With the recently announced acquisition of Johnny “Altec” Ru to replace David “Cop” Roberson, as well as Kang “Move” Min-su stepping in for the retiring Brandon ”Saintvicious” DiMarco, many fans have begun to doubt the Gravity management, losing a key leadership figure in the jungle, and one of their best performing Spring Split players in Cop. While the moves may lead to a worse performance in the Summer Split, Gravity Gaming’s roster swaps should allow for more long term success through the 2016 season.
Altec has long been considered a North American prodigy, and on a struggling Winterfox team consistently managed to stand out as a star performer, even when Pobelter struggled. Altec has showed great mechanical prowess in NA solo queue as well as playing consistently well throughout two splits in the LCS. Meanwhile, Cop has performed outstandingly on Gravity, elevating himself from “consistent” to consistently outstanding. This has lead to people doubting the decision to swap out Cop for Altec.
Gravity has never be en expected to qualify for Worlds. They will most likely not place first in the Summer Split Playoffs, and with their current point deficit, overall point qualification has also been rendered improbable. There is a possibility for qualifying through the Regional tournament, but with this new roster, advancing to the finals of that tournament and winning seems a difficult task. So what makes this a good move? For starters, Altec turned a tender eighteen on May 8. In comparison, Cop is 22 years old, with his 23rd birthday fast approaching this summer. While Cop may have performed at a slightly higher level last split, Altec has a much higher skill cap, shown in his ability to take over games even on a struggling Winterfox.
Altec has also proven himself to be more versatile in terms of meshing with supports, playing very well with a rotating roster of supports despite a lack of time to properly build chemistry with them. Cop has shown a similar ability, however while he personally synergizes in lane with BunnyFuFu, he prefers a more passive laning style while Altec has proved to be able to adapt to having passive, aggressive, and simply weak supports.
In the jungle, EDG academy player Move steps in for Saintvicious. While not much is known of him, Move has become notorious for stellar Rek’Sai play in solo queue. The acquisition of a more mechanically talented and less personally confrontational jungler can ultimately yield good results, but the initial difficulties in communication and synergy will hamper Gravity’s performance early in the season, lest they work out all the kinks in scrims.
Gravity’s pickup of Altec is definitely one for the future, as they gain a mechanical star, but will temporarily lose the stableness that came with Cop as Altec settles in. And while they have no choice but to bring in a new jungler for the retiring Saintvicious, Move looks to be a solid technical player, definitely a step up from Saint in that regard. Whether or not they can replace the overall impact of two mechanically lesser players in terms of team dynamic remains to be seen, but with time to grow this new Gravity roster can be very scary.