Team Vitality shocked many fans yesterday by benching starting support Ha “Hachani” Seung-chan. One of the most surprising aspects was the timing: With the team scheduled to play on Friday and no replacement player named, how on earth would they field a full roster?
Judging from the solo queue records of their players, they may be looking at an internal role swap instead. When Shakarez, content creator for stats website LolKing, looked at the EU West leaderboards, he found a certain highly-ranked account which suddenly switched from predominately mid lane champions to support:
The account in question is not officially tied to a professional player. But Shakerez hints heavily in his Twitter comments that the account belongs to Vitality mid laner Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm. Even though Baltat “AoD” Alin is Vitality’s support sub, it looks like the team may move their mid laner over instead.
That brings up an obvious question: Leaving the mid lane open isn’t an option, at least if they’re not planning on forfeiting. But take a look at their roster again. Lee “GBM” Chang-suk appears as a substitute jungler, but many LCS fans will know him as a life-long mid laner. He only started practicing for the jungle role this last offseason, and a look at his match history confirms that he is starting to pick up more games in the mid lane.
This may be a one-week move while Vitality sorts out the issues with their roster. It is some good news that they will have LCS-level players, even in off roles. And their match is against Fnatic, another team that is making some substitutions.
But the questions with this team continue. How bad were things with Hachani that they had to upend their entire team to solidify the bot lane? This has to be something that the players agreed to, if not instigated. Shuffles like this indicate major flaws in their scouting and approach to team building. Unfortunately, with a 1-3 record, Vitality is running out of time to turn things around.