NA LCS Off-Season Stories

With Worlds coming to an end this week, it’s never too early to start talking about the upcoming 2016 NA LCS spring split. The disappointing showing from North American teams at Worlds should motivate the teams and players in the NA LCS to become better. As with every year, there are going to be an abundant amount of changes during this off-season. Here are some of the stories to be following heading into season 6.

The New Kids on the Block

Renegades

With the relegation of TDK and Enemy Esports, comes the promotion of Team Coast and LA Renegades. Team Coast is once again back in the LCS, this being their 3rd time qualifying for it. Saintvicious is the coach of Team Coast and has done a great job developing his team into an LCS squad. Cris is a familiar name on this team. He and his team’s ADC, Mash, have now both been in the LCS multiple times as well. Their support, KonKwon, has also spent time on the LCS stage as a substitute for former LCS squad Winterfox. The player to watch for on this team is their jungler, Shrimp. He has the skills to become a top tier jungler in North America and will have to step up his game to carry his team into the playoff hunt.

When it comes to the Renegades, everyone is excited about this team. Two very familiar faces return to the LCS stage in Alex Ich and Crumbz. Crumbz spent many seasons as Team Dignitas’ jungler and Alex Ich was most famously part of the great Moscow 5/Gambit team many years ago.  Maplestreet was a part of this team as they qualified for the LCS, but he recently departed from the team and they are in search of an ADC. RF Legendary in the top lane is a rookie to the LCS and will need to improve greatly in the off-season so he can compete the North America’s best players. The player to watch on this team for me is Remelia on support. She is a play making support that thrives in making big plays for her team. She will need to practice with the new ADC acquisition as soon as there is one. The ADC position for Renegades is an important topic to look out for this off-season.

Teams Rebranding and Being Up for Sale

immortalslogo

Two interesting stories to follow this off-season are the teams formally known as Team 8 and Team Impulse. Team 8 has officially rebranded and are now known as, Immortals. Immortals will need to start their new team and organization with a search for a new top laner and a new support. Calitrolz and Dodo both retired this off-season, leaving Immortals with two spots to fill. Look for Immortals to make a couple big moves this off-season.

Team Impulse enters this off-season with so many questions there should be a TV drama about it. Will their star mid laner XiaoWeiXiao come back to North America? Will their players be returning? Will their team be sold and rebranded? There are so many questions surrounding this team at the moment. The latest news we heard about Team Impulse was that their LCS spot was up for sale. Team Impulse, once formerly the organization LMQ, will be a key part of the North American LCS off-season simply because if its players do not return to that team, they will be sought after by teams like TSM, Immortals, and Cloud 9. Whatever happens with this organization and its players, it is definitely a huge talking point for this off-season and needs to be followed closely.

Star Players Retiring and Being Benched

POB

A couple of the retirements this off-season were already pointed out, but there are many more changes to be looking out for. TSM will be having the biggest off-season with their overhaul of players. They lost 3 players already and are also not committed to WildTurtle as they are trying out ADCs as well. Their legendary top laner Dyrus is gone, their jungler Santorin is gone, and their support Lustboy is also gone. TSM is easily the most popular team in North America, and their team will be followed very closely by everyone as we wait to see who will fill those holes.

The other top teams in North America have their issues as well. CLG officially announced that Pobelter is no longer their starting mid laner. Huhi will be taking over the mid lane duties in 2016 for CLG. Pobleter’s future is not clear at the moment, and we will have to wait and see what he does.

Cloud 9 also has their share of roster changes. LemonNation is hanging it up so there will be at least 1 new player in 2016 for Cloud 9. The team is having tryouts for the jungle position as well as their support position. Hai’s role in the team is also unclear. Will he return to the jungle? Will he move to support? Will he be out of the starting roster? This off-season is an important one for Cloud 9 fans to be up to date on.

Team Liquid also made a roster adjustment earlier in the month. The seasoned veteran support player Xpecial has been benched and the team has brought in former TDK support, Smoothie, to take over. Seeing what Xpecial does next and how Liquid functions without him will also be a point of focus this off-season.

There are many story lines to follow this off-season and that will make for a very interesting 2016 season. North America is up for grabs, but who will take the crown? Will TSM, Cloud 9, and CLG recover from changes and claim it? Will Gravity, Team Liquid, and Team Impulse make the jump into the top 3? Or will a new team like Renegades steal the show? I’ll be doing my best to keep everyone up to date on every big change this off-season. And please don’t believe everything you read on Reddit people.

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin