League of Legends Off-Season Starting Strong
After what could easily be considered the most emotional LoL world championship to date, there are no signs of stopping with the constant rumors and speculations being shared as the off-season commences. Once the season ends, it is expected to be a time of debriefing from rigorous schedules for the majority of the year, however, it seems as though the momentum is continuing to pushing forward.
Roster moves in Esports are quite common, similar to traditional sports, considering most players don’t stay with teams unless two factors are met. Either they are one of the best players in their respected role, or their team has yet to reach their full potential. Iconic players, such as Faker, show the need for teams to build around strong individuals. Meanwhile, some teams are good enough to stay together and yield results. A prime example would be Samsung Galaxy’s roster as they kept the same iteration through both 2016 and 2017 respectively. Doing so allowed them to place 2nd at 2016 worlds and the following year dethrone the previous champions. Ironically, this same roster experienced a tremendous downfall as they went 1-5 at Worlds this year and released both their jungler, Ambition, and mid laner, Crown in hopes of rebuilding.
Unfortunately, not all rosters that are strong on paper can reach the success that may be expected of them. Here’s a recent article with 100 Thieves ADC Cody Sun elaborating on the issues that the team faced throughout the year leading to their poor performance at Worlds, despite the individual talent their players brought to the organization.
Peanut, MVP of the 2017 MSI tournament and 2018 LCK Spring Split Champion, is easily identified as one of the most influential junglers to ever play the game. His aggressive playstyle and strong mechanics allow him to lead his team to victory through his playmaking. However, this past split did not look so good for him or his team as they did not qualify for Worlds. He has bounced from NaJin e-mFire (2014-2015), to ROX Tigers (2016), to SK Telecom T1 (2017), and is currently on Kingzone (2018). Through this, he managed to always play well despite the limited time he spent on each team. Among all things, he has managed to play decently well regardless of the players surrounding him. Rumors have surfaced that SKT have reached out to Kingzone in negotiation for Peanut and no answer has surfaced yet. While Peanut was on SKT in 2017, he has reached his highest level of success internationally.
If there is any team that’s in the hot seat for this year’s off-season, it would be Flash Wolves. After an upsetting Worlds performance going, it was apparent that the former Taiwanese powerhouse needed to make some changes for the better. Previous star jungler, Karsa, moved on to RNG at the end of the 2017 season and split time with their current jungler, MLXG, offering the team two unique and methodical styles to the role. Through this, RNG found international success for the first time this year at MSI 2018. Flash Wolves seems to be heading in a completely different direction and disbanded their roster in hopes of finding something new. According to sources, Maple, SwordArT, and MooJin have all left the team in hopes of finding other options for the upcoming season. Coach Warhouse and REFRA1N will be leaving thus promoting Morning to head coach, and MMD will be retiring from professional play to become a streamer. With the end of a Flash Wolves team that led them to success in the past, what is in store for their future?
For more in regards to who is available and seeking new opportunities, keep it locked on the official LoL Esports Contract Database for up-to-date information on all players
The off-season is just getting started and there is already an abundance of topics to discuss, only time can tell how things will play out.