LCS 2020: Grading all the Roster Changes Ahead of the Summer Split

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

The LCS 2020 Summer Split is a week away, but first let’s break down all of the roster changes in the offseason.

The offseason in North America has been filled with surprising and controversial transactions, but just because a move is flashy doesn’t necessarily mean it was good. Ahead of the LCS 2020 Summer Split, let’s take a look at all the roster moves LCS teams made and how good or bad those moves were.

TSM Swaps Kobbe for Doublelift

We’ll ignore the controversy of one of the biggest roster changes ahead of the LCS 2020 Summer Split since we’ve already weighed in on that pretty decently. The primary question that needs to be asked is: is their new ADC Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng an upgrade over the man he replaced, Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup? The answer, to me, is not clear.

I mean, I would lean yes because of Doublelift’s existing synergy with Vincent “Biofrost” Wang, a synergy that he clearly was not able to develop with Kobbe in the spring. However, both Kobbe and Doublelift have pedigrees of elite ADC play in the past and underperformed last spring. I had Doublelift rated slightly higher than Kobbe going into the Spring Split, but I’m not ready to say this is certainly an upgrade.

Grade: B-

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FlyQuest Drops V1per for Solo

Top laner Colin “Solo” Earnest clearly outperformed Omran “V1per” Shoura last split, so I have no problem with FlyQuest going with him as their starter. That said, I don’t necessarily think the team had to drop V1per altogether. He’s still young enough and has shown enough flashes of promise that he could develop into a better player than Solo is now.

Grade: B+

Dignitas Drops Grig for Dardoch

This is one of the trickiest roster changes to evaluate because I have no idea whether the acquisition of Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett was meant for the starting position or the Academy roster. If it was for Academy, then this move is 100% justified. Jonathan “Grig” Armao has had ample opportunities to crack the LCS and has never proven to be an even average player. For all his flaws, Dardoch has shown, even at times last year, that the talent is there to be a good LCS jungler.

However, if this move was made with the LCS roster in mind, I think it’s horrible. Dignitas performed much better with Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham as their starting jungler and Akaadian himself outperformed Dardoch statistically. Giving Dardoch a starting slot out the gate, especially after his poor split with TSM, seems unwise when you already have a decent starting option.

Grade: A (if it’s for LCS, C-)

Dignitas Drops Huni for V1per

Luckily for V1per, he was able to find a new home in Dignitas in the offseason, but it came at the expense of Dignitas dropping their $2 million man in Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon. Huni certainly didn’t play up to the quality you would expect for someone making that kind of money, but he still outperformed V1per. And Dignitas’s Academy option, Samson “Lourlo” Jackson, isn’t exactly a reliable backup for a team that should be shooting for a playoff run and an outside shot at Worlds.

Grade: C

Evil Geniuses Acquire Huni

Given that EG didn’t have to acquire that monstrous salary to pick up Huni, this is a pretty low-risk, high-reward move. His acquisition does create an issue as far as import slots go because the team already has ADC Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and mid laner Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro occupying those slots. My guess is that this move was made with an eye towards the future, as Huni will become an NA resident in 2021.

Grade: B

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TSM Drops Dardoch for Spica

I already broke this down in its own separate article, but I think the risk TSM is taking on Mingyi “Spica” Lu is not at all justified based on his level of play. Even with how poor Dardoch played and the rumors of behavior issues last split on TSM, I’d still take his level of play over the possibility that Spica is going to improve.

Grade: D+