The 5 players you should be watching in the 2020 LCS Spring Split are all mid laners
With so many new and old faces joining the League of Legends Championship Series for the 2020 Spring Split, individual performances could have a much stronger implication on the strengths and weaknesses of teams in the regular season. Entire rosters have been structured around untested rookies, struggling veterans, and expensive imports in key roles, specifically mid lane.
Given the controversy surrounding native North American residents being passed up for players from other regions, key players will need to prove their worth just as much as teams will want to justify their investment in them. Here’s a list of the top five players that you should keep an eye on throughout the Spring Split.
5. Henrik “Froggen” Hansen (Dignitas)
Froggen has been an LCS staple since joining the league but has consistently been hampered with the burden of being the best player on any team he’s had to play for. With Echo Fox, he was the leader of a band of scrappy rookies just looking to make playoffs. With Golden Guardians, the most success he was able to find was a trip to the playoffs in Spring 2019. Now, he finds himself at the helm of a team with two other veterans in Heo “Huni “Seung-hoon and Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black, and a proven talent in Jonathan “Grig” Armao. He won’t have any excuses for poor results aside from his own play.
4. Greyson “Goldenglue” Gilmer (Golden Guardians)
Once again, Goldenglue is getting another shot at redemption as the starting mid laner for Golden Guardians. He’s been well-known throughout the LCS to be a “scrim god” with the potential to perform on stage, but the last time he was able to show it was when Cloud9 heavily integrated their Academy team into the main roster in 2018. Many people are projecting this new Golden Guardians team to sit at the bottom of the standings, so the bar is set pretty low for Goldenglue. He’ll need to bring the same level of confidence as he did his last time on stage during the 2018 Regional Qualifier Finals to get anywhere with this roster.
3. Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro (Evil Geniuses)
In one of the most surprising moves of the offseason, the Italian Stallion will be bringing his talents to North America for the first time ever. A player who was once heralded as a top three mid in Europe, he’ll now have to battle his personal demons to make his mark in the LCS. The biggest question Jiizuke will need to answer is whether or not his poor 2019 with Team Vitality was just a fluke.
2. Tommy “Ryoma” Le (100 Thieves)
Despite the backlash surrounding 100Theives’ decision to use an import slot on a player from the Oceanic Pro League, ry0ma is actually one of the region’s most accomplished players. He frequently placed within the top of the standings, and recently attended the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational with Bombers after winning OPL 2019 Split 1. If he’s able to stand up against a new class of mid laners and not falter under the pressure, he could develop into 100T’s most valuable player.
1. Jérémy "Eika" Valdenaire (Immortals)
Since his announcement to Immortals, Eika stood as the centerpiece of a makeshift Immortals roster that left people scratching their heads. With native talent like Tanner “Damonte” Damonte and Eugene “Pobelter” Park on the market at the time, the community was left wondering why IMT would go with an import who’s only accolades were winning in Europe’s national leagues and finishing top eight at both 2019 European Masters events. Eika is quite possibly the most unknown quantity joining the LCS in 2020, and if he’s able to do even hold his own against the other 10 starting mid laners, that’s a win for both him and IMT.
Main image via Riot Games