The European League of Legends team Rogue has just promoted the top laner “Finn” Wiestål to its starting lineup. Finn previously played for the organization’s secondary team—Rogue Esports Club—in the Polish Ultraliga, but his place will now be taken by Marcin “iBo” Lebuda.
Meanwhile, Finn will share playing time with a fellow top laner, Kim “Profit” Jun-hyung, to grant the team more versatility on the top side of the map.
Can this move elevate Rogue to new heights?
The LEC power rankings haven’t been kind to Rogue. The organization joined the league at the beginning of 2019 as one of the four new franchise partners, but it didn’t quite hit the ground running. To be clear, the 2019 LEC Spring Split was an unmitigated disaster for the team. The team’s 2-16 run placed it dead-last in the standings. And if you look at Rogue’s current 4-6 record, things don’t seem much better in summer.
Yet numbers can be misleading. After making some much-needed roster changes in the mid-season, Rogue found itself on an upswing. Now, most of its roster is composed of talented rookies, and players like Kacper “Inspired” Słoma and Emil “Larssen” Larsson have already made their presence known on the LEC stage. On top of that, Rogue’s recent victories against both spring finalists in Origen and Fnatic led several analysts and personalities to claim this organization is much stronger than at first glance.
This is where Finn comes in. Despite being one of the most experienced players on Rogue’s roster, the current top laner—Profit—doesn’t shine enough to warrant the use of an import slot. Meanwhile, Finn has already played for the organization in spring. His recent performances in the Ultraliga hint that he has what it takes to become a potent carry threat on the LEC team. Of course, Rogue could still go with Profit in most of its games, but having the option to sub in a hungry up-and-comer doesn’t seem like a bad deal.
OK, but what about the Ultraliga team? Rogue Esports Club holds first place in the competition with a staggering 9-1 record. Removing any player from such a successful lineup is bound to hurt team synergy, so RGE will almost certainly suffer a couple of losses.
The good news is that the new top laner—iBo—already has some experience in competitive League of Legends. Formerly known as IceBeasto, he has been playing in the national European leagues and Challenger Series tournaments since the beginning of 2016. And while he didn’t produce the best results, he might very well become a promising prospect in the right circumstances.
Another thing to note is Rogue’s dedication to raising talent. The organization hasn’t been shy to experiment with roster rotations and present players with opportunities to prove themselves. Rogue isn’t content with being in last place. And the 2019 LEC Summer Split might very well see this team making a push for the top half of the standings.
Image courtesy of Riot Games.