The first official day of the 2021 League of Legends offseason is in the books. While teams have been making moves behind the scenes for the better part of the last few weeks, the floodgates opened on the first day of free agency.
With the free agency window having been open for almost 24 hours, teams from League’s major and minor professional regions have been swapping players, releasing talent, picking up new faces, and making deals across the board. Some teams, though, have been far more active than others.
Here are some of the biggest winners and losers in the first 24 hours of this year’s pro League free agency.
Not many teams have their full rosters set after one day of free agency, but Immortals seems to have the entire offseason figured out. Apart from re-signing its LCS Rookie of the Year contender in Revenge, the team retained two of its other strongest 2021 performers in Xerxe and Destiny. But Immortals’ biggest splash of the offseason came just a few hours into the free agency window when it reportedly brought together an experienced pair of carries in WildTurtle and PowerOfEvil. The two veterans previously carried FlyQuest to a World Championship berth in 2020 and could very well do the same for an Immortals team that’s been on the downswing for the better part of four years.
It’s hard to look at Vitality’s stunner of a roster and not predict an LEC championship right off the bat. It’s arguable that Perkz and Alphari, who will be reportedly joining the roster in the mid and top lane, respectively, are the two best solo laners in the West. Plus, with Carzzy reportedly joining the team fresh off back-to-back titles with MAD Lions, Vitality is set to put together a team filled with Europe’s hottest commodities.
After making their mark on the LCS last season with a third-place finish in the regular season, Evil Geniuses realized it had enough potential to create a championship-contending squad in 2022. By reportedly bringing on the reigning LEC MVP in Inspired to man the jungle role, EG proved that it’s willing to go all out on big-name players. Additionally, by promoting the LCS’ arguable top prospect in Jojopyun to the starting roster, EG continued to showcase just how devoted the org is to developing young players.
It’s hard not to get excited about an MVP and a top prospect getting the opportunity to play together on the same roster—that alone should get EG fans stoked for the 2022 season. Plus, the addition of Vulcan to the roster from Cloud9 provides EG with a solid, internationally experienced foundation in the bottom lane alongside the reigning LCS Rookie of the Year in Danny.
In professional League, it’s rare for a team to keep its entire roster together moving into the next season. In fact, 100 Thieves is the first team since 2013 (Cloud9) to win the LCS Summer Split and keep its entire starting lineup intact going into the following Spring Split. 100 Thieves’ core has roots dating back to 2020 when three of the team’s five starters played with Golden Guardians. With immense chemistry and obvious proven results, 100 Thieves can instantly be slotted in the category of S-tier title contender in North America after just 24 hours of free agency.
Apart from officially parting ways with Perkz and transferring Vulcan over to Evil Geniuses, C9 has yet to reveal any bombshell free agency moves—which is stunning for a team as prominent and valuable as C9. There’s a strong chance that C9 is going to make a big play in the market when the time is right, but radio silence from one of North America’s premier orgs out of the gate doesn’t bode all too well.
Notably, C9 could have had the opportunity to replace Perkz with a plug-and-play solution in Fnatic mid laner Nisqy but was unwilling to come to terms with Fnatic and got “greedy” during the negotiating process, according to a report from Dot Esports’ Pablo Suarez. It’s unlikely that C9 is out of options, though, since there are still plenty of free agents on the market.
MAD Lions will reportedly replace the departing Carzzy and Humanoid with two rookies in RKR and Unforgiven. While it’s definitely admirable to see the team go all-in on young talent once again—they’ve proven they can turn rookies into stars overnight—it’s still a relatively big blow for two of the LEC’s brightest stars to depart a powerhouse of a MAD Lions squad. MAD Lions fans shouldn’t be necessarily worried about the future of the team, especially if the coaching staff is able to develop these two new rookies the same way it developed Armut and Elyoya. But seeing two All-Pro caliber players walk out the front door and join direct competitors is still a net loss for MAD Lions.
The outpouring of talent at TSM has been a slow and painful process over the course of the offseason. SwordArt and Bjergsen headed off earlier this month, while PowerOfEvil departed just ahead of the free agency window opening. Now, the team is reportedly losing its starting AD carry Lost to Golden Guardians via a buyout.
The only reported move TSM seemed to make during free agency’s first day is to get “close” to acquiring G2 Esports support Mikyx, although nothing is concrete yet, according to a report from Dot Esports’ Pablo Suarez. There’s still plenty of time for TSM to reconstruct half of its roster, but seeing the losses continue to pile up throughout the first full day of free agency is a stinger for fans of the organization.
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