By Petar Vukobrat
May 14, 2019
Even though the Mid-Season Invitational is in full swing, we already have multiple new LCS & LEC roster changes to go over! These changes aren’t earth-shattering per se, but they will seriously impact the four teams listed below. Some might be more important than others, but they’re all highly welcomed regardless.
So without any further ado, let’s go over the multiple new LCS & LEC roster changes that have just been announced.
First up, we have some exciting news — especially if you’re a Counter Logic Gaming fan. The staple North American organization was unable to leave a mark throughout the last two years of competitive play, and after such a long drought, one thing became apparent: change was a necessity.
They tried a couple of roster swaps over the last couple of splits, but none of their maneuvers did the trick. The problems plaguing Counter Logic Gaming were never superficial but instead went all the way down to the core. So it is only fitting for them to make a highly welcomed change in the top lane position — they’ve dropped Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya in favor of 1907 Fenerbahçe Esports’ Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min.
And if you’re a LEC regular, that nickname probably sounds familiar — Ruin first made a name for himself while playing for Giants Gaming back in 2017 and 2018. While he was on a pretty underwhelming roster, his individual skill and talent always shone through, which was one of the reasons why he was immediately drafted into the TCL by one of their strongest teams.
Ruin is now entering the 2019 LCS Summer Split as a proven quantity — he’s coming with a ton of hype after his incredible performance in Turkey, and he even has a TCL title on his belt.
Now, this change is — at the very least — a step in the right direction, but there’s a much more important question that has to be raised: will it be enough? Will a change in the top lane position bare fruit?
There’s no way to know for certain at this point, but the odds definitely aren’t in their favor. The level of competition in North America skyrocketed over the last year and a half after franchising kicked in, and it seems like Counter Logic Gaming will have to go a bit deeper if they want to have a chance at reclaiming a bit of their long-lost glory.
Either way, this is a positive change for sure.
An old fan-favorite is finally stepping back into the spotlight. Well, in a way, at least. Cloud9 have just announced that they’ve added Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin to their already stellar coaching staff. Now, as a player, Reignover is as successful and respected as they come. He single-handedly defined a good part of the meta back in his Fnatic and Immortals days and was universally praised for his ingenious pathing and game knowledge.
🎉 Join us in welcoming @CLGReignover to the #C9LoL Coaching Staff!— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) May 13, 2019
We're thrilled to have his many years of expertise in the professional @lolesports space accompany the team in the upcoming #LCS Summer Split! pic.twitter.com/W7ImDFft6t
After a one-year stint with Counter Logic Gaming, it felt like he went off the grid for good. Fans were clamoring for his return back to the big stage, and with good reason. Even though he was past his prime, he was still more than capable of playing at an incredibly high level. Not seeing him in any of the major regions was a disappointing sight.
The fact that he decided to make the switch over to coaching makes all the sense in the world, and if there is one organization in North America that is not only open-minded but also shockingly flexible (in regards to the game and its meta), then it has to be Cloud9. One could argue that this is a match made in heaven.
Now, Cloud9’s coaching staff was already head and shoulders above any other in North America. By adding a revered veteran to the mix, they’re basically guaranteed to have the biggest collective IQ once the Summer Split comes along. It doesn’t necessarily guarantee them success, but they’ve made the right choice by signing one of the most legendary junglers in the game’s competitive history.
Here’s a signing that no one really expected. There were a couple of rumors floating around, but there was nothing concrete. Starting with the 2019 LCS Summer Split, Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider will be the starting jungler for 100 Thieves! He’s a household name at this point and has been playing at the highest possible level throughout his entire career as a professional League of Legends player. He’s a World Championship semi-finalist (2015, with Origen), and has a wealth of knowledge and in-game experience to bring to the table.
Welcome @Amazingx as our starting jungler this #LCS Summer Split!— 100 Thieves (@100Thieves) May 13, 2019
Amazing has played LoL competitively for the past 7 years across NA & EU, with two World Championship appearances. We're excited to bring his veteran experience, leadership, and voice to the team! #100T pic.twitter.com/2p42StVn0n
But then again, 100 Thieves had veteran experience in William “Meteos” Hartman, and that didn’t work out so well. Perhaps that’s even an understatement.
One has to wonder whether this is enough. 100 Thieves found themselves in quite the pickle during the most recent split. They were out of sync and ill-equipped to take on the upper echelon of the LCS, and they even struggled (and mostly lost) against the average “middle-of-the-pack” North American gatekeepers.
Make no mistake, this is a fantastic change, and it should go a long way to helping them improve as a five-man unit, but it probably won’t be enough in order to get 100 Thieves back towards title contention.
Going forward, the starting 100 Thieves five-man line-up will be as follows:
TOP — Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho
JUNGLE — Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider
MID — Max “Soligo” Soong
AD CARRY — Bae “Bang” Jun-sik
SUPPORT — Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black
There’s a lot of potential (and talent) present within this line-up, but until they start stringing a couple wins together we’re going to be skeptical, and with good reason.
Finally, there’s a noticeable roster change on the side of LEC’s Rogue. They have decided to part ways with their mid-laner Chres “Sencux” Laursen, and will probably fill the void with the Swedish prodigy Emil “Larssen” Larsson, who also happens to be playing for their Academy team.
Throughout the most recent split, Sencux didn’t play that well, and other than a couple of standout games where he was able to carry, he was the definition of underwhelming, if not even mediocre. We all know what he’s capable of (the sight of him trading blows with Lee “Crown” Min-ho and Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg at Worlds a couple of years ago are still somewhat fresh), but unless he manages to maintain a certain level of play he will simply be unable to reach the upper echelon of the LEC.
This single change won’t exactly propel Rogue towards the top, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. The organization will have to make additional roster changes if they want to stand a chance once the 2019 LEC Summer Split comes along.
That’s it for our coverage on the multiple new LCS & LEC roster changes! These are all exciting announcements, and they should, in theory, make each of these four teams more competitive over the next couple of months.
We are about a month away from the Summer Split, so in the meantime make sure to tune in and watch the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational! All signs are pointing towards a spectacular Knockout Stage, and you do not want to miss it!