One League Championship Series (LCS) team is hedging its bets heading into the playoffs by adding a sixth man.
Team Impulse has added Challenger Series mid laner Austin “Gate” Yu to the lineup, Azubu reported last night. But the player won’t be replacing current mid laner Yu “XiaoWeiXiao” Xian or, in fact, any current Impulse starter. He’s taking a backup role and training at support as a potential replacement for Adrian Ma.
Earlier this month, the Daily Dot reported that Impulse was looking at potential replacements for their aggressive support, Ma, something team jungler Lee “Rush” Yoon-jae later confirmed. But over the past three weeks, the team’s put together a bit of a resurgence, currently on a five-game winning streak that’s brought their record to 9-5, one win away from clinching a spot in the playoffs. Ma put together a 4/4/34 KDA and a 92.7 percent kill participation while earning recognition as the league’s top support that week.
“Adrian still remains on the roster as it moves to 6 players,” Alex Gu, the team’s COO, explained in the announcement. “We see this to be a very effective way to encourage competition for the starting support position.”
Gu lauds the new pickup for his communication abilities, especially as a player fluent in Mandarin, allowing him to better interface with the team’s Chinese mid laner. With a team featuring players with three different native languages, communication may be the biggest barrier to Impulse becoming world class, and a player like Gate could potentially be a solution.
That said, Gu made it clear that no player on the current roster is currently being replaced. That’s likely a prudent move considering their recent success. If Impulse’s win streak continues, they could challenge for the top spot in the NA LCS.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr