Thoughts about the NA LCS Spring Split
Hey guys this is my first article, I'm not particularly a writer so please bear with me and give me constructive criticism. This article is about the 2016 NA LCS Spring split and I will be talking about the teams, their rosters and my thoughts and predictions on how the teams will play and the final result.
The 2016 NA LCS Spring Split has 10 teams competing in it so there is a lot to go through. The teams that will be participating are Cloud 9, Counter Logic Gaming, Echo Fox, Immortals, NRG Esports, Renegades, Team Dignitas, Team Impulse, Team Liquid and last of all Team SoloMid. There are four new teams that have risen or been made since the last NA LCS split. Those are Echo Fox, Immortals, NRG Esports and Renegades.
These are the current main rosters for the NA LCS 2016 Spring Split:
|Top||An “Balls” Le|
|Jungler||Lee “Rush” Yoonjae|
|Mid||Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen|
|AD||Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi|
|Support||Hai “Hai” Lam (Hai will also be subbing in and out for Michael “Bunny FuFuu” Kurylo in this role)|
Counter Logic Gaming
|Top||Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaha|
|Jungler||Jake “Xmithie” Puchero|
|Mid||Choi “HuHi” Jae-hyun|
|AD||Trevor "Stixxay" Haynes|
|Support||Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black|
|Top||Park “KFO” Jeong-hun|
|Jungler||Anthony “Hard” Barkhovtsev|
|Mid||Henrik “Froggen” Hansen|
|AD||Yuri “KEITHMCBRIEF” Jew|
|Support||Terry “BIG” Chuong|
|Top||Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon|
|Jungler||Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin|
|Mid||Eugene “Pobelter” Justice Park|
|AD||Jason “WildTurtle” Tran|
|Support||Adrian “Adrian” Ma|
|Top||Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong|
|Jungler||Galen “Moon” Holgate|
|Mid||Lee “GBM” Chang-suk|
|AD||Johnny “Altec” Ru|
|Support||Kevin “KonKwon” Kwon|
|Top||Oleksii “RF Legendary” Kuziuta|
|Jungler||Alberto “Crumbzz” Rengifo|
|Mid||Alexey “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin|
|AD||Ales “Freeze” Knezinek|
|Support||Maria “Dreamcatcher” Creveling|
|Top||Lennart “SmittyJ” Warkus|
|Jungler||Thomas “Kirei” Yuen|
|Mid||Danny “Shiphtur” Le|
|AD||Apollo “Apollo” Price|
|Support||Alan “KiWiKiD” Nguyen|
|Jungler||Kim “Procxin” Se-Young|
|Support||Austin “Gate” Yu|
|Top||Samson “Lourlo” Jackson|
|Jungler||Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera|
|Mid||Kin “PeniX” Jae-hoon|
|AD||Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin|
|Support||Andy “Smoothie” Ta|
|Top||evin “Hautzer” Yarnell|
|Jungler||Dannies “Svenskeren” Johnsen|
|Mid||Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg|
|AD||Yilliang(Peter) “Doublelift” Peng|
|Support||Bora “YellOwStaR” Kim|
So what are my thoughts? First let’s start from the first team Cloud 9 also known as C9. With this team, nothing much has changed compared to worlds and last season. The only things that have changed is that Rush has joined the team as the new jungler and Hai has been moved to support with Bunny FuFuu. I personally don’t follow this team that much but I can say that they can easily finish the season off in the top 5 with Sneaky being one of the best AD’s in NA along with Jensen being strong in the midlane.
The second team on the list is Counter Logic Gaming also known as CLG. With their amazing end to the last NA split and sadly a very disappointing end in the second week of worlds. Along with that all the drama that has happened with Doublelift and HotshotGG resulting CLG to kick out their AD in search for another which is still unknown. My honest opinion on CLG is that they won’t do as well as last split due to other NA teams becoming very strong with imports and new members.
Echo Fox is next on the list! With this team pretty much coming from nowhere, who knows what can happen. With four rookies; a Korean import in the top lane KFO, KIETHMCBRIEF as AD, Hard from Cloud 9 tempest in the jungle and BIG also known as Baby from Team Imagine in the bot lane support. With all these rookies only two of them has had somewhat of a professional play being Hard and BIG. Along with these rookies comes the master of the bird, Froggen in the mid lane. What are my thoughts on this team? I honestly don’t know. Two of them played in the Challenger NA Seiries. The other two have never played competitively. The only one with proper experience is their mid lane Froggen, who is a very outstanding strong player. Depending on how these rookies cope with the NA LCS for the first time and how well they can all synergise with each other will determine their play and result in the end.
The next team is Immortals. A team that surprised everyone. With Fnatic destroying in the EU LCS and went as far as the semi-finals in worlds it came to a surprise to almost everyone that three members left and all of them went to the NA LCS. Two of them being, Reignover and Huni who now play for Immortals in the top lane and jungle. These two Korean imports proved the whole world on how amazing their synergy is together as well as the whole team in such a short amount of time they were in Fnatic. In the mid lane is Pobelter from CLG who as stated previously had success in the last split winning the finals against TSM. In the bot lane is Team Impulses support Adrian and surprisingly TSM’s WildTurtle. This came as a surprise to everyone considering WildTurtle was let go by TSM due to his performance. Regardless on that, I believe that this team will easily make top 3 in NA because their roster seems very strong at the moment.
