2020 League of Legends Offseason Roster Shuffle Tracker
It’s the greatest time of the year: League of Legends Roster Shuffle 2020. We’ll be with you every step of the way, updating player signings, trades, and the implications for their new and former teams.
This page will be updated daily with the newest transactions.
DECEMBER 7 ROSTER MOVES
NEO PROMOTED TO DIGNITAS MAIN ROSTER
What it means for DIG: Dignitas had a great ADC of the future in Johnsun, but they opted to sell his contract to FlyQuest earlier in the offseason. With the vacancy, they have now promoted Toàn “Neo” Trần to the main roster. Neo played four LCS game for OpTic Gaming in 2019 Spring, but has not played in a major league since. Dignitas looks to be cutting costs and will be fielding young players in their three carry roles. This is a stark contrast to 2020, when Dignitas went veteran heavy.
PSG TALON EXTEND HANABI’S CONTRACT
What it means for PSG: PSG Talon have extended the contract of top laner Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang. The former Flash Wolves player joined PSG Talon at the beginning of 2020 and helped them to a Spring title and Worlds berth. With much of the roster now free agents, PSG have made sure at least one member will join jungler Kim “River” Dong-woo in returning for 2021.
December 6 ROSTER MOVES
TSM PROMOTE LOST TO STARTING LINEUP
What it means for TSM: TSM had an opening at ADC after the retirement of Doublelift, so they have promoted Lawrence “Lost” Sze Yuy Hui to fill that role. Fortunately for TSM, the timing of OCE’s new residence rules allows the move. TSM needed an NA resident ADC after acquiring Huni and PowerOfEvil, and Lost is now considered one. TSM may have been hamstrung in their options by Doublelift’s late retirement decision, but Lost should be an adequate replacement.
DECEMBER 5 ROSTER MOVES
EXCEL ESPORTS CONFIRM ROSTER
What it means for XL: Excel Esports have confirmed that top laner Felix “Kryze” Hellström, ADC Patrik “Patrik” Jírů, and support Tore “Tore” Hoel Eilertsen will remain with the team in 2021. Patrik and Tore started every game for XL in 2020, while Kryze replaced Expect to begin the Summer. Excel are banking on their two new rookies to elevate XL to a playoff spot.
DECEMBER 4 ROSTER MOVES
FUNPLUS PHOENIX HIRE STEAK AS HEAD COACH
What it means for FPX: FunPlus Phoenix lost their World Championship winning coach WarHorse to Top Esports, but they have quickly found his replacement. Former Flash Wolves top laner Chou “Steak” Lu-Hsi has agreed to terms to become FPX’s next head coach. Steak has led Rogue Warriors, RNG, and most recently LNG Esports.
HYFRESH BLADE SIGN THREE
What it means for HFB: The LCK’s newest organization, hyFresh Blade (formerly known as Brion Blade), has signed three new players ahead of their debut season: jungler Eom “UmTi” Seong-hyeon, mid laner Kim “Lava” Tae-hoon, and support Yoo “Crescent” Hwan-joong. UmTi has LCK experience with Jin Air Green Wings and KT Rolster, though he spent last year in the CK. Lava started 33 games for Hanwha Life Esports in 2020 before giving way to Mireu. Crescent is a prospect who has played for Gen.G Academy and T1 Academy.
What it means for HLE: Even with Lava losing his job to Mireu at the end of the season, his services would not have been needed after the addition of Chovy. Chovy was the best free agent available in the LCK and, along with Deft and Morgan, elevate HLE to contenders in the LCK.
BIOFROST WILL NOT BEGIN YEAR IN LCS
What it means: TSM were excited to get Vincent “Biofrost” Wang back to begin 2020, but the reunion was bumpy. After failing to establish any synergy with Kobbe, Biofrost was benched for a period in the Summer for Treatz. Doublelift asked for Biofrost to be brought back in the playoffs, but the bot lane still struggled despite TSM’s LCS title. Biofrost will have to work his way back up if he wants to return to the LCS.
CLOUD9 ADD TRIO OF COACHES
What it means for C9: Cloud9 have added three new coaches to their staff: Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez, Maxwell “Max” Waldo, and Marius “Veigar v2” Aune. Mithy is coming off a year as Fnatic’s head coach and will be a familiar face for both Perkz and Zven. On the other hand, Veigar v2 was let go from Fnatic in April when some of his previous unsavory comments became public.
EXCEL ADD ROOKIE MID LANER CZEKOLAD
What it means for XL: Excel Esports have added a rookie in the mid lane, signing Paweł “Czekolad” Szczepanik. Czekolad has worked his way through the ranks, starting as an amatuer before playing three years at the regional level. He makes Excel Esports an even younger team, as XL hopes they can groom the next great EU mid.
FNATIC SIGN FEBIVEN TO ACADEMY ROSTER
What it means for FNC: Despite an impressive 2020, mid laner Fabian “FEBIVEN” Diepstraten found himself on the outside of the roster carousel this offseason. Instead of continuing on in a major league, FEBIVEN will start the year with Fnatic’s academy team, Fnatic Rising. Fnatic have brought in Nisqy for their main roster, but FEBIVEN is quality depth in case that fit does not work out as hoped.
What it means for MSF: Misfits Gaming seemed poised to start Ronaldo “Ronaldo” Betea at the start of 2020, but FEBIVEN took control of the role and had a good year. Still, Misfits obviously feel they can find an upgrade at the position. MSF have still not announced the replacements for FEBIVEN and top laner Danny “Dan Dan” Le Comte.
KT ROLSTER PROMOTE REBEL TO MAIN ROSTER
What it means for KT: KT Rolster have promoted support Park “Rebel” Geun-woo to the main roster. Rebel spent the first half of 2020 with T1 Academy, but did not get any playing time. He left to join KT Rolster Academy ahead of the September Series. Rebel will compete against recent addition Harp for playing time.
DECEMBER 3 ROSTER MOVES
HAKUHO ANNOUNCES HE WILL NOT BEGIN YEAR ON LCS ROSTER
What it means: Support Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent has announced that he will not begin 2021 on an LCS roster. The former Immortals support has been a fixture in the LCS since his debut with Renegades in 2016. Aside from a 16-day demotion to academy in 2020 Summer, Hakuho has been playing weekly on the LCS stage. He should eventually find work on an academy team.
FLYQUEST IMPORT DREAMS TO ACADEMY ROSTER
What it means for FLY: FlyQuest have gone overseas to add to their academy roster, signing Han “Dreams” Min-kook. Dreams is the second former FC Schalke 04 support FlyQuest have added in the past year, following in the footsteps of IgNar. Dreams has Korean residency but has only ever played in Europe. His signing with an LCS academy team is a step down in his career.
What it means for S04: FC Schalke 04 previously made the decision to replace Dreams with LIMIT. Interestingly, like FlyQuest, S04 have their own organization they take supports from. After grabbing Dreams from SK Gaming the year prior, LIMIT also comes to S04 from SK. With the additions of Broken Blade and LIMIT, S04 have a full starting lineup.
EXCEL ESPORTS SIGN DAN TO MAIN ROSTER
What it means for XL: Excel Esports have signed jungler Daniel “Dan” Hockley to their main roster. Dan comes from Fnatic Rising and has been playing professionally since 2014, but this will be his first chance in the LEC. He replaces Marc Robert “Caedrel” Lamont, who has retired from pro play. Excel now have four players under contract, needing only a mid laner to complete their roster.
