League of Legends: remembering the 2017 Dignitas that never was

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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League of Legends Dignitas trophy
OAKLAND, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: A view of the winners trophy during the 2018 North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Finals between Cloud9 and Team Liquid at ORACLE Arena on September 9, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images) /

The new squad looked nasty: Kim “Ssumday” Chang-ho, fresh from the Korean powerhouse of KT Rolster, Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun coming in from Longzhu, the proven NA veterans in Lae-Young “Keane” Jang and Benjamin “LOD” deMunck in mid lane and ADC , and the ancient star Alex “Xpecial” Chu, returning to support LOD. And not only this, the team had a solid infrastructure of former players-turned-coaches in David “Cop” Roberson and Brandon “Saintvicious” DiMarco.

Going into the first day of play everyone was pumped to see what this new, spicy League of Legends squad had to offer. Analysts predicted anything from a Playoffs contender to Dignitas hoisting the regional trophy.

Unfortunately, from the very beginning, something seemed to be missing from their formula. The team ended their first week 1-1, losing and winning 2-1 to Cloud9 and Phoenix1 respectively. However, the coming weeks would begin to resemble their hype train barreling off the tracks down a steep ravine.

By the time the split had reached its halfway mark, Dignitas had fired Coach Cop and was sitting at the bottom of the ladder at 2-6. The team caught an updraft with their new coaching staff and rallied to an eventual 9-9, squeezing into the League of Legends NA playoffs pack. Many predicted a deep run into the tournament, especially as the team had begun taking matches off some of the strongest competition.

However, as they entered the Quarterfinals in their sixth-place seed, they dropped their first game against Phoenix1. Then their second. Then, just like that, they were out of the tournament.