Clash of Regions: LCS Spring 2022 Preview

Alisa Barladyan
10 Feb 2022

League of Legends Championship Series(LCS) is the LoL top league of North America.
Teams in the LCS are traditionally considered to perform at an unusually low level and be completely incapable of competing outside of their region. This thesis is supported by a lack of success in the international arena. Every year, the organizations' management spends millions of dollars on buying the most titled players from all over the world, but again and again, the star rosters fail when it comes to the World Championship. However, this year, the LCS has something special in store for spectators.
The number of residents in the CIS region has finally reached a critical mass which allowed to ignore the limit on foreign nationals practically. Thus, as part of the North American Regional League, the CIS region got a pocket world championship six months long.
In this article, we'll take a look at everyone in the LCS 2022, from the top team to the absolute outsiders.

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LCS Spring 2022

1. Team Liquid

Team Liquid
Team Liquid
  • Top Laner: Gabriël Bwipo Rau;
  • Jungler: Lucas Santorin Larsen;
  • Mid Laner: Søren Bjergsen Bjerg;
  • Botlaner: Steven Hans sama Liv;
  • Support: Jo CoreJJ Yong-in.

The main favorite to go to the Mid-Season Invitational.
The community mockingly nicknamed this roster Team LECuid since there are no players from the American region in the roster. This five-player roster could very well compete for the top spots even in the European league, much less the LCS, which has historically had a much lower level of competition.
At the start of the LCS LOCK-IN preseason tournament, TL's support CoreJJ had not yet received his US citizenship, forcing the team to resort to the help of an academic bot lane. (Regional league rules require a minimum of three regional residents to be in the game).
However, even with the constant rotation of players, TL became the preseason champion without much difficulty. It's safe to say that when Hans Sama and CoreJJ get the chance to play together in official matches, no regional bot lane will be able to compete against them.

2. Evil Geniuses

EG Danny
EG Danny
  • Top Laner: John Impact Yo Jong;
  • Jungler: Casper Inspired Shloma;
  • Mid Laner: Joseph jojopyun Joon Pyun;
  • Botlaner: Kyle Danny Sakamaki;
  • Support: Philippe Vulcan Laflamme.

Unlike TL, EG is trying to bet on North American talent. There's a reason why Peter Dun, perhaps the most talented scout in the Western countries, is on the coaching staff. This man coached Splyce in 2017 and subsequently assembled the Mad Lions. A worthy choice to focus on finding and developing local players.
In addition to EG's academy graduates, LCS Impact veteran, one of LEC Inspired most successful young Foresters, and arguably North America's strongest supporting player, Vulcan, is playing for the team this season.
EG's outcome depends entirely on how the newcomers perform. However, given the success at the LCS LOCK-IN tournament, where the team finished second and even beat Team Liquid in the group stage, the Evil Geniuses have a pretty interesting season ahead of them.

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3. 100 Thieves

100 Thieves
100 Thieves
  • Top Laner: Kim Ssumday Chang-ho;
  • Jungler: Can Closer Çelik;
  • Mid Laner: Felix Abbedagge Braun;
  • Botlaner: Victor FBI Huang;
  • Support: Choi huhi Jae-hyun.

The five 100T players have been playing together for several years, which is rare in the League of Legends, and their coach Reapered is considered one of the best coaches in North America.
However, the reigning LCS champions will prove that their victory in the last split was not an accident. Immediately after the playoffs, many analysts considered this result a lucky coincidence; the championship was attributed more to the unpreparedness of TL and C9 but not to the decent performance of 100T.
The result at the preseason LOCK-IN is also questionable. 100T was one of the teams that managed to play in the tournament with the main squad. All the more surprising is their defeat in the quarterfinals by Dignitas, who barely made it to the playoffs, losing in the group stage to EG, TL, and even CLG. Is 100T a one-split team? We'll find out soon, but for now, there's no indication that it will drop out of the NA region's top spot.

4. TSM

  • Top Laner: Heo Huni Seung Hoon;
  • Jungler: Mingyi Spica Lu;
  • Mid Laner Zhu Keaiduo Xiong;
  • Botlaner: Edward Tactical Ra;
  • Support: Wei Shenyi Zi Jie.

Here we move smoothly away from factual analysis and enter the territory of crazy experiments.
There is no other word to describe what TSM did this season. The team has enlisted the help of two Chinese players without much experience in the major leagues. Keep in mind that Spica and Tactical, while considered North Americans, are fluent in Chinese, so communication shouldn't be a problem. What's more, this season's TSM coach is Сhawy, a legendary Southeast Asian mid laner. TSM could be sent to the LPL this season with a full squad!
Unfortunately, this lineup could not resolve visa issues before the start of LOCK IN, which means we will only be able to watch the debut match on the first LCS game day. It's hard to imagine that these five will beat TL or 100T. This experiment looks more like a desperate attempt to restore the Kings of North America to their former glory. But let's not forget that even SwordArt, a 2020 World Cup finalist, couldn't play in TSM, let alone young players from the LSPL. TSM needs a dramatic change in infrastructure, and just changing the head coach is not enough.