KT ROLSTER ADD JUNGLER GIDEON
What it means for KT: KT Rolster have signed Kim “GIDEON” Min-seong, another hyped jungler coming from Griffin. Hoping to follow in the footsteps of Kanavi and Tarzan, GIDEON joins Bonnie as the second jungler under contract with KT. This team will have a decidedly younger feel to it, as a number of old veterans have moved on.
WARHORSE LEAVES FUNPLUS PHOENIX FOR TOP ESPORTS
What it means for TES: Top Esports fell short of expectations at Worlds. Not only did they fail to make the Finals and win, they lost to a fellow LPL team in Suning. With their roster all signed through at least 2021, TES decided to make their change via their coaching staff. Former FunPlus Phoenix head coach Chen “WarHorse” Ju-Chih will take over in the same role for TES.
What it means for FPX: There will already be some change on the team as Khan has moved on to DAMWON Gaming in free agency, but FPX will also lose their head coach. WarHorse led them to a World Championship in 2019, but the team never could adapt their playstyle to incorporate a carry top laner. A mutual parting may have been the best for both.
DECEMBER 2 ROSTER MOVES
WADID MOVES TO LLA TEAM ALL KNIGHTS
What it means for AK: After an interesting 2020 year in which he only played for a month, Kim “WADID” Bae-in has returned to professional play in the LLA. Following his brief stint with Griffin, WADID will join All Knights. All Knights are one of the best teams in the LLA, finishing first in the regular season in three of the past four splits, including a title in 2020. WADID will replace Leandro “Newbie” Marcos, who earlier left to join the Golden Guardians.
IMPACT SIGNS WITH EVIL GENIUSES
What it means for EG: Evil Geniuses started out 2020 with Kumo in top lane, but his poor play eventually forced EG to bring in Huni. EG went a step further this offseason in addressing their top lane play in adding Jeong “Impact” Eon-young. Though Huni would have counted as an NA resident like Impact this split, EG were still comfortable sending him to TSM. Impact will bring EG the consistency they crave from a top laner, if not quite the superstar carry. Assuming Jiizuke is back, the EG starting lineup is now complete.
What it means for TL: With the move from Broxah to Santorin in jungle, Team Liquid were freed up to import a new top laner. They went with Alphari, formerly of Origen. Alphari is like Impact in a lot of ways: versatile and reliable. It remains to be seen if he’s a true star player on an elite team, but it was pretty clear that Impact is not.
OROME JOINS EXCEL’S ACADEMY TEAM
What it means for XL: Excel Esports have added former MAD Lions top laner Andrei “Orome” Popa to their academy roster. Despite the success MAD had last year, Orome has found himself having to work his way back up to the LEC. Excel still have Felix “Kryze” Hellström on their main roster and under contract through 2021. Kryze took over for Ki “Expect” Dae-han between the Spring and Summer splits and finished out the year with Excel. Orome offers a strong Plan B in academy.
What it means for MAD: While they had a great year for a group of rookies, MAD’s weaknesses were exposed when they made it to the postseason. Orome was a solid enough player in the LEC, but he wasn’t able to handle matchups against the more elite players. MAD Lions thus went out and signed Armut from SuperMassive Esports to replace Orome. Armut should offer more carry potential for the team.
DECEMBER 1 ROSTER MOVES
T1 EXTENDS ELLIM’S CONTRACT, PROMOTE ONER TO MAIN ROSTER
What it means for T1: T1 have announced a contract extension with jungler Choi “Ellim” El-lim and have promoted academy jungler Moon “Oner” Hyeon-joon to the main roster. With Ellim, Oner, and Moon “Cuzz” Woo-chan under contract, T1 now have three junglers on their main roster. T1’s tweet said that these moves “finish [their] roster”, so T1’s roster looks to be set going into 2021. While there will be battles for starting spots across multiple roles, the only new big addition this offseason was the addition of Keria.
GOLDENGLUE RETIRES, BECOMES 100T ACADEMY HEAD COACH
What it means for 100T: Mid laner Greyson “Goldenglue” Gregory Gilmer announced his retirement as a player, moving on to become Head Coach of 100 Thieves’ Academy team. Goldenglue takes over a very strong roster, filled with former LCS players and some of the highest potential talents in the region. Goldenglue’s experience bouncing between academy and the LCS should help him relate to the players and his message should resonate with players trying to accomplish the same goal. 100T also added former TSM support and coach Ham “Lustboy” Jang-sik as a position coach to the organization.
EVIL GENIUSES PROMOTE DEFTLY TO MAIN ROSTER
What it means for EG: With Bang moving on to play for Afreeca Freecs, Evil Geniuses had an opening at ADC. They have chosen to fill it by promoting academy ADC Matthew “Deftly” Chen to the main roster. Deftly last played in the LCS in 2019, splitting time with Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi on Cloud9. Deftly has spent more time in academy than the LCS in his career, so this is somewhat of a surprising move for an EG team who is known for aggressively spending money. He will be joined by IgNar in the revamped bot lane.
KT ROLSTER CALL UP BONNIE AND HARP
What it means for KT: KT Rolster have called up jungler Lee “Bonnie” Gwang-su and support Lee “Harp” Ji-yoong to join their main roster ahead of 2021. It’s unclear if KT Rolster intends to start these rookies, as they do not have any other players yet signed to those roles. KT are looking to replace the combination of Kim “bonO” Gi-beom and Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong in jungle, as well as Park “TusiN” Jong-ik at support.
SANDBOX GAMING ADD EFFORT
What it means for SB: SANDBOX Gaming have added former T1 support Lee “Effort” Sang-ho. Effort has spent the past year-and-a-half as T1’s starting support, taking the job from Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong. Effort will take over for Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyun, who played 93 of 102 games for SB in 2020. SB also added former Griffin support Jeong “Kabbie” Sang-hyeon, but Effort looks poised to get the starting role. He will play alongside either Moon “Route” Geom-su or Han “Leo” Gyeo-re, who was once Effort’s teammate on T1.
What it means for T1: The only organization Effort has ever played for, T1 decided to seek an upgrade for Effort this offseason. After outperforming and replacing Mata in 2019, Effort’s play dipped last year. That upgrade came in the form of DRX rookie Keria, who already looks to be one of the best supports in the world. Unfortunately, T1 parts on awkward terms with Effort, as a stream mishap caused T1’s coaching plans to be leaked to the public.
WORLD CHAMPION CROWN RETIRES
What it means: Mid laner Lee “Crown” Min-ho announced his retirement from professional play. Crown is best known for winning the 2017 World Championship with Samsung Galaxy, playing alongside CoreJJ. Crown then went into a slump, ending with him joining OpTic Gaming in the LCS. Crown had a good year in 2019 with OPT, but slumped again with CLG to begin 2020. After being let go for Eugene “Pobelter” Park, Crown spent the rest of the year playing in the CK with OZ Gaming.
HANWHA LIFE ADD FOUR TO MAIN ROSTER
What it means for HLE: Hanwha Life Esports added four new members to their main roster: yop laner Kang “Riss” Hyeon, mid laner Lee “Mask” Sang-hun, ADC Cho “Cheoni” Seung-mo, and support Han “Baut” Jin-sol. Riss, Cheoni, and Baut all join from HLE’s academy roster, while Mask comes from RunAway. None of the four figures to crack the HLE starting lineup. HLE now have 12 players signed to their main roster.
