Viper Moves to Dignitas from FlyQuest
It didn’t take long for Team Dignitas to find a new top laner after selling Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon to Evil Geniuses. The legendary North American organization has already found a replacement — Omran “Viper” Shoura! You know Viper either as a solo queue standout (perhaps best known for his incredible Riven play) or as the former top laner for FlyQuest.
He’d been competing under their banner for the entire 2019 season (finishing fourth in Spring and ninth in Summer) — inconsistent results that arguably echoed his play as well. Viper had many pop-off performances, games in which he single-handedly carried his team in the mid and late game through mind-blowing flanks and team fighting. Then again, he also had more than just a couple of egregious performances and games in which he was a complete non-factor. It’s not that he’s a coin-flip kind of player, but he’s just not consistently able to impose his playstyle.
That was sort of the story of FlyQuest in 2019 as a whole. A lot of good, a bit of great, and a whole lot of confusing. 2020, however, ushered in a slew of changes. With a brand-new mid laner and support, the team itself started improving far beyond what anyone had expected. The only player who failed to keep up was Viper. Such a thing was evident from the very get-go. It was as if FlyQuest had a different identity, a new idea on how the game should be played, and Viper either didn’t get the memo, or failed to adapt accordingly. Either way, he stuck out like a sore thumb. Everyone around him improved tenfold (the main reason why they were able to finish second once all was said and done), and yet Viper didn’t change much. One could argue that his play regressed quite a bit.
As a result, FlyQuest knew they had to make a change sooner rather than later if they wanted to maximize their Spring Split. Viper played 15 out of 18 regular-season games and was successfully replaced by Colin “Solo” Earnest — a seasoned LCS veteran who was brought on as a positional coach. With Solo as their starter, FlyQuest looked (and played) like an entirely different team. The former Echo Fox top laner is generally known as a capable performer, as someone whom you can leave on an island and he’ll still be a factor come late game.
A New Beginning
The 2020 LCS Summer Split will give us a look at the next chapter of Viper’s career: Team Dignitas! If you’ve watched the most recent LCS playoffs, you could’ve guessed that Viper would have to find a new home for the remainder of 2020, and fortunately he found one in the nick of time. Dignitas might not seem like a logical pairing, but there’s a lot to like. They were an incredibly aggressive team once 2020 began, and their unhinged, hyper-aggressive playstyle garnered them a lot of attention and success throughout the first half of the split. Viper might not be as big of a name as Huni, but he does have many of his strengths, without being nearly as volatile.
If he manages to become a bit more consistent and broadens his champion pool at least ever so slightly, he might as well end up being an upgrade for Dignitas, as strange as it might sound. Those are big “ifs,” however, and he’ll have to prove his worth once the Summer Split begins.
This also marks the second off-season move for Team Dignitas as they also signed Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett mere days ago from Team SoloMid. Viper, however, isn’t guaranteed a starting spot as he’ll compete with Samson “Lourlo” Jackon (Dignitas’ Academy top laner), and the same goes for Dardoch and Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham. Dignitas wants to find the best and most capable version of their 2020 LCS Summer split line-up, and they’ll have to go through a testing process to find out who works and who doesn’t.
In any case, these are very fascinating changes and they might just be what Dignitas needs the most. If things pan out as well as they could, Dignitas might challenge for the playoffs. Still, if their last split is any indication, we’ll have to reserve judgment before seeing them in action.