Crownshot Signed by Team Vitality, Scheduled to Start in Week 4
LEC roster changes just keep on coming — Team Vitality has just announced that they’ve signed Juš “Crownshot” Marušič to replace Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos effective immediately. This change, in short, definitely comes as a surprise. Most of us expected Comp to be one of Vitality’s biggest catalysts coming into 2021. After all, he was one of their best performers back in 2020, but for one reason or another that changed — and considerably so.
The Good, the Bad, and the Crownshot
Now, this roster change is at once both fantastic but also somewhat disheartening, especially for long-time Vitality fans. It’s fantastic because we’ll once again get to see Crownshot compete — he’s more than worthy of a starting spot on the LEC. And it’s disheartening because, well, Comp was never the issue over at Vitality. In fact, he was often their best-performing member. And sure, his effectiveness took quite a hit, but he’s still an exceptional young player with a high skill ceiling.
Although, frankly, he didn’t exactly stand out all that much over the last three weeks of play. He’s currently second-last amongst all marksmen with a 1.8 KDA; he’s also second-worst in Kill Participation (58.3%), Death Share (22.2%), and has the absolute lowest damage output out of all AD carries — 369, with the best-performing ones having over 500. But then there’s the other side of the coin as well — his laning stats are incredible. He’s second-best in both Experience and CS differentials at the ten-minute mark, behind only Fnatic’s Elias “Upset” Lipp, an individual known for his stellar laning.
So he’s certainly pulling his weight early on. Whether that’s partly because of his stellar support is a topic for another time and place. It is only in the mid and later stages of the game that his effectiveness falls off (to say the least) which doesn’t have to be indicative of his own shortcomings but rather of a much larger problem plaguing the entire team. Vitality never really showed much cohesion throughout the last two years. Their wins always came by way of potent early games and individual talent, rather than any concrete team-wide cohesion. 2021 is no different in that regard. Still, they’re better than their 1W-6L record would suggest. Their early games are still a thing of beauty, although whenever they need to transition their leads into the mid and later stages of the game they tend to fumble and fail in a myriad of ways. That’s when their inexperience comes into play, and it’s often painful to watch. They start off so darn well and yet it rarely matters. Frustrating, to say the least.
All of this begs the question: will Crownshot make a difference?
An Incremental Change
By and large, Crownshot is not going to change Team Vitality all that much (if at all). He’s an incredibly talented player with a high skill ceiling, but he’s not what Vitality was missing. While his presumed leadership skills might make Vitality’s in-game transitions a bit smoother, they won’t make a night-and-day difference. A single change to their starting line-up won’t give them a better chance of reaching the playoffs, especially not given how Comp wasn’t that big of a problem in the first place.
The fourth week of regular season play is right around the corner which, to be fair, can be considered as an important threshold. We’re practically at the halfway point of the split, and the margin for error is growing ever smaller. This is the perfect moment for teams to make changes to their starting line-ups.
Vitality is scheduled to face both EXCEL Esports and SK Gaming this week. This might seem like an easy schedule, but in actuality, it’s anything but. Both teams have done incredibly well over the last couple of weeks and are head and shoulders above Vitality when it comes to synergy and overall performance. Vitality will face an uphill battle going forward, so if you’re a fan of the boys in black and yellow, definitely temper your expectations.