April 18, 2021

E-sports

Game CMD 368

2021 LCS Spring Split: Top rookies to Lookout

LCS

The North American LCS has recently received a lot of criticism from fans about teams opting to sign veterans over new players. But as Spring Split 2021 is fast approaching, the LCS is getting more and more diverse with rookies and imports claiming spots on world-famous teams.

LCS

This year’s Spring Split carries even more weight after systemic improvements to the LCS, bringing more emphasis on the players who have taken over the positions of the NA legends. With a few new League of Legends players flooding the LCS, here are some of the rookies of this split that have the potential to bring a fresh start to the scene.

Golden Guardians Niles and Iconic

The Collegiate League scene has grown significantly over the last few years, displaying some of the best up-and-coming talents for fans to keep their eyes on in the near future.

Niles and Iconic are both graduate students of Maryville University, where they carried together on the school’s successful League team—and both leap directly from the college scene to the LCS stage.

Niles, the new top laner of the Golden Guardians, received a full scholarship from Maryville University due to his prowess in the League, which allowed him to work closely with the team and further boost his flourishing success. 

He made headlines early last year when it was reported that he was attending the 2020 Scouting Grounds and talking to the “Top LCS Team”—which turned out to be the Golden Guardians.

Niles saw major successes in various national collegiate tournaments as an aggressive top laner, winning champions like Gangplank, Jayce, and Ornn. We’re likely to see this aggressive playstyle develop in the Spring Split—maybe making fans more excited to watch the top lane fights.

Golden Guardians’ major revamp of the 2021 LCS also introduces jungler Iconic to the pro scene, a long-standing Niles teammate. 

He plays a similarly aggressive style that accompanies Niles’ laning perfectly, often locked in Kindred, Trundle, and Graves to keep priority on the top of the map. Outside of Maryville University, Iconic played in various amateur leagues and other college teams in the early days of his career.

Golden Guardians’ new top laner and jungler are great examples of college talent, and many fans look forward to seeing how they blend into the revamped LCS when they enter the Spring Split.

Cloud9 Fudge

LCS

There is no denying that Licorice has been a major factor in Cloud9‘s continued success over the last few years. But this year, the top laner will be branching out of his LCS starting at C9 to FlyQuest, another team that displayed unprecedented dominance in 2020.

Licorice will be substituted by Fudge, who will be on the main roster of the C9 Academy. But he’s not a stranger to success. As part of the 2020 Academy Team, Fudge helped lead them to two consecutive playoff wins.

C9 has been known to have found great success in bringing its Academy players to the main roster. Goldenglue, for example, had a major impact on the team’s mid-lane pressure following Jensen’s departure in 2018. But perhaps the biggest owner is Blaber, who won the Rookie of the Split during the 2018 Summer Split and most recently the MVP of the 2020 Spring Split.

With Fudge’s successful history working with C9 Academy and the team’s achievements with rookies, we are confident that Licorice has left the team in good hands. But it won’t be long before these two players compete on the LCS stage.

FlyQuest Josedeodo – LCS

It’s safe to assume that FlyQuest exceeded most of its expectations in 2020. FlyQuest has gone from being a mid-card NA team to one of its strongest competitors, from dominating both divisions and beating various international teams at the Worlds. But the organization has changed its roster completely this year.

More acclaimed players like Licorice and Johnsun are substituting the FlyQuest 2020 roster. The team also boasts few other rookies, such as the new jungler Josedeodo, who joins FlyQuest from the Latin American scene. 

He is the only member of FlyQuest’s new roster who has no previous NA experience since other rookies, Palafox and Diamond, had previously played together at C9 Academy.

Josedeodo’s time on R7 over the course of 2020 resulted in the LLA Closing Playoffs winning team, among other LLA achievements. He’s also known for his aggressive style of play, mostly on his patented Lee Sin, but he’s picked up Lillia and Graves all year round due to their rising win rates. 

Josedeodo recently won the Worlds 2020 championships, contributing to unforeseen wins against Unicorns of Love and LDG Gaming, but ultimately not putting it past the play-in stage.

Josedeodo’s FlyQuest debut also signifies one of the few times that an LLA player has joined the LCS, giving NA fans more chance to witness some of the region’s true talent—especially from a player as young and talented as the 20-year-old.

IMT Insanity – LCS

Immortals may not have the best year in LCS in 2020, but with some much-needed lineup changes bringing together international veterans, they’re looking to be a team to watch out for in 2021.

Their only rookie of this split is Insanity, who will replace Eika as their new middle laner. And his history has earned him a position among the top players.

Insanity brings in a lot of Academy experience with him, playing for both the TL Academy and the Immortals Academy. His 2018-19 run with the Immortals Academy led to the top five finishes in both splits and playoffs, with a Veigar pentakill in the 2018 Summer Split.

Most importantly, the placement of Insanity alongside Revenge, Xerxe, Raes, and Destiny shows that Immortals has full confidence in his performance. This trust could be just what the team needs to raise its ranks during the 2021 LCS Spring Split.