The LCS has been the home of many dark horse storylines before, but the 2021 Summer Split has introduced multiple new players to the League of Legends fan base over the past several weeks. This weekend, for example, people were treated to several upsets with Golden Guardians’ new top laner Licorice and FlyQuest’s rookie mid laner Triple leading the way.
Licorice has had a roller-coaster of a career so far since he entered the league in 2018 with Cloud9. The 23-year-old veteran won the 2020 LCS Spring Split championship, has gone to Worlds twice, and even reached the semifinals at Worlds in his first year as an LCS starter. But now, he has had to adjust to playing on a team that isn’t at the top of the standings.
After playing for FlyQuest for a split and struggling to find the same level of success, he was acquired by Golden Guardians, another bottom-tier team in the league, earlier this month. But in his first few games with the team, he’s shown signs that he can still be a high-level top laner in North America. This past weekend, he racked up 19 kills, 18 assists, with only seven deaths. He also had the second-highest kill participation percentage and the third-highest average damage to champions among LCS top laners, according to Oracle’s Elixir.
The only player to match Licorice’s kill count this weekend came from his former team in FlyQuest’s Academy promoted mid laner, Triple. The 22-year-old OCE player had 19 kills, 26 assists, and a 7.5 KDA, while also picking up wins against C9, CLG, and Immortals. He was an essential part of his team’s success, leading to their first 3-0 weekend of the 2021 Summer Split.
The top of the kill leaderboard for this weekend also featured names like C9’s star top laner Fudge, Evil Geniuses’ rookie AD carry Danny, and FlyQuest’s rookie jungler Nxi. If these players can keep these types of performances up, we could see the new era of North America rise with them in the coming years.
You can watch NA’s rookie class in action when the 2021 LCS Summer Split continues this coming weekend on Friday, July 16.
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