Immortals: A New North American Powerhouse?

The off-season in the North American League of Legends scene has been a very frantic one, but it has been mostly dominated by LCS spots being up for sale and being sold.  Dignitas EU sold the EU LCS spot and became Follow eSports, which just recently rebranded to “Splyce.” Team Coast sold their LCS spot to an investment group headed by the Sacramento Kings co-owners and they rebranded to “NRG”. The first group to do this however, was the investment group that purchased Team 8 and they rebranded themselves as “Immortals”. The Immortals investment group consists of Peter Levin, the president of Lionsgate Interactive Venture and Games, Steve Kaplan, a co-owner of the basketball franchise Memphis Grizzlies, and the business arm of the band Linkin Park, as well as some other big names. Team 8 sold their LCS spot at the beginning of October to the investment group behind Immortals and it has paved the way for the other organizations that have decided to buy/sell teams in the LCS.

With such big names behind this team, everyone is wondering who will actually be on the team’s roster and compete in the North American League Championship Series. Although there has not been an official announcement by Immortals, most of the community is sure they know the roster. One of the biggest names in eSports reporting, Richard Lewis, released an article yesterday confirming the move of Seong “Huni” Hoon Heo and Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin from Fnatic to Immortals from a source close to the team. It has been confirmed that the duo has moved on from Fnatic and was heading to North America, but what team they were heading to was not confirmed yet. Huni and Reignover will make any team in North America a contender because they are one of the best Top/Jungle duos in the world. They showcased that last year as they led Fnatic to an 18-0 summer split record in Europe and reached the semifinals of the World Championship. The source close to the team said the deal was almost complete and they would become the highest paid players in North America. With a team backed by such powerful business individuals, we know that their is no doubt the players on Immortals will be enjoying their salaries. Unless another organization decides to pay Huni and Reignover an incredible amount, the deal is considered done. With the addition of these two Koreans, the remaining 3 members of the team will have to be from North America, but who are they?

hunireignover

It has been speculated for some time who the remaining members of Immortals are, but many signs are pointing to Eugene “Pobelter” Park for the mid lane, Jason “WildTurtle” Tran at ADC, and Adrian “Adrian” Ma at support. Pobelter and Adrian have posted in recent weeks that they have signed for a team for the 2016 season. Adrian also gave the fans a little preview of him having dinner with “friends” with a Twitter post. WildTurtle, Pobelter, and Huni all seem visible in the picture though by their fans.

If these three are indeed joining Immortals with Huni and Reignover, they should instantly become a favorite to make the playoffs and contend for the North American title.

Pobelter spent the summer split with CLG and helped them win their first ever LCS title by taking home the summer split Championship. He did not perform well at the World Championship level however, this in turn led to his release from CLG. If Pobelter can get back to his ways of staying even and waiting for his team to help him, he will be able to help this team succeed. WildTurlte was the recipient of plenty of criticism in Season 5 while on TSM. He was even benched for a few games during the summer split which served as a wake up call to him. He outperformed KEITHMCBRIEF and earned back his starting job. When TSM acquired Doublelift however, his chances of starting for TSM were gone. If WildTurtle can fix some of his mistakes, his ability to carry any game becomes a reality. He is a very skilled ADC, but will need to clean up his game to take it to the next level. Adrian comes off a disappointing split for his team, Team Impulse. He actually stepped down right before XiaoWeiXiao was suspended for elo boosting and ended up coming right back into the starting lineup for the rest of the split, playoffs, and the gauntlet. After failing to make the World Championship, Team Impulse placed their LCS spot up for sale and have seen all their players move on already. Adrian is a world class troll on Twitter however, but I believe Immortals is where he will end up.

This starting five has the ability to make a lot of noise and has the chance to represent the North American LCS at the World Championship in Season 6. There is a lot of time before that can become a reality however, and we will have to wait and see if this team can become the powerhouse that everyone envisions to be, or if they will flop like a fish out of water. For their fans sake, let’s hope they can keep on swimming.

Jeff “Gravy” Miskin