The highly anticipated Spring Split has finally come around, and fans should be in for a treat across all the professional leagues. I’ve taken the time to identify some of the key storylines to focus on heading into the new season.
Dark Horse in the LCK
DAMWON Gaming would be the team to keep an eye on heading into the upcoming split. DAMWON Gaming were almost perfect in the recent Challengers Korea Summer Split finishing with a 31-1 record. They followed up this impressive showing by beating SK Telecom T1 2-1 in the KeSPA Cup before falling short against Griffin in the finals.
We can’t doubt the talent levels that exist within this DAMWON Gaming line up, especially on the top side of the map with Canyon, ShowMaker