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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2017 Summer Split

With their sights set on the next split, Dignitas did some further roster-shuffling in the preseason before the 2017 Summer Split. In the end, they replaced Xpecial with Terry “BIG” Chuong from Echo Fox, and eventually shifted their jungle from Chaser to Lee “Shrimp” Byeong-hoon, a mechanical monster from the days of Apex.

With the roster finalized, Dignitas looked solid. They started the season by roaring out to 5-1 against their opponents. Among these wins, they took down the eventual 2017 champions, TSM,, 2-1.

However, signs of fatigue began to creep through the roster. In their fourth week, the team went 0-2 and followed that disappointing performance with another 0-2 showing the next week. Then, as if to demonstrate the team’s inconsistencies, they went 2-0 in Week 6 and 1-1 in Week 7.

By the end of Week 9, the team had managed to stumble their way back into playoffs, with an improved record of 11-7. No one knew what to think of the team by now: while many game experts had rated them in the top three for the beginning of the split, their undeniable volatility and propensity for last-minute collapse made them impossible to rank heading into the North American League of Legends Playoffs tournament.

Further, their first-round opponent was C9, who had beaten them twice in the Regular season, and who seemed to have revitalized themselves since the last split.