Team Vitality Has Reportedly Signed SLT, Selfmade, and LIDER for 2021 LEC Summer Split
This is where things get a whole lot more interesting: Team Vitality has reportedly signed Enzo “SLT” Gonzalez (former Berlin International Gaming top laner), Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek (of SK Gaming and Fnatic fame), and Adam “LIDER” Ilyasov, all of whom will compete under Vitality’s banner come Summer Split.
Now, on the one hand, it’s impossible not to commend Vitality for the way they’ve handled this fairly short off-season. They’ve pretty much made the most of it. On the other, this feels like a bad case of déjà vu. Vitality isn’t the first LEC organization to spend frivolously without establishing a good enough foundation first. Bringing over talented players simply isn’t enough — at least not against the best teams the LEC has to offer.
And, in all fairness, Vitality has done next to nothing to earn our trust and the same goes for Misfits Gaming as well. These two organizations have consistently failed to deliver and have even done wrong by their players (to put it mildly) on more than one occasion. They’re downright dreadful at talent development and have done next to nothing to earn our benefit of the doubt. Who’s to blame — whether it’s the coaching staff or the management — doesn’t really matter at this point in time as the damage has been done.
So no one should be overly surprised if Vitality fails to get off the ground despite signing three incredibly talented players. It wouldn’t be the first time, after all.
The Vitality We All Know (And Used to Love)
All of that said, this Vitality line-up with LIDER and Selfmade is definitely a throwback to the Vitality of yore — teeming with aggression, mechanical prowess, bravado, and even a pinch of toxicity. Heck, we’re putting it mildly here! These three players, paired with Juš “Crownshot” Marušič and Labros “labrov” Papoutsakis, have all the right tools to trade blows with the best teams in the LEC.
Still, they’re not expected to leave much of a mark in the grand scheme of things. They’re probably going to lack when it comes to strategy and depth, much like every Vitality League of Legends line-up that came before them.
There’s a lot to like, in all fairness. SLT is quite a promising rookie and has already found a fair bit of success over in the ERLs with BIG. He’s widely considered as one of the best top laners in the “little leagues” and is more than worthy of playing on the LEC stage. Then again, Mathias “Szygenda” Jensen had a fair bit of hype behind him as well before signing for Vitality, and we all know how that turned out.
Vitality’s coaching staff simply doesn’t have a coherent, thought-out plan in mind. It’s like they’re improvising in the very midst of things, so the fact that they’re one of the worst teams in the LEC should come as no surprise — it is nothing but a by-product of the way they’ve been handling things.
All of that said, it’s impossible not to get hyped for this particular Vitality line-up and the amount of aggression they’ll bring to the table; just the thought of Selfmade and LIDER going for their most potent picks is enough to get the blood pumping. With Crownshot aboard as well, they’ll also have a fairly consistent shotcaller to keep them all in check. And that’s good, for logical reasons — this team is packed to the gills with mechanical prowess and it’s fair to assume that they’ll start swinging for the fences from the very moment they spawn on the Summoner’s Rift.
All in all, Vitality instantly became a team we simply have to watch come Summer Split. They’re not predicted to do much overall, but we’ll be damned if they don’t entertain us in the process. And who knows? Maybe their mechanics will be enough to warrant a spot in the Top 6 — stranger things have certainly happened in LEC history, so we should reserve judgement until we see them in action.
Either way, June 11 can’t come soon enough!