Biofrost has been the playmaker and facilitator this team needs to challenge top LCS teams. And with a 2-0 record, he is doing an outstanding job at it so far.