NOVEMBER 30 ROSTER MOVES
TSM REPLACE BROKEN BLADE WITH HUNI
What it means for TSM: With PowerOfEvil and SwordArt now taking TSM’s two import slots, TSM needed an NA resident to man their top lane. The timing worked out perfectly that Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon just became eligible to switch to NA residency this offseason. Huni hasn’t been the same hard carry player that he was at the beginning of his career, but TSM don’t necessarily need that with PoE, Spica, and SwordArt. Huni should play a similar role to Broken Blade, only without costing TSM an import slot.
What it means for EG: When Evil Geniuses acquired Huni between Spring and Summer last year, it seemed to be with the intention of waiting for his NA residency to kick in this year. But when EG opted to bench Daniele “Jiizuke” di Mauro to bring up Huni, it showed how much they valued Huni right away. As an organization also not afraid to spend, EG’s willingness to send Huni to TSM hints at a potential upgrade for themselves in top lane. Considering Licorice is already gone to FlyQuest, Jeong “Impact” Eon-young remains the best unsigned “NA” top.
KT ROLSTER BRING IN TWO NEW ADC’S
What it means for KT: KT Rolster have signed ADCs Lee “HyBriD” Woo-jin and Park “5kid” Jeong-hyeon to their main roster. HyBriD started the majority of the games for SeolHaeOne Prince in 2020, but he was phased out by Kim “Trigger” Eui-joo at the end of the season. 5kid has spent the past two years playing in the CK, now earning his first callup to an LCK team. HyBriD should get first crack at the starting job, assuming KT don’t add a third ADC. They join Doran and Ucal as the third and fourth members.
TEAM DYNAMICS ADD PEANUT, JUHAN, AND BAY
What it means for TD: Team Dynamics added three players to their growing roster. The big-name is jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho, who joins from LGD Gaming. Peanut is the type of carry player that TD lacked in 2020, offering a second star to build around with Rich. TD also announced the signings of mid laner Park “Bay” Jun-byeong and jungler Lee “Juhan” Ju-han. Neither player has experience at the LCK level, so they will most likely be organizational depth as TD expands to a roster of more than five players.
What it means for LGD: After cobbling together a competitive roster between Spring and Summer, LGD Gaming will go through another rebuild this offseason. In addition to Peanut, Ha “Kramer” Jong-hun and Xie “Langx” Zhen-Ying are also expected to leave. This opens up the ability for LGD to add imports, but it’s a tough blow for an organization that finally found a team able to qualify for Worlds.
NOVEMBER 29 ROSTER MOVES
AFREECA FREECS REVAMP BOT LANE WITH BANG, LEHENDS
What it means for AF: Afreeca Freecs have signed ADC Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and support Son “Lehends” Si-woo to revamp their bot lane. AF have spent the past two years trying to build a team around top laner Kim “Kiin” Gi-in with limited success. They hoped Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun would be the answer in 2020, but the team never came together after a successful KeSPA Cup. Lehends is definitely an upgrade over the retired Nam “Ben” Dong-hyun on paper, but Bang hasn’t been better than Mystic in a few years. AF will hope the two find synergy quickly.
What it means for EG: Bang was pretty open about his homesickness in North America, especially as the COVID19 pandemic dragged on. While he was brought over as a hyped signing, Bang never really made a star impact in NA. While some of that definitely has to be attributed to the quality of his supports, Bang just didn’t have the game-breaking ability you want from an import. EG will have to find a replacement to play alongside new support IgNar.
What it means for HLE: It was huge for the organization when they convinced Chovy and Deft to sign, but it does hurt that they lost Lehends. Oh “Vsta” Hyo-seong has been a versatile player for HLE, but they must have a lot of confidence in him to allow Lehends to leave after signing Deft. Regardless, HLE are still better on paper now than they ended 2020.
GEN.G ADD DEPTH IN FLAWLESS, KARIS
What it means for GEN: Gen.G added jungler Sung “Flawless” Yeon-jun and mid laner Kim “Karis” Hong-jo to their main roster. Flawless will be behind Kim “Clid” Tae-min, while Karis will be behind Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong. Gen.G returns all five starters from 2020, so these moves are more aimed at depth. Flawless has plenty of experience from his stints in both the LPL and LCK, so his role looks like a pure backup. Karis, on the other hand, has only been playing professional for a year. His callup from the academy team could signal Gen.G thinks he’s their mid laner of the future.
TEAM DYNAMICS ADD SUPPORT KELLIN
What it means for TD: After qualifying for the LCK ahead of the 2020 Summer Split, Team Dynamics are now confirmed to be one of the ten LCK franchises for 2021. However, with only top laner Lee “Rich” Jae-won and ADC Seo “deokdam” Dae-gil signed through 2021, TD have three starting spots to fill for next year. One of those will go to support Kim “Kellin” Hyeong-gyu, who will replace Kim “GuGer” Do-yeop. After sticking with the five players who got them to LCK for one split, TD seem willing to change up the team dynamic after a 5-13 result.
What it means for GEN: Kellin mixed in for 26 of Gen.G’s 124 games in 2020, but Kim “Life” Jeong-min cemented his role on the team down the stretch. Life played the last 28 games of the regular season and started every postseason game for the team. With Life signed through 2022 next to Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, Gen.G are set with their bot lane.
NOVEMBER 28 ROSTER MOVES
DRX ANNOUNCE FULL ROSTER
What it means for DRX: Despite their success in 2020, DRX could not keep their roster together for 2021. Jungler Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon remains signed through 2022, but he will have four new players next to him. Yoon “Destroy” Jeong-min and Hwang “Kingen” Seong-hoon both join the main roster in top lane, while Song “SOLCA” Su-hyeong (previously known as Quad) moves from substitute to starter. Likewise, ADC Jeong “BAO” Hyeon-woo and support Son “Rebeca” Min-woo (previously known as Pleata) have been promoted from DRX’s academy roster. DRX have promoted from within the organization, but they will field a very inexperienced team.
What it means for BLG: Kingen joined Bilibili Gaming in 2019 and opened the year as the starting top laner, but was in and out of the lineup throughout the year. Kang “ADD” Geon-mo had his own opportunities to start, and Han “Alielie” Dong-Xu played BLG’s five NEST games. With the departures of Kingen and ADD, BLG now have an import slot open next to mid laner Chu “FoFo” Chun-Lan.
NOVEMBER 27 ROSTER MOVES
MAD LIONS SIGN ARMUT
What it means for MAD: The MAD Lions had a great debut year as a bunch of rookies, but their season ultimately ended in disappointment at Worlds. Part of that problem was a lack of carry potential in top lane from Andrei “Orome” Popa. MAD hope they have solved that problem by signing İrfan “Armut” Berk Tükek. Armut and his team SuperMassive Esports knocked out MAD at Worlds, so MAD got an up close look at Armut’s carry potential. He will add even more threat to an already strong team.
T1 EXTENDS CLOZER THROUGH 2023
What it means for T1: When T1 promoted mid laner Lee “Clozer” Ju-hyeon in 2020, it was assumed that he would be the heir apparent to Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. What nobody expected was that it could be happening so soon. Clozer got the majority of the starts for T1 in the second half of the Summer Split, including their first playoff game. Faker took over after that loss and still looks like the starter going into 2021, but Clozer’s time is coming. T1 have ensured they’ll get the maximum amount of time with him under contract.
