LCS 2021: Why Fans Should be Excited About Dignitas

Photo by Tina Jo/Riot Games.
Photo by Tina Jo/Riot Games. /

Let’s look at why Dignitas fans should be excited for the coming LCS season.

Ahead of the LCS Lock-In tournament, we’re previewing all of the LCS teams. After kicking off our coverage by looking at the new Immortals lineup, let’s pivot to another team that made massive roster changes, Dignitas.

Last Year

8-10 in the Spring Split, 5-13 in the Summer Split

Dignitas started off the Spring Split strong before losing steam at the end of the split. The team actually was in the playoff hunt as late as Week 6 before they lost five of six in those few critical final weeks.

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In the Summer Split, Dignitas managed to make it into the expanded playoff bracket by virtue of a tiebreaker with CLG. That’s actually incredibly impressive, considering they went 0-8 to start the split. They were immediately bounced in the first round of the lower bracket by TSM.

The Offseason

Like Immortals, Dignitas did a near-full teardown of the roster over the summer. Unlike Immortals, though, DIG elected to go full steam into the youth movement for this season.

The team retained Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett and Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black from last year’s roster as the veteran presence. Around them are three less-experienced players, who played the majority of the last year in the Academy league: Aaron “FakeGod” Lee in the top lane, Max “Soligo” Soong in the mid, and Toàn “Neo” Trần for the ADC.

Notice I said “less-experienced” and not “rookie” players. All three of these players have seen some LCS play (in some cases, a significant stretch of LCS play), so there isn’t quite the excitement for some other younger players. That’s not to say that some of these players can’t still have some upside and potential, but it does seem less likely given that they’ve had plenty of time to develop and seemed unable to break into the LCS.

The Coach

Their coach is Jimmy Harrison, who spent the last three years in the Golden Guardians organization, both on the professional team and the Academy team. This is his first gig as a head coach, so it will be exciting to see what he can do with this roster.

Players to Be Excited About

It’s unfortunate that I have to go down the list this far to find a strong player that is worth getting hyped for, but I have to go with jungler Dardoch. As volatile a player he may be, he is one of the few Dignitas members who has at least shown the ability to make plays happen, do decent damage, and outpace the rest of the competition in his role.

Season Prediction

This is perhaps the easiest pick of any team outside of the top two. Dignitas just does not have a roster with any strong playmakers outside of Dardoch, no strong laners (Soligo and FakeGod didn’t even prove to be capable laners in Academy, let alone the LCS level). Aphromoo is past his prime and Dardoch, while good, is not going to be able to carry this team.

Unless there are some massive improvements from those young players or this team develops some serious synergy, I don’t see any way that this team finishes outside the bottom two. At the very highest, I think this team is a fringe playoff team (7th or 8th tops).

What are the Fans Excited About?

From the Dignitas subreddit:

"I think this team has a lot to be excited about. The biggest being the return on Aphromoo and Dardoch. These two were without a doubt the top performers from last split. Sure, Johnson also played well, but it seemed like he was rarely able to transition the lead he would get in lane with Aphromoo to a late game carry, making me think Aphro did a lot of the heavy lifting. The other being the new talent. Although a lot of teams invested in newer players this season, not many paired it with the same level of veteran presence that Dig has. I think FakeGod can really shine, and Neo has being doing awesome in the InHouse games apparently. Overall, I think Dig will be a solid playoff team, and have a sneaky chance to breakout and make worlds if someone really plays incredible.– Mount_Pigeon"

Aphromoo and Dardoch are going to need to be the leaders of this team, for sure. I’m just not sure either of them are good enough to do it.

It’s definitely encouraging that some of the newer players like FakeGod and Neo are doing well in the in-house games but, like I said, I think a playoff appearance is their best-case scenario.

"I’m pretty excited with this roster, i think that we had a great off season where we managed to get a good roster for a cheap price we got 2 promising mid laners and a top 3 academy top laner.I think that this team will be a lot more than the sum of their parts Soligo should be fine since his game style helps to enable other parts of the map, this is great when your jungler is Dardoch, and your top Fakegod, then you have Aphromoo who should help everybody with his calling and experience, about Neo i don’t know too much but Aphro is a great support when you want to develop some talent in the botlane– ketoske"

That is definitely a solid point that the mid/jungle synergy could allow Dardoch to have more freedom to make plays, unlike last year. There may be more hope that the team synergizes and takes a few wins.

Next. Ranking the 50 greatest LCS players of all time. dark

"We got the old logo back. We’re Dignitas and I don’t care if we suck. The only thing I ever look forward to is watching the team continue to exist, and even that seems like it’s too much to ask for sometimes. God bless this organization. Digwin forever.– [Name redacted]"

The whisp is (aka Digi) back for Dignitas, so maybe they’ll harness the energy of the old gods like Imaqtpie and manage to shock everyone. Godbless indeed.