2020 LCS Offseason Power-Rankings

19:00, 29 Dec 2019

It’s no secret that North America’s performance at the 2019 World Championship was abysmal. For the first time since 2015, not a single team managed to advance past the tournament’s Main Group Stage. To right this wrong, organizations have been scrambling to find the best talent available. Including new teams that have had to start from scratch, every single team in the League of Legends Championship Series has made roster adjustments over the past few months. 

Will Liquid manage to maintain their regional dominance? Will TSM finally make their long-awaited resurgence? To identify this offseason’s winners and losers, we’ll be analyzing and rating the changes within each team to determine the biggest threats of the Spring Split.

10. Immortals, The Retirement Home

Paul “sOAZ” Boyer.
Jake “Xmithie” Puchero.
Jérémy "Eika" Valdenaire.
Jonny “Altec” Ru.
Nick “Hakuho” Sergent .

Who’s supposed to carry this team? Both Xmithie and sOAZ have made names for themselves playing a low-econ style. The bot lane of Altec, who hasn’t played professionally in over a year, and Hakuho, a mid-tier support in NA, is uninspiring. Eika is the big question mark here, but praying that his national league success translates to LCS won’t be enough for IMT to rely on.

9. Golden Guardians, The One with the Basketball Team

Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell.
Can “Closer” Çelik.
Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer.~
Victor “FBI” Huang.
Yuri “Keith” Jew.

The new Golden Guardians roster isn’t as bad as many people think. With the loss of Henrik “Froggen” Hansen and the addition of Closer, their top side gains a net upgrade overall. The biggest unknown here is how Keith will perform after role-swapping to support, but if anyone had to take a guess, the answer would be “not very well.” The players are generally outclassed in their roles across any playoff-contending teams, and against anyone worse than that, it’s a toss-up. 

8. Dignitas, The One that Used to be Clutch Gaming

Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon.
Jonathan “Grig” Armao.
Henrik “Froggen” Hansen.
Johnathan “Johnsun” Nguyen.
Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black.

Every player from their 2019 Worlds run was traded except for Huni and Tanner “Damonte” Damonte, who was demoted to Academy in favour of Froggen. The result was a team of long-time veterans leading two developing players. Johnsun, the rookie, gets a pass this split, being thrown as he was into LCS without any professional experience, but it’ll take lots of overperforming from Huni, Froggen, and Aphro if DIG wants to prove themselves as a threat. 

7. FlyQuest, The Same

Omran “V1per” Shoura.
Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen.
Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage.
Jason “WildTurtle” Tran.
Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun.

Swapping out Eugene “Pobelter” Park, a career low-econ mid laner, for the resource-heavy PoE will be their biggest obstacle. Santorin was responsible for covering for a lot of V1per’s rookie mistakes in 2019, but a new mid-focused playstyle means growing pains for FLY’s top side. Since IgNar’s addition doesn’t bring anything new to the team, their bot lane strength will likely stay the same or worsen until synergy develops. 

6. 100Thieves, The Salty Runback

Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho.
William “Meteos” Hartman .
Tommy “ry0ma” Le.
Cody “Cody Sun” Sun.
William “Stunt” Chen.

Meteos and Cody Sun return to the team after being benched back in 2018, and Ssumday is no longer riding the bench. Ry0ma has found plenty of success in Oceania, and is a clear upgrade over Max “Soligo” Soong and Ryu “Ryu” Sang-wook, on paper, but will still have to prove himself against the likes of Jensen, Bjergsen, and Nisqy. 100T has every piece they need to do some damage in 2020, but it may take some time for everything to click together.

5. CLG, The Safe Bet

Kim "Ruin" Hyeong-min.
Raymond "Wiggily" Griffin.
Lee “Crown” Min-ho.
Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes.
Andy “Smoothie” Ta.

CLG impressed everyone in 2019, and now they’ve upgraded their roster with strong pickups in Crown and Smoothie. This line-up looks like a shoo-in for playoffs and could even upset some teams depending on their momentum.

4. Evil Geniuses, The Villain

Colin “Kumo” Zhao.
Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen.
Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro.
Bae “Bang” Jun-sik.
Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam.

Svenskeren and Zeyzal, arguably two of C9’s best players, are bringing their skills to a team filled with talent. Jiizuke has proven his ability to challenge world-class mid laners. Kumo had an excellent showing in LCS while subbing for Eric “Licorice” Ritchie on C9 in 2019. Bang brings a wealth of experience and mechanical skill. Individually, they’re excellent players, but the jungle-mid and jungle-top duos may be the team’s weakest link. 

3. TSM, The Second Coming

Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik.
Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett.
Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg.
Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup.
Vincent “Biofrost” Wang.

TSM fans are hoping that the long-awaited addition of Dardoch will finally fix the team’s jungle issues, and that may be the case. Dardoch may have done time in Academy, but he’s a clear upgrade over his predecessors. If Bjergsen picks up the slack from his underperformance in 2019, and the team cleans up their macro plays and drafts, this team could become a contender to win it all. That is, if they develop a great sense of teamwork.

2. Cloud9, The Hero

Eric “Licorice” Ritchie.
Robert “Blaber” Huang.
Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer.
Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen
Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme.

C9 always have a habit of making something out of nothing. They may have lost their MVP jungler in Svenskeren, but they gained an opportunity to really let the budding Blaber to really shine. The new bot lane of Zven and Vulcan will finally make C9 a true triple-threat team. 

1. Team Liquid, The King

Jeong “Impact” Eon-yeong.
Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen.
Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen.
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng.
Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in.

Although Xmithie brought a crucial strategic element to Liquid’s gameplan, the mechanically gifted Broxah only makes this team scarier. Their goal for 2020 should be to maintain the level of dominance that they’ve upheld since 2018. It seems simple, at first, but adjusting to a more aggressive jungler may prove to be a challenge.

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

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