NOVEMBER 26 ROSTER MOVES
DAMWON GAMING SIGN KHAN
What it means for DWG: DAMWON Gaming have signed top laner Kim “Khan” Dong-ha, seemingly ending their bid to re-sign Nuguri. Though Khan was previously one of the best top laners in the LCK, he struggled mightily to fit in with FunPlus Phoenix in 2020. DWG would not choose Khan over Nuguri if all things were equal, so Khan must have been willing to sign for less than Nuguri. This downgrades DWG, but Khan should be able to play a similar style for the squad. DWG also signed top laner Kim “Chasy” Dong-hyeon, a player from the CK.
What it means for FPX: Khan was supposed to be the piece that upgraded the 2018 World Champions, but he never fit in with the squad. FPX never figured out how to divide their resources with Khan, losing whenever they allowed Khan the chance to carry. They played better with the low-resource style of top lane that Kim “GimGoon” Han-saem, forcing FPX to play him in their most important matches.
T1 EXTEND CANNA, PROMOTE ZEUS TO MAIN ROSTER
What it means for T1: There were rumors that T1 were going after top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon, but Kim “Canna” Chang-dong has re-signed. As a rookie, Canna was T1’s best and most consistent player in 2020. He beat out Kim “Roach” Kang-hee for the starting spot, and T1 have now moved Roach down to their academy roster. In his place, T1 have promoted Choi “Zeus” Woo-je. Zeus, formerly known as Wooje, turns 17 in January of 2021. He spent all of last year with T1’s Academy team, his first as a pro.
FNATIC ACQUIRES UPSET TO REPLACE REKKLES
What it means for FNC: Fnatic lost the face of the franchise when Rekkles moved on to G2 Esports in free agency, but Fnatic did about as well as they could have in finding his replacement. Fnatic have acquired Elias “Upset” Lipp from Astralis and have now completed their roster. It will be interesting to see Upset paired with a top support in Hylissang, as Upset did not have much luck with Destiny or Jactroll. The mechanics are there, but the synergy must come together.
What it means for AST: Astralis already announced their 2021 roster without Upset on it, so it was only a matter of time until he joined a new roster. Former Excel Esports ADC Jeskla will take over the position in an obvious reduction in salary. Astralis are hoping to put together a competitive lineup with a number of players who have danced on the fringe of being LEC caliber.
SWORDART LEAVES SUNING TO JOIN TSM
What it means for TSM: TSM are making one of the biggest possible upgrades in the LCS, going from Vincent “Biofrost” Wang to Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh. SwordArt is coming off a runner-up finish at the World Championship. He mentored and brought along star rookie ADC Tang “huanfeng” Huan-Feng, a trait that could be useful to TSM this season. After losing Doublelift to retirement, TSM is likely to turn to a younger player at ADC, especially now that they have used both import slots. SwordArt brings championship pedigree to a lineup lacking it.
What it means for SN: This is a massive blow for Suning. SwordArt came over from the LMS at the end of 2018, and though the first iteration of the team did not succeed, SwordArt became an integral part of the 2020 run. Suning has three players returning from loan from Victory Five, but unfortunately, none of them are a support. Luo “owo” Wen-Jun looks to be next in line in the organization if Suning do not seek an outside addition.
NOVEMBER 25 ROSTER MOVES
DOUBLELIFT RETIRES FROM PROFESSIONAL PLAY
What it means for TSM: One of the greatest players in LCS history, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng announced his retirement from professional play. Though it seemed like Doublelift would carry on despite Bjergsen’s retirement, the star ADC decided to hang it up. Though we don’t know when the decision was ultimately made, the move could leave TSM in a tough spot trying to fill the role. They do have the option of promoting their Academy ADC Lawrence “Lost” Sze Yuy Hui. As an Oceania resident, Lost would no longer take up an import slot.
DIGNITAS SIGNS SOLIGO AND FAKEGOD TO MAN SOLO LANES
What it means for DIG: Dignitas are going young with their solo laners, signing Aaron “FakeGod” Lee and Max “Soligo” Soong to their main roster. Though both players have LCS experience, neither lasted an entire season. The pair played together in 2020 on 100 Thieves’ Academy roster, so they should have some decent synergy built up. This new direction for Dignitas is a welcome one after they spent 2020 fielding veterans on the downslope of their career on both their LCS and Academy rosters.
What it means for 100T: FakeGod and Soligo were both good enough to get LCS jobs, but that wouldn’t be with 100 Thieves after they signed the Golden Guardians’ 2020 squad. Soligo could arguably have competed with Damonte for the starting mid lane spot, but Damonte’s synergy with his teammates probably gave him the edge. 100T have been great at developing talent and will look to continue to do so, possibly promoting some of their 100T Next players.
YAMATOCANNON RETURNS TO LEC WITH FNATIC
What it means for FNC: Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi will take over head coaching duties at Fnatic for the 2021 season. YamatoCannon made waves when he became the first Western Head Coach in the LCK with SANDBOX Gaming. Known for building a strong culture and getting his players to buy-in, YamatoCannon will look to “fix” whatever caused Fnatic to have issues getting on the same page in 2020.
What it means for SB: YamatoCannon’s arrival in Korea had an immediate positive effect for the team, helping them go on a little win streak. While they were certainly better than the Spring team that almost got relegated, the Summer team also failed to make the playoffs. YamatoCannon got them to play better, but without roster changes, the team could not handle the elite teams in the LCK.
NEMESIS WILL NOT PLAY IN THE SPRING SPLIT
What it means: Mid laner Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek has announced that he will not compete in the LEC or LCS to start 2021. Nemesis was recently replaced on Fnatic by Nisqy, forcing him to search for a new team. Nemesis had a great debut in 2019 as a consistent player, but his play fell off in 2020. Whether he had issues playing more champions or his team didn’t have confidence in him on other picks, his champion pool seemed to be a problem for Fnatic. Still, the potential is there, and Nemesis should eventually get another shot in a major region.
BROKEN BLADE MOVES TO FC SCHALKE 04 FROM TSM
What it means for S04: Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik will replace Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu as FC Schalke 04’s next top laner. Broken Blade will bring more of a carry style than Odoamne, but S04 will lose that veteran presence and ability to thrive playing the weak side of the map. Broken Blade joins Felix “Abbedagge” Braun as a secondary carry on the team, similar to his arrangement on TSM with Bjergsen. S04 have retooled their lineup to hopefully get off to a better start in 2021.
What it means for TSM: TSM booted Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell for Broken Blade two years ago, banking on his carry potential to elevate TSM. Broken Blade showed plenty of that, but he never quite challenged for the best top in the region despite carrying an import slot. Already dealing with the retirements of Bjergsen and Doublelift, TSM will have to fill the top lane as well. Jungler Spica could be the only holdover from the 2020 LCS Summer champions.
NOVEMBER 24 ROSTER MOVES
KT ROLSTER SIGN DORAN
What it means for KT: KT Rolster made their first signing of the offseason, bringing in top laner Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon from DRX. Doran had an up-and-down year with DRX in his first opportunity as a full-time starter. KT struggled to get consistency out of either Kim “SoHwan” Jun-yeong or Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho, so Doran should give them an unquestioned starter to begin the year. He and mid laner Son “UCal” Woo-hyeon are the only two players currently under contract for KT.
