Big ticket expiring contracts going into the 2021 season.
This offseason has already been full of roster rumours and teams shuffling players in and out of starting lineups. Thanks to Riot granting OPL players resident status and the LCS’s poor Worlds performance, many North American teams should be looking to make big changes and moves, hence the rumours. The LEC should also have some big changes as some veteran players are nearing the end of their contracts, and teams are looking to build rosters that can challenge Fnatic and G2 in 2021.
With whispers of a TSM bot lane shake-up, Lucas "Santorin" Larsen to Team Liquid, and the Barney "Alphari" Morris sweepstakes the offseason has already come into full swing. But before players announce their new teams, or Jacob Wolf tweets out the next blockbuster signing, let us take a look at the Global Contract Database to see who is on an expiring contract and will be available for big moves.
Top Lane Free Agents
The top lane pool of available players is definitely the deepest this offseason. In the LCS, players like Kim "Ruin" Hyeong-min, Omran "V1per" Shoura, and Colin "Kumo" Zhao are going to be available to teams looking for a cheaper option or a potential Academy filler spot.
But, the real prizes are going to be the two players with North American residency, Kevin "Hauntzer" Yarnell and Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong, and the three European prospects Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu, Lucas "Cabochard " Simon-Meslet, and the aforementioned Alphari. Teams with international or domestic success in their mind should be trying to land either Impact or Alphari as they are both players who have shown the ability to compete internationally. But, these players would also cost a lot of money, so only teams with cash to burn are going to be in the running for those two big-ticket laners.
Organisations on a budget, or are just trying to add one more piece to complete their squad, should be looking to either the European top lane pool or Huantzer. These players comparatively would not break the bank and have performed consistently their entire careers.
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Jungle Free Agents
This year, most junglers are either locked down for multiple years, or have contracts that expire mid split. But, the pool of available players does have some big names that could have a big impact on the team that they sign, or resign with.
In the LEC, Marc Robert "Caedrel" Lamont and Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir are available and would add a strong veteran presence, albeit without much international experience or results. In the LCS the two big players on expiring contracts are Team Liquid’s big move from last split Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen and arguably FlyQuest’s best player Santorin.
Of these four prospects, Santorin is the one with the most clout and negotiation power, coming off a great domestic season and Worlds appearance. Broxah and Caedral are both interesting players that could return to the LEC, while Xerxe seems like a wild card waiting for teams to take a chance on him after a pretty bad season for Origin.
None of these players are world beaters by any means, but they could be the final piece a team is looking for without taking any huge risks on young talent or unproven players.
Mid Lane Free Agents
Mid lane has some of the more interesting players available, with both young talent and international veterans alike. The big free agent out of the LCS this offseason is undoubtedly Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen. The now-resident player is one of the best LCS players of all time and would make any team he joins an instant title contender.
In the LEC, FC Schalke 04’s Felix "Abbedagge" Braun and Excel’s Joran "Special" Scheffer both have expiring contracts and showed some promise towards the end of season 10. Abbedagge was a big part of his team’s late run towards playoffs and is definitely one of the hottest prospects coming out of Europe.
On the younger side, Fnatics Academy mid-laner Felix "MagiFelix" Boström will also be available for teams. The 20-year-old Swede has long been touted as a talented prospect who is just not stage-ready. Any team who thinks they can unlock MagicFelix and make his play translate in a LAN environment should take a chance on him.
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Bot Lane Free Agents
The ADC position has a lot of available players, especially in Europe, but really only has two big names. Martin "Rekkles" Larsson is coming off of an expiring contract, and another fantastic domestic and Worlds run. The 24-year-old is expected to resign with Fnatic for a huge contract, but any team willing to shell out should at least attempt an offer to him.
Juš "Crownshot" MarušiÄ is another interesting free agent coming out of Europe. He has had some big performances in his short time in the LEC and may be looking for a way out of SK after an underwhelming season with the team.
Other notable players with expiring contracts include the always controversial Konstantinos-Napoleon "FORG1VEN" Tzortziou, European veteran Kristoffer "P1noy" Pedersen, and Schalke 04’s Matúš "Neon" JakubÄík.
Support Free Agents
Support has a few intriguing players available this offseason. In the LCS, Erik "Treatz" Wessén and Choi "huhi" Jae-hyun will both be available and are coming off decent seasons. Treatz impressed in some his TSM appearances and was also highly rated in the 2020 Worlds super server as the team’s lone substitute. As for huhi, being a part of arguably the best bottom lane duo in the LCS could land him a spot on one of the more prominent North American teams.
The biggest free agent in this support class is Fnatic’s Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov. Hylissang is coming off a great year with the European powerhouse, but it doesn’t look like the team is keen to return him for next season. While he has had some questionable games this season, Hylissang is a game-changer on the rift and should have multiple teams from the LEC and LCS vying for his services.
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