After the first full day of League’s free agency, some teams rose to the occasion while others failed to make their mark.
The first full day of League of Legends free agency has come and gone. And although the offseason is just kicking off, many teams around the globe have already made their mark heading into 2021.
After just one day, some teams have already reportedly completed their rosters, while others haven’t even scratched the surface on their outlooks heading into next season. Still, some organizations just look better than others after 24 hours of signings, buyouts, and deals across the board.
Here are the biggest winners and losers after the first day of League’s free agency in the 2020 offseason.
Biggest moves: Signing Broken Blade and LIMIT
Schalke was extremely active in the early stages of the offseason. The team already re-signed Gilius, Abbedagge, and head coach Dylan Falco prior to free agency opening last night. But once the window opened and Schalke was able to make even more moves, the team proceeded to acquire Broken Blade from TSM, as well as LIMIT from SK Gaming, according to Jacob Wolf.
Despite losing a franchise player in Odoamne to Rogue this offseason, Schalke is poised to keep the momentum it was building at the end of 2020 rolling straight into 2021. The team nearly qualified for the World Championship earlier this year, missing the tournament by just two games. But with a proactive slate of moves already made, the organization is in a prime position to compete for a top spot in the LEC next season.
Although it’s unclear who the team will sign to fill its hole at the AD carry position, the organization still has plenty of options on the table. Players like Woolite, Crownshot, and even Rekkles still remain up for grabs within the LEC’s domestic scene. Schalke has made enough moves at this stage in the offseason to entice a potential free agent ADC to want to play for an organization that’s clearly committed to improving its standing in the overall landscape of the league. Perhaps the most exciting part about Schalke’s offseason isn’t that the team is nearly finished building its roster, it’s the prospect that the biggest move might still be yet to come.
Biggest move: Buying out FBI and Closer from Golden Guardians
Last night, 100 Thieves announced that the organization bought out the contracts of FBI and Closer from Golden Guardians. Immediately, the team named both players to the starting lineup ahead of the 2021 season. This move should be considered a big win for 100T in terms of roster building and the early stages of the org’s offseason plan are quickly coming together with the team focusing on creating a roster that can truly let young talent shine. Players like FBI and Closer join an already-gelling roster that has the potential to truly succeed in 2020.
With longtime veteran and franchise player Ssumday holding down the fort in the top lane, in addition to the reported signing of Huhi in the support position, 100 Thieves is set to feature an incredible mix of proven experience, domestic potential, and genuine talent across the board.
Biggest moves: Signing Impact, IgNar, and Lost
Perhaps the biggest winners of the LCS offseason thus far, Evil Geniuses walked out of day one with an almost entirely revamped roster. By reportedly adding Impact to the top lane, the team quickly and successfully replaced a player in Huni who had seen diminishing value toward the end of the 2020 LCS season.
Additionally, the team has reportedly revamped its bottom lane by replacing Bang and Zeyzal with TSM’s Academy ADC Lost and FlyQuest support IgNar. After just one day, EG has constructed a roster that could easily compete for a top spot in the LCS based on sheer talent alone.
Beyond the various shuffles that EG has completed after a full day of free agency, the team also retained former LCS MVP jungler Svenskeren while promoting Jiizuke back to the starting lineup after moving away from him for a split in favor of Goldenglue. Now, as one of the only teams in the LCS with a fully completed roster on the table, EG can walk out of the first full day of free agency in an advantageous position. The team improved its standing in the offseason market and it did so with plenty of time to spare. EG got ahead of the curve this offseason and built a highly competitive roster because of its proactivity.
Biggest move: Releasing Doran, Chovy, Deft, and Keria
No moment of free agency’s first official day was more gut-wrenching than when DRX parted ways with four of the team’s five starters ahead of the 2021 season. Doran, Chovy, Deft, and Keria have all left DRX in what is perhaps the most stunning exodus of a single roster in any region since the entire World Championship-winning roster of Samsung White completely imploded after the 2014 season.
After 24 hours of free agency, DRX’s starting lineup is in complete disarray with only Pyosik left to serve as a reminder of a team that made it all the way to the quarterfinals of this year’s World Championship, in addition to finishing in second place in LCK domestic play earlier in the season. Now, all four former DRX superstars that the team let go will surely be hot commodities moving forward. If DRX is known for nothing else after a groundbreaking 2020 season, it’ll be that the team is set to pump more talent into the LCK than perhaps any other organization in history.
If DRX was going to build upon its success from 2020 next season, it had to keep its core of players together moving forward. If even one of those names moved on, the rebuild process was sure to be difficult. But with four out of five pieces of the roster going their separate ways, the uphill battle that DRX faces ahead of the 2021 season looks unbelievably arduous.
Biggest move: Signing Revenge
No LCS team has been as underwhelming through the first full day of free agency as Immortals. The team spent the majority of last night officially announcing that a strong portion of its starting roster from the 2020 season would be departing ahead of next year. And while moving on from a roster that only won 12 games across all of 2020 is definitely a step in the right direction, the coinciding moves that IMT made in terms of replacements could have been more inspiring, to say the least.
While Immortals made a splash early in the week by reportedly bringing on Xerxe to play jungle in 2021, that’s really all the team did. Coming off one of the worst seasons in LCS history, some fans likely thought Immortals would be making a slew of moves to get back into the realm of contention ahead of 2021.
But beyond the reported signing of Xerxe from Origen, the offseason moves have been few and far between for IMT. The team finalized a buyout for the contract of FlyQuest’s Academy top laner Revenge, but not much else is reportedly on the team’s radar at this moment. If Immortals is going to field a stronger product in 2021, the organization will need to start playing catch-up with the rest of the LCS. After just one day, much of the free agent market is already depleted. And if Immortals doesn’t start making the right moves quickly, the team might just get left in the dust.
Biggest move: Releasing its entire 2020 lineup
Last night, Golden Guardians released its entire LCS roster in one fell swoop as its first official move in this year’s free agency. After what could have easily been seen as the franchise’s best season in its brief three-year history, Golden Guardians opted to tear down its entire roster instead of building upon any success it found in 2020.
With a completely clean slate, fans and analysts alike have speculated on what moves Golden Guardians might make to fill the gaping voids across the roster. But the team made no moves on the first official day of free agency as the rest of the LCS passed Golden Guardians by completely. With 24 hours in the books, Golden Guardians’ roster remains a total mystery.
The team completely gave up on developing the young core of talent it had found success with in 2020 when players like Damonte, FBI, and Closer all left the organization. Additionally, after taking a player in Huhi and turning him into one of the most formidable supports in the LCS, Golden Guardians let him fall to the wayside as well.
After a full day of free agency, Golden Guardians is the biggest question mark in the LCS—and arguably the biggest disappointment. While many of last year’s contenders and playoff teams made moves across the board, Golden Guardians went completely dark.
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