NRG Esports. This team has been recently made and the roster in my opinion is fairly average compared to the other teams in NA. Their strongest player would most likely be Impact in the top lane from Team Impulse. Along with him a strong point in their team would be their mid laner GBM from Jin Air Green Wings. In ADC is Altec from Gravity Gaming and two rookies from the NA Championship series. Moon as Jungler and KonKwon in support.
Renegades is the next on our list. This team came as a surprise to many considering they have been playing in the NA Championship Series since the team was created. In the recent 2015 NA CS Summer play offs they were faced against Team Coast and won the best out of 5 in a close 3-2 win. With this win it secured them first place which meant $10,000 prize money and a chance to play in the NA LCS. As shown above, the roster has some very exciting old members in it with a lot of experience. In the mid lane is the 2012 season 2 semi-finalist from Moscow 5, Alex Itch. With this major achievement Alex Itch moved onto several different teams and played in both LCS and CS series in the past. It always confused me on why he went from semi-finalist at worlds to end up in a CS team in NA. I believe we can see a lot of potential coming from Alex Itch this split for Renegades. The second so called veteran most known for his leadership as team captain for Team Dignitas who left in 2015 to join the Renegades is their jungler, Crumbzz. I haven’t seen Crumbzz play for a while but due to his experience I’m sure we are all in for a show this split. In the top lane is RF Legendary from Ukraine. Again by the looks of it this is the first LCS he will participate in. In the bot lane comes in Dreamcatcher, also known as Remilia. The first female transgender to play in any LCS ever. Lastly the AD, coming from the Copenhagen Wolves, Freeze. From the EU LCS to now the NA LCS it certainly did not come to a surprise that Freeze was set to join Renegades as many people wanted it to happen along with some obviously teasers that were on twitter from the general manager of Renegades Rob Leonyx (@Leonyx). With this roster who knows what will happen. Renegades are the underdogs of the NA LCS and have nothing to lose and everything to prove, I hope they go far this season because by the looks of it their roster is a bit better than average.
The next team is Team Impulse previously known as LMQ. I don’t know much about this team but a lot has changed since last year at LMQ. There are four new members to the team; Mash (also known as DontMashMe) as AD coming from Team Coast, Procxin in the jungle, Feng at top and lastly Pirean in mid. Along with these Gate is now supporting. With most of the roster changing no one knows how this team will go in the upcoming split. Considering Procxin, Feng and Pirean has had no professional league of legends career in the past, we are in for a surprise.
On to the second last team, Team Liquid. With Locodoco coming in as the content producer and head coach, to Quas being suspended and eventually retiring there was a bit of a change. With Quas being one of the best top laners in NA at the time it was a tragic loss to the team. Along with Quas leaving Xpecial was replaced by Smoothie in support. The new top laner is Lourlo who has had some minor career in League Of Legends with playing on CLG Black in the past. In the mid lane is FeniX as before, IWillDominate in the jungle and Piglet as the AD. Both Lourlo and Smoothie came from the NA CS so compared to some of the other teams that have more experienced players it might be a bit of a challenge.
Now up to the very last team. The team everyone has been waiting for, Team Solomid (TSM). With the tragic loss of one of the best top laners in NA and maybe even the World. It came to a surprise to many that Dyrus was set to leave the team and start streaming still under TSM’s management. With this happening Santorin their former jungler and Lustboy decided to retire as well. Lustboy is still under TSM’s management and is in an analyst position. In the bottom lane as ADC is Doublelift from CLG. This came as a surprise to everyone considering what happened in CLG as mentioned before and as well as Wildturtle being made to try out for ADC but then only getting substitute position then eventually leaving to Immortals. As support due to Lustboy’s retirement is YellOwStaR from Fnatic. With Fnatic being the best teams in Europe to even making semi-finals in worlds it was a massive shock that YellOwStaR decided to leave and it was an even bigger shock that he was going to NA to join TSM which is known to be a very good preforming team. In the top lane replacing Dyrus is Hauntzer from Gravity gaming. Jungle is Svenskeren from SK Gaming in the Challenger Series. Lastly is Bjergsen in the mid lane which is the only thing in TSM that has stayed the same. With so much happening in TSM I believe that most of it is for the better. I believe this team is one of the strongest teams in NA already and might possibly take first place in this split.
Predictions for the NA LCS Spring Split:
1st – Team Solomid
2nd – Immortals
3rd – Cloud 9
4th/5th – NRG Esports or Echo Fox
6th/7th – Renegades/Team Liquid
8th/9th – Team Dignitas/Team Impulse
10th – Counter Logic Gaming
Thank you for reading this article as it is my first and might not be worded or grammatically correct. I would really enjoy positive feedback and also constructive feedback. I hope you guys are as excited as I am for the LCS. If you enjoy it and want me to write about another region like EU or KR please let me know.