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5. Cloud 9

Cloud 9
Cloud 9
  • Top Laner: Park Summit Woo-tae;
  • Jungler: Роберт Blaber Huang;
  • Mid Laner: Ibrahim Fudge Allami;
  • Botlaner: Kim Berserker Min-cheo;
  • Botlaner: Jesper Zven Svenningsen;
  • Support: Kim Winsome Dong-keon.

Cloud 9 is probably the most stable organization in the entire LCS. Even if from the outside, the management decisions are unclear to the audience, the team always finds a way to perform decently in the season. However, the credibility of the public may not be enough for this experiment.
The parallel with TSM unintentionally appears in mind:

  • Both teams spent a huge amount on a star player last season (C9 Perkz/TSM Swordart);
  • Didn't achieve the desired result;
  • This season they bet on little-known players from dominant regions and went to some tricks to circumvent the limit on foreigners.

The deciding factor for C9 will be adapting Fudge on the mid lane. There's no doubt about Summit's support potential on the top line, and Blabber has a lot of experience with solo lanes. Even if the Korean botlaner can't show a decent level, you can always use Zven's help. Most likely, C9 will once again find a way to qualify for the world championship, but it's better to lower expectations for the spring split.

6. Golden Guardians

Golden Guardians
Golden Guardians
  • Top Laner: Eric Licorice Ritchie;
  • Jungler: Milo Pridestalker Wehnes;
  • Mid Laner: Nicholas Antonio Ablazeolive Abbot;
  • Botlaner: Lawrence Lost Hui;
  • Support: Kim Olleh Joo-sung.

According to many analysts, Golden Guardians is almost the winner of the offseason in this split. This is justified by the signing of the EU Masters Pridestalker veteran, who is "a promising newcomer who is sure to breathe new life into the LCS" to North American viewers. Not to be ironic, his skills should be enough to secure a place in the middle of the North American league. Nor should we rule out the possibility of a sudden return to peak form for Licorice and Olleh, in which case there is a chance to climb higher.

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7. Immortals

  • Top Laner: Mohamed Revenge Kaddoura;
  • Jungler: Andrei Xerxe Dragomir;
  • Mid Laner: Tristan PowerOfEvil Schrage;
  • Botlaner: Jason WildTurtle Tran;
  • Support: Mitchell Destiny Shaw.

There is only one change in the Immortals lineup this year. Former TSM and FlyQuest mid laner PowerOfEvil replaced Insanity. Interestingly, PoE previously played on the same team as WildTurtle, then the duo managed to qualify for the World Championship 2020.
This year, expect similar results would be too optimistic, too much competition, and the WildTurtle shape does not impress with confidence.

8. Dignitas

  • Top Laner: Aaron FakeGod Lee;
  • Jungler: Kim River Dong-woo;
  • Mid Laner: Ersin Blue Gören;
  • Botlaner: Toan Neo Tran;
  • Support: Vincent Biofrost Wang.

BIofrost returned from being inactive to take the place of Aphromoo again, but now in Dignitas. The prospects of this lineup are difficult to predict. On the one hand, the yellow and black signed a pretty good ranger from PCS River, which, at first glance, seems like a pretty decent acquisition, but the choice of Blue as a mid laner is a rather controversial decision. It's hard to imagine that there hasn't been a stronger player among all the free agents in North America than one of LEC's dimmest mid laners in recent years. The bottom line is that DIG is likely to spend the season as an underdog.

9. Counter Logic Gaming

Counter Logic Gaming
Counter Logic Gaming
  • Top Laner: Thomas Jenkins Tran;
  • Jungler: Juan Arturo Сontractz Garcia;
  • Mid Laner: Christian Palafox Palafox;
  • Botlaner: Fatih Luger Güven;
  • Support: Philippe Poome Lavoie-giguere.

The once legendary organization has been in a prolonged crisis for three years.
Buying high-profile players don't work, so the CLG came to a relatively budget-friendly lineup in 2022. Of particular interest is the bundle of players on the bottom line. Poome is a graduate of the 100 Thieves Academy, Luger is an experienced shooter from TCL, but he has been Poome's partner for the past year. How will the rookies prove themselves in the big leagues of North America? As part of the LCS LOCK-IN, they almost beat an academic C9 squad. That's a pretty promising result. Perhaps this is the squad that can take the first step in rehabilitating CLG in the eyes of loyal fans.

10. Fly Quest

Fly Quest
Fly Quest
  • Top Laner: Colin Kumo Zhao;
  • Jungler: Brandon Joel Josedeodo Villegas;
  • Mid Laner: Loic toucouille Dubois;
  • Botlaner: Johnson Johnsun Nguyen;
  • Support: Zaqueri aphromoo Black.

Aphromoo and Johnsun together again, but now under the FlyQuest banner, Josedeodo did not live up to the expectations imposed on him at the beginning of 2021. The place of Palafox will be taken by a young mid laner, who won the French LFL twice last year. As conceived by the management, toucouille should be the key player who will change the position of FQ in the tournament table. But at the moment, there's no sign of Fly Quest making it out of the bottom of the tournament table.
Remember that the first LCS Spring 2022 games begin February 6.
The top 10 teams in North America will battle it out for three months to qualify for the Mid Season Invitational 2022 and a 200,000 USD prize pool.

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