FLYQUEST COMPLETES ROSTER WITH JOHNSUN
What it means for FLY: For an organization that had to blow up their roster due to budget constraints, FlyQuest did well to put together an interesting roster for 2021. The final piece was a buyout of ADC Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen from Dignitas. Johnsun will play alongside Diamond, forming one of the younger bot lane duos in the league. They will be joined by solo laners Licorice and Palafox, as well as import jungler Josedeodo. Though they won’t be one of the top teams in the league immediately, they have the potential to improve throughout the year.
What it means for DIG: Dignitas found a gem when they signed Johnsun from TSM before the 2020 season. Paired with Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black, Johnsun immediately proved to be one of the up-and-coming stars of the league. It’s interesting, then, to see Dignitas willing to say goodbye to Johnsun. Only aphromoo and jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett are currently under contract on the main roster.
MAD LIONS SIGN JUNGLER ELYOYA
What it means for MAD: Though jungler Zhiqiang “Shad0w” Zhao is still signed through 2021, there have been rumors that he could move on in the offseason. That notion seems to be supported by the MAD Lions signing Javier “Elyoya” Prades. Elyoya spent 2020 with the Movistar Riders in the Spanish LVP SLO and 2021 will be his first in a major region. Shad0w disappointed at Worlds, but he was one of the best players on the team the entire year. It will be interesting to see where he ends up. The MAD Lions now just have an opening in their top lane.
NISQY JUMPS FROM CLOUD9 TO FNATIC
What it means for FNC: Fnatic were linked to a number of mid laners throughout the offseason, putting the writing on the wall that they wanted to move on from Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek. While Nemesis is still under contract, Fnatic announced they have acquired Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer to start next season. Nisqy was put up for buyout when Cloud9 reached an agreement to buy Perkz earlier in the offseason. While Nisqy played well with C9 in 2020, it isn’t quite the flashy acquisition that Fnatic fans may have wanted, especially considering he was let go from a non-Worlds qualifying North American organization.
What it means for C9: Cloud9 will be happy to get compensation for Nisqy after buying Perkz, helping to ease the financial burden of the acquisition. C9 are hoping to see more lane dominant play from their new mid laner.
T1 EXTENDS GUMAYUSI’S CONTRACT
What it means for T1: T1 now have two high potential ADCs under contract through next year in Park “Teddy” Jin-seong and Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong. Teddy was presumed to be a T1 cornerstone entering 2020, but T1 benched him in favor of Gumayusi in the Regional Finals. Now with both back in the fold for 2021, there is some question as to the preferred starter entering the new season.
HANWHA LIFE ESPORTS GO BIG, ADD CHOVY AND DEFT
What it means for HLE: Hanwha Life Esports secured two of the most sought after free agents this offseason, signing mid laner Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu. Chovy was probably one of the five best players in the world in 2020, while Deft continued to be one of the elite ADCs in Korea. Hanwha Life are definitely going for it in 2021, though there are still question marks in the other roles. Cho “CaD” Seong-yong and Park “Arthur” Mi-reu join Kim “Winter” Yo-han to form a very inexperienced jungle position, while support Oh “Vsta” Hyo-seong spent most of 2020 playing ADC.
What it means for DRX: The exodus of DRX players continues. First, it was Keria leaving for T1, now comes Chovy and Deft. Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon is the only remaining 2020 starter who hasn’t been announced to be leaving, so DRX will have a big rebuild ahead of them. Mid laner Song “Quad” Su-hyeong is their only player currently under contract.
TEAM FLASH EXTENDS PALETTE’S CONTRACT
What it means for FL: There were rumors that support Nguyễn “Palette” Hải Trung was a target for TSM, but that’s no longer the case. Palette agreed to re-sign with Team Flash in the VCS, keeping Palette on the team that won the Summer Split. Palette was most known to Western fans for his performance at international events with Phong Vũ Buffalo.
NOVEMBER 23 ROSTER MOVES
COUNTER LOGIC GAMING KEEP POBELTER, SMOOTHIE
What it means for CLG: Counter Logic Gaming made sure there were sweeping changes after 2020, firing their coaching staff and moving on from Ruin, Sitxxay, and Wiggily. Finn, Broxah, and WildTurtle were brought in to shake up the roster, but mid laner Eugene “Pobelter” Park and support Andy “Smoothie” Ta will retain their starting spots in 2021. While neither were stars, neither were the main problems for CLG in 2020. That might be good enough for an organization looking to avoid last place.
FLYQUEST ACQUIRE LICORICE, PALAFOX, DIAMOND FROM CLOUD9
What it means for FLY: After a mass player exodus, FlyQuest have filled the majority of their new lineup through an agreement with Cloud9. Top laner Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, mid laner Cristian “Palafox” Palafox, and support David “Diamond” Bérubé join Josedeodo in FLY’s new lineup. Licorice is a known quantity as one of the best top laners in the league, but Palafox and Diamond are both getting their first real shot at starting in the LCS. FLY have built an interesting roster despite their budget constraints, though they still need to announce an ADC.
What it means for C9: Cloud9 decided to promote Fudge to the main roster when the OCE rules changed, making Licorice available for buyout. Like C9 did in the past with Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, C9 paired their star with two of their other players to increase the buyout number. The sale of the three players, while depleting their organizational depth, certainly helped C9 fund the buyout of Perkz.
CODY SUN NOT OFFERED LCS SPOT
What it means: Cody “Cody Sun” Sun was once seen as an up-and-coming talent, but his star fell in 2020 when he played with lesser support talent next to him. While he’s still solidly one of the ten best ADCs in the region, teams are opting to bring in new talent instead of signing non-star names so far. Cody Sun will be a capable replacement for an underperformer in 2021, should the opportunity arise. His consistency is valuable.
GOLDEN GUARDIANS GO YOUNG WITH NEW ROSTER
What it means for GG: After seeing four of their five players move on to 100 Thieves, Golden Guardians will be fielding an entirely new lineup for 2021. Top laner Aiden “Niles” Tidwell and jungler Ethan “Iconic” Wilkinson starred at Maryville University and are getting their first opportunities in the LCS. Mid laner Nicholas Antonio “Ablazeolive” Abbott spent 2020 on GG Academy, while Leandro “Newbie” Marcos comes over from Latin America’s All Knights. ADC Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes is the most familiar face, having competed on Counter Logic Gaming since 2015.
What it means for CLG: After such a long tenure with Stixxay as the starting ADC, Counter Logic Gaming went a different direction this offseason and with WildTurtle. The decision could be as simple as shaking up the bot lane, as the duo of Stixxay and Smoothie weren’t one of the better ones in the LCS.
EVIL GENIUSES CONVERT SUPPORT MATT TO ACADEMY COACH
What it means for EG: Matthew “Matt” Elento has bounced between academy and the LCS since his debut in 2015. He spent 2020 playing on Evil Geniuses’ Academy team, helping them to a pair of high finishes. Now two years removed from his last LCS action, Matt is converting from player to coach. EG were impressed enough with his knowledge to immediately name him Head Coach of their academy team, taking over for Tim “Timkiro” Cho.
