With the North American LCS free agency underway, we’ve been treated to some major changes. Of course, during this period, many contracts are also set to expire, with players taking their chances at free agency.
While North America has been on a slump, some of these shocking roster changes are bound to impact the strength of the entire region. Europe poster boy Perkz’s move to North America is set in stone, Team SoloMid is on the brink of signing Huni, and former world champion Impact has departed Team Liquid to join Evil Geniuses. As North America is set to receive imported world-class talent, the region looks poised to catch up to EU in the League of Legends competitive scene.
Huni to join Team SoloMid
Credible sources suggest Team SoloMid are in their final stages of closing a deal to sign Huni. This comes as bombshell news as TSM had previously shied away from overpaying for their top laner, instead, favoring the development of up and coming talent. In contrast, Huni’s contract is estimated to be worth in the supper six, or even seven figures, considering his large fanbase and past achievements as a 2017 worlds finalist.
Consequently, this has lead to the departure of BrokenBlade, further strengthening the rumors surrounding Huni’s addition. While BrokenBlade had a subpar performance in Worlds, he was definitely one of the standout players on TSM’s roster in the NA LCS.
Perkz to replace Nisqy in Cloud 9
Nisqy has recently announced his departure from Cloud 9 after a strong 2020 having helped the team to take first in the 2020 LCS Spring regular season and playoffs. It is highly likely Nisqy will return back to the LEC, with rumors suggesting Fnatic will sign the Belgian mid laner. In even bigger news, rumors have popped from numerous esports commentators suggesting that Perkz will be replacing Nisqy in Cloud 9. Perkz had originally been a mid laner before turning to ADC, and all signs point towards the Croatian superstar joining Cloud 9.
Impact to join Evil Geniuses
Impact is set to replace Huni in Evil Geniuses. The Korean top laner is a former world champion, winning the title back in Season 3 with SK Telecom T1. Since then, Impact has played solidly in the NA scene for the past couple of years together with NRG, Cloud 9 and Team Liquid, winning four Spilts and finishing as the runners up at MSI 2019 with the latter.
This will be a big move for Impact since he will be leaving a top contender Team to join hopefuls Evil Geniuses. Team Liquid was definitely a team where Impact made the biggest impact (pun intended) with his experience and individual lane performance. The deal with EG will help bolster the team from a middle-of-the-pack position to arguably a top-three side in the NA LCS.
CLG adds Broxah and Finn
Broxah has officially signed with Counter Logic Gaming following a rather shaky rookie year in the NA LCS. While CLG has struggled in 2020, placing 10th and 9th place in the Spring and Summer split respectively, the addition of Broxah is expected to propel the team forward.
Finn on the other hand is a highly prospective LEC top laner who was Rogue’s standout player in their series versus G2 Esports. With his newfound success, Finn has been highly sought after by a number of top teams. His addition to CLG will definitely help the team get over the 2020 season, a season CLG will likely try to forget.
Xmithie, Hakuho & Allorim become free agents
After one of the worst seasons in LCS history, it comes as no surprise that Immortals have released Xmithie, Hakuho, and Allorim, making them all free agents for the upcoming 2021 season. Despite Xmithie being a core veteran presence for Immortals, their recent poor performance had forced Immortals to try something new.
While it is unknown which team will be picking up Xmithie, it is highly unlikely the player will continue with a starter position in the LCS, despite his popularity and experience. Hakuho and Allorim on the other hand have more uncertain futures given they both shared stage time in the LCS. Both Hakuho and Allorim have spent some time on Immortal’s academy roster and with their lackluster performances are likely to return to the academy scene with another team.
Niles & Yunbee to Golden Guardians
Following alleged budget cuts, the Golden Guardians have dropped all existing starting members of their 2020 roster. Most recently, Golden Guardians have signed two new members from the 2020 NA Scouting Grounds, an event set up to show off the top solo queue players who aspire to get into competitive play. Sources reveal that while the Golden Guardians wanted to build their roster around star player Licorice, the team was unable to finalize the deal due to budget constraints.
Rumors have suggested Hauntzer will head to Dignitas following his tenure with Golden Guardians. While Hauntzer’s recent results with GG have left little to be desired, his individual performance remains strong, being ahead in CS at 15 minutes over 63% of the time. Given Dignitas has already resigned veteran Dardoch, this may be Hauntzer’s big break to return back to the top.
Johnsun will leave Dignitas after spending a year with them and move to rival NA team, Fly Quest. Dignitas had initially picked up Johnsun from TSM’s academy team, giving him a starting position. However, throughout 2020, Johnsun has established his worth as an LCS level player, resulting in a starting position with Fly Quest.
Two other members, Fenix and Viper have also been released into free agency. The future of these players are currently unknown, however, as starting positions in NA fill up, it is increasingly likely they will move on to greener pastures.