IMMORTALS OVERHAUL BOT LANE WITH RAES AND DESTINY
What it means for IMT: Immortals are taking full advantage of the new OCE residence rules, bringing in ADC Quin “Raes” Korebrits and support Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw to remake their bot lane. Raes spent 2020 with Legacy Esports, helping the team dominate the OPL and make their Worlds debut. Meanwhile, Destiny spent 2020 with Origen, becoming the first OCE import in the LEC. Destiny was replaced by Jakub “Jactroll” Skurzyński to end the Summer Split. The duo join Revenge, Xerxe, and Insanity to form a largely inexperienced roster.
What it means for AST: Destiny fell out of favor in Origen as the year went along, losing playing time to Jactroll. The newly named Astralis opted to sign promisq as their new starting support, pairing him with Jeskla. Only Nukeduck remains from the disappointing 2020 lineup.
ROGUE ANNOUNCE COMPLETED LINEUP
What it means for RGE: Rogue announced their additions of top laner Odoamne and support Trymbi earlier in the offseason and have now confirmed they will keep jungler Kacper “Inspired” Sloma, mid laner Emil “Larssen” Larsson, and ADC Steven “Hans sama” Liv. While Rogue’s top lane looks improved with Odoamne, it remains to be seen how well Trymbi will do in his first LEC action. His predecessor Oskar “Vander” Bogdan is a respected veteran who played well in 2020.
MORGAN AND WINTER JOIN HANWHA LIFE ESPORTS
What it means for HLE: Hanwha Life Esports made their first two signings of the offseason, bringing in top laner Park “Morgan” Gi-tae and jungler Kim “Winter” Yo-han. Morgan, despite being a Korean player, has spent his entire career in the LPL. He most recently played for Team WE. Winter has yet to debut in the LCK, spending the past year-and-a-half working his way up to the CK. Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin and Kang “Haru” Min-seung have moved on, but Lee “DuDu” Dong-ju and Cho “CaD” Seong-yong could still be in the fold for HLE.
What it means for WE: Morgan started every game for Team WE in top lane in 2020, meaning we will see a new debut for the team in 2021. Team WE has players under contract in every other role, but Jiang “Teacherma” Chen’s contract is up in the mid lane. If he moves on, Team WE will have to break in two new solo laners.
NOVEMBER 21 ROSTER MOVES
IGNAR LEAVES FLYQUEST FOR EVIL GENIUSES
What it means for EG: Evil Geniuses brought over Tristan “Zeyzal” Stidam as part of their package from Cloud9 in 2020, but he wasn’t a fit next to Bae “Bang” Jun-sik. EG went after a new solution this offseason, snagging Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun from FlyQuest. With Bang’s departure already confirmed, EG will now look to lock down their ADC to pair with IgNar. IgNar’s preferred roaming style would suggest EG want to find an ADC who is comfortable giving up part of his lane to help the team.
What it means for FLY: Considering that the rest of the roster were all confirmed to leave, it comes as no surprise that IgNar was the next in line. Considering that he was still under contract through 2021, FlyQuest likely got some sort of compensation from Evil Geniuses in the process. They can use that savings to fund their new import Josedeodo and the rest of the roster they end up building around him.
TSM TAB POWEROFEVIL AS NEXT MID LANER
What it means for TSM: With Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg’s decision to retire as a player to become the head coach, TSM had a rare opening in mid lane. Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage becomes just the third mid laner in TSM history. Coming off a fantastic year with FlyQuest, PowerOfEvil is one of the premier mage mid laners in the West. Outside of winning the Perkz bid, POE was easily the best available mid to TSM. However, he still does cost TSM an import slot, and POE has struggled in metas that require the ability to play melee mid laners. TSM will build around POE and jungler Mingyi “Spica” Lu for their new roster.
What it means for FLY: PowerOfEvil declined his player option with FlyQuest, making him a free agent. Like the rest of the squad, FLY would have loved to keep him, but his money and destination were not in their favor. FlyQuest will attempt to rebuild around their new import jungler, Josedeodo.
NOVEMBER 20 ROSTER MOVES
WILDTURTLE LEAVES FLYQUEST FOR COUNTER LOGIC GAMING
What it means for CLG: Counter Logic Gaming decided to move on from ADC Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes after six years with the team, opening the door for Jason “WildTurtle” Tran to join. WildTurtle is coming off a successful year with FlyQuest, despite being benched for a short period in the Summer. He will team up with Andy “Smoothie” Ta in bot lane to complete CLG’s starting lineup. While they don’t look like a top team in the LCS, CLG certainly boasts a wealth of experience across their roster.
What it means for FLY: WildTurtle had been the face of FlyQuest since they became a franchised part of the LCS, but his benching in 2020 Summer for Brandon “Mash” Pham showed that FLY did not think he was irreplaceable. Only new addition Josedeodo has been confirmed for the 2021 roster, so FlyQuest still has a lot of work left to do in free agency.
FLYQUEST REPLACE SANTORIN WITH JOSEDEODO
What it means for FLY: Losing Santorin as an NA resident is obviously a tough blow to FlyQuest, but Brandon Joel “Josedeodo” Villegas will bring his own excitement to FlyQuest. The former Rainbow7 jungler was a star at Worlds 2020, showing off his carry ability to help R7 win a pair of games. The rebuilt FlyQuest lineup should afford Josedeodo more opportunities to act as a carry for the team than Santorin had, so we should get to see how LCS ready Josedeodo is quickly.
100 THIEVES ADD FREEZE TO COACHING STAFF
What it means for 100T: 100 Thieves announced a new addition to their coaching staff, bringing on Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek as an assistant coach. Freeze was once one of the better Western ADCs before wrist issues slowed down his playing career. Coaches that once competed at the highest level often get the respect of their players, so Freeze’s experience should help him gain respect with the team.
TEAM LIQUID BRING IN ALPHARI, SANTORIN TO COMPLETE LINEUP
What it means for TL: The rich get richer in the LCS. Already having one of the strongest three-man cores in Jensen, Tactical, and CoreJJ, Team Liquid now have upgraded their top lane and jungle with Barney “Alphari” Morris and Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen. Both are incredibly solid, versatile players that can thrive in both tank and carry metas. Santorin in particular should be better suited than Broxah to play the slower, more controlled early jungle style that has fit TL better.
What it means for FLY: FlyQuest had an incredible run in 2020, but it clearly came at the cost of inflating the value of their players. Santorin was one of the most deserving, finishing Third and Second Team All-Pro in the LCS. FlyQuest will attempt to rebuild around import Josedeodo, the talented former jungler of Rainbow7.
What it means for AST: Alphari was another of Origen’s 2020 roster to make the move to the LCS. Matti “WhiteKnight” Sormunen will take his place, marking his second appearance in the LEC. Long known for his solo queue prowess and ability to play multiple roles, WhiteKnight will have another chance to make an impression.
IMMORTALS ADD XERXE
What it means for IMT: Immortals thought they had their jungle answer when they signed Jake “Xmithie” Puchero last offseason, but the results were underwhelming. Xmithie was briefly benched for Nicholas “Potluck” Pollock and Immortals missed the playoffs both splits. In comes Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir, whose Origen team also disappointed in 2020. The hottest jungle name in free agency last offseason, Xerxe had his stock fall this past year. Immortals have a good buy-low opportunity.
What it means for AST: Astralis have let all of their high priced players move on in free agency, instead opting to field a team full of less-heralded players around Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm. “New” jungler Nikolay “Zanzarah” Akatov was the player who replaced Jonas “Kold” Andersen late in 2019 Summer.
PERKZ MAKES THE MOVE TO THE LCS, JOINS CLOUD9
What it means for C9: Cloud9’s addition of mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perković is the biggest move in the LCS so far this offseason. Though he’s played primarily ADC for the past two years, Perkz’ 2020 Spring performance reminded everyone that he still knows how to mid. Perkz will replace Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer, bringing more of a dominant laner in place of a more roam oriented player. Perkz rounds out Cloud9’s 2021 roster, making them one of the LCS favorites with Team Liquid.
What it means for G2: G2 Esports probably would have preferred to keep their longest-tenured and most beloved player, but Perkz was determined to move back to mid lane and Caps functioned better in that role for G2. Stealing Rekkles from their main rivals is a nice consolation prize, though.
REKKLES MOVES FROM FNATIC TO RIVAL G2 ESPORTS
What it means for G2: It is surely heartbreaking for G2 Esports to lose their captain Perkz, but stealing ADC Martin “Rekkles” Larsson from their main rivals has to be a sweet consolation prize. Rekkles is obviously a more polished ADC option for G2 than Perkz was, perhaps making the LEC’s top team even stronger. It will be interesting to see how Rekkles meshes with G2 after coming from a Fnatic environment where players weren’t always on the same page. Regardless, G2 widened their gap over Fnatic with this signing.
What it means for FNC: Fnatic’s mad every attempt to re-sign their star player, but the reality was that they could not offer the same roster potential as G2 Esports. Fnatic will obviously be an attractive destination for free agents, so they could still get someone like Elias “Upset” Lipp. Still, losing Rekkles is as heartbreaking as G2 losing Perkz, only without the consolation of weakening their main rival. The recently re-signed Hylissang will have to develop new synergy with whoever joins.
FC SCHALKE 04 SIGN LIMIT
What it means for S04: FC Schalke 04 previously announced the departure of incumbent support Han “Dreams” Min-kook, paving way for the addition of Dino “LIMIT” Tot. There was some thought that S04 would try to run back the same roster after finishing the year on a miracle run, but S04 will have new faces top and support. LIMIT formed a good bot lane duo with Crownshot, affording him the opportunity to move on to S04.
What it means for SK: SK Gaming previously announced their full 2021 lineup, bringing over Treatz from TSM to fill their support role. He will lane with rookie Jean “Jezu” Massol as part of one of the youngest rosters in the LEC.
SANDBOX GAMING ADDS CROCO
What it means for SB: SANDBOX Gaming have added jungler Kim “Croco” Dong-beom ahead of 2021. Croco has only been playing professionally since the beginning of 2019, competing only in Challengers Korea. Croco most recently played with hyFresh Blade, formerly known as Brion Blade. Croco joins Kim “OnFleek” Jang-gyeom as the second jungler under contract for SB in 2021.
NOVEMBER 19 ROSTER MOVES
DAMWON GAMING RE-SIGN BERYL
What it means for DWG: Coming off their World Championship win, DAMWON Gaming made it known that their priority was to re-sign both top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon and support Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee. DWG is halfway there, as BeryL has agreed to return to the team. His roaming playstyle was really unlocked when the team inserted Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun into the starting lineup, allowing BeryL to link up with jungler Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu. DWG will once again be LCK favorites heading into 2021.
DAMONTE, HUHI COMPLETE 100 THIEVES LINEUP
What it means for 100T: Joining their former teammates Closer and FBI, mid laner Tanner “Damonte” Damonte and support Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun complete 100 Thieves’ starting lineup. Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho has been confirmed as the team’s starting top laner. This lineup is basically the 2020 Golden Guardians roster, just subtracting Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell for Ssumday. Not only is that an upgrade, but the roster should benefit from more time together. They should be seen as dark horse contenders in the LCS.
What it means for GG: Oh, what could have been. Golden Guardians look to have been done in by budget constraints at the worst possible time. With FBI becoming an NA resident, they could have kept the core of Closer, FBI, and huhi together while adding an import solo laner over either Hauntzer or Damonte. Unfortunately, they have to hit the reset button as their ownership struggled financially due to covid.
CROWNSHOT WILL NOT BEGIN YEAR IN LEC, LCS
What it means for SK: After SK Gaming announced their new lineup, former ADC Juš “Crownshot” Marušič made his own announcement that he would not begin 2021 on an LEC or LCS roster. This is a huge surprise, as Crownshot was SK’s best player in 2020 and is certainly good enough to play in a major region. He should be one of the first calls for teams looking to replace a struggling ADC next season.
SK GAMING ANNOUNCE FULL ROSTER
What it means for SK: Top laner Janik “Jenax” Bartels will be the only remaining holdover from SK Gaming’s 2019 roster. Joining him in 2021 will be jungler Kristian “TynX” Østergaard Hansen, mid laner Ersin “Blue” Gören, ADC Jean “Jezu” Massol, and support Erik “Treatz” Wessén. SK are having a youth movement after finishing in the middle of the pack in the LEC to end the season.
What it means for TSM: The writing seemed to be on the wall for Treatz’ TSM tenure when they benched him for Vincent “Biofrost” Wang to end Summer. Bjergsen’s retirement also made it more difficult for TSM to fit Treatz as an import, considering they will likely need to look outside of North America for a mid replacement.
HYLISSANG RE-SIGNS WITH FNATIC
What it means for FNC: Support Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov won’t be going anywhere after agreeing to return to Fnatic. Hylissang has been with Fnatic since late 2017, and though he struggled throughout 2020, he played exceptionally well at Worlds. Fnatic will need his veteran presence more than ever now that they have announced Martin “Rekkles” Larsson is moving on in free agency. Fnatic will need to find Hylissang a new duo partner and decide whether or not to keep Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau and Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek.
NOVEMBER 18 ROSTER MOVES
COUNTER LOGIC GAMING NAMES GALEN HEAD COACH
What it means for CLG: Counter Logic Gaming have promoted their former academy head coach Galen “Galen” Holgate to their LCS head coach. Galen, who most will remember as “Moon”, played professionally from 2015 to 2019, ending his career with CLG. Galen took over CLG Academy in May and helped them improve from a 4-14 Spring record to a 9-9 record in Summer.
BEN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
What it means for AF: Support Nam “Ben” Dong-hyun announced his retirement from professional play, ending his tenure with Afreeca Freecs. Ben had a redemptive 2020 season in the LCK after struggling with Top Esports in 2019. With Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun entering free agency, AF will have to entirely replace their bot lane entering 2021. Top laner Kim “Kiin” Gi-in, jungler Lee “Dread” Jin-hyeok, and mid laner Song “Fly” Yong-jun all remain under contract.
NOVEMBER 16 ROSTER MOVES
T1 SIGNS FORMER DRX SUPPORT KERIA
What it means for T1: This is a massive signing for T1, as Ryu “Keria” Min-seok was the best support on the free agent market. Keria dominated his rookie season in DRX, going from up-and-comer to top of his role in less than a year. T1 still have Lee “Effort” Sang-ho signed through 2021, but there is no doubt that Keria will be the starter. The only question is whether Keria will be laning with Park “Teddy” Jin-seong or Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong.
What it means for DRX: Keria is the first of the mass exodus currently taking place at DRX. Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon, Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon, and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu are all expected to move on as well. With DRX unable to keep their competitive team together, they will need to hit the lottery on a rookie support again to hope to match Keria’s loss. Only Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon remains from the 2020 Worlds quarterfinalists.
BROXAH, FINN JOIN COUNTER LOGIC GAMING
What it means for CLG: CLG quickly used up both of their import slots by adding top laner Finn “Finn” Wiestål and jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen to their starting lineup. Though neither is coming off a particularly great year, this is a good “buy low” opportunity for CLG as both had shown more promise in 2019. CLG also had nowhere to go but up on their top side, as Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min and Raymond “Wiggily” Griffin struggled mightily in 2020.
What it means for TL: The Broxah experiment for Team Liquid comes to an end after only one year. Brought in to replace Jake “Xmithie” Puchero as a more aggressive early game jungler, Broxah never seemed to mesh well with the team. Team Liquid will certainly have the money to go after the big names in free agency, namely Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen.
What it means for RGE: Rogue opened their offseason by agreeing to terms with Odoamne, leaving Finn the odd man out. Odoamne should bring a more consistent presence to Rogue’s top side.
IMMORTALS GET REVENGE
What it means for IMT: Immortals have acquired top laner Mohamed “Revenge” Kaddoura to join Insanity as their other starting solo laner. Revenge joined FlyQuest’s Academy team in 2019 Summer and was unable to crack the main roster behind Collin “Solo” Earnest and Omran “V1per” Shoura. The carry top laner will now get his first LCS shot on what looks to be a very young Immortals roster in 2021.
What it means for FLY: With Solo outperforming Revenge and still under contract through 2021, FlyQuest had no need for Revenge on their main roster. FlyQuest have also been rumored to be looking outside of the organization for a new top laner.
ASTRALIS ANNOUNCE FULL ROSTER AFTER ORIGEN REBRAND
What it means for AST: Origen renamed to Astralis this offseason, and with it came a number of roster moves. Mid laner Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm will be the only returning starter. Joining him in 2021 will be top laner Matti “WhiteKnight” Sormunen, jungler Nikolay “Zanzarah” Akatov, ADC Jesper “Jeskla” Klarin Strömberg, and support Hampus “promisq” Mikael Abrahamsson. While there are familiar names in that group, it’s hard to see this roster as anything but a downgrade from the 2020 version that underachieved.
NOVEMBER 16 ROSTER MOVES
CLOSER, FBI JOIN 100 THIEVES
What it means for 100T: 100 Thieves are taking advantage of the new OCE import rules to add both Victor “FBI” Huang and Can “Closer” Çelik to a roster with Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho. 100T had already said goodbye to Cody “Cody Sun” Sun, and now presumably will move on from Juan “Contractz” Arturo Garcia. 100T will have to decide whether to pair FBI with current support Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere or an available domestic free agent.
What it means for GG: The rumored effect of budget cuts from NBA owned teams seems to be validated by this move, as GG are giving up on two of their best players from 2020. FBI only got even more valuable as an NA resident this year. With none of their 2020 roster under contract anymore, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Golden Guardians go with a rookie heavy roster to begin 2021.
AFREECA FREECS RE-SIGN DREAD AS SPIRIT MOVES TO ACADEMY COACH
What it means for AF: Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon has made the move from player to coach, stepping down from the Afreeca Freecs roster to help coach the academy team. His retirement opens the door for Lee “Dread” Jin-hyeok to start at jungle. The two split time in the role in 2020, with Spirit playing in 91 games to Dread’s 22. Though this settles the jungle position, AF still must sign a bot lane after the departures of Jin “Mystic” Segon-jun and Nam “Ben” Dong-hyun.
ROGUE ADD ODOAMNE, TRYMBI
What it means for RGE: With Rogue having already announced the departures of Finn “Finn” Wiestål and Oskar “Vander” Bogdan, they filled those spots immediately when free agency opened with Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu and Adrian “Trymbi” Trybus. The veteran Odoamne should provide more stability in top lane for Rogue, as Finn struggled in the latter half of 2020. Trymbi will get his first shot in the LEC playing alongside one of the better ADCs in the LEC in Steven “Hans Sama” Liv. These moves complete Rogue’s roster for 2021.
What it means for S04: FC Schalke 04 had a number of expiring contracts going into the offseason, but had already re-signed Felix “Abbedagge” Braun and Erberk “Gilius” Demir. Odoamne will leave a hole in the top lane, but the culture S04 built in their miracle run to end 2020 should help them find a suitable replacement.
SANDBOX GAMING EXTEND ROUTE
What it means for SB: After splitting time with Han “Leo” Gyro-re in the Spring Split, Moon “Route” Geom-su started every game for SANDBOX in the Summer. SB have announced that they have extended his contract, presumably to continue as the starting ADC. Route had been the only SANDBOX player with a contract that expired in 2020. The other five members have contracts that run through 2021.
NOVEMBER 13 ROSTER MOVES
TL HIRE KOLD AS STRATEGIC COACH
What it means for TL: Team Liquid like hiring former professional players for coaching roles (like Pobelter last year), This time they have hired former LCS and LEC player Jonas “Kold” Andersen. Kold last played for Origen in 2019, leaving the team before their gauntlet run with an undisclosed illness. This is Kold’s first return to the scene since he stepped away from Origen.
IMMORTALS BRING BACK INSANITY
What it means for IMT: After starting the 2020 Summer Split 0-4, Immortals promoted mid laner David “Insanity” Challe in place of Jérémy “Eika” Valdenaire. Immortals apparently liked enough of what they saw from Insanity, re-signing him with the intention of starting him in 2021. Insanity joins Apollo “Apollo” Price as the only two Immortals members under contract for next season.
NOVEMBER 12 ROSTER MOVES
DAMWON REPLACE ZEFA, DAENY WITH KKOMA
What it means for DWG: It is never ideal to lose the coaching staff that brought an organization a World Championship, but hiring Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun is certainly a good consolation prize. kkOma is considered one of, if not the best coach of all-time in League of Legends. He elevated the play of Vici Gaming in 2020 after his long, successful stint with T1.
T1 HIRE ZEFA, DAENY FROM DAMWON
What it means for T1: Lee “Zefa” Jae-min and Yang “Daeny” Dae-in are departing from DAMWON Gaming after turning them into World Champions in their one year together. They will replace Kim “Kim” Jeong-soo, who was not retained after the season. Zefa is returning to T1 after spending 2019 as a coach there, but this time he joins as the head decision maker.
NOVEMBER 6 ROSTER MOVES
MACHI ESPORTS RELEASE Three PLAYERS, Two COACHES
What it means for MCX: After a disappointing showing at Worlds 2020, it looks like Machi Esports are completely revamping their team. All three players started every game for Machi Esports in their Summer regular season and at Worlds. Machi are gambling that they can upgrade their roster without falling down the pecking order of the PCS after finishing the Summer in first.
NOVEMBER 5 ROSTER MOVES
JENSEN RE-SIGNS FOR THREE YEARS
What it means for TL: Team Liquid started their offseason roster shuffle by retaining the biggest free agent in North America, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen. With the retirement of Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Jensen instantly became the most valuable player in the region as a top tier mid laner with NA residency. Jensen finished the 2020 Summer Split as a Second Team All-Pro in the LCS and helped Team Liquid to NA’s best Worlds run. Both Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong and Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen have expiring contracts, so Team Liquid could look to revamp their top half of the map. Thanks to Jensen’s NA residency, Team Liquid would still have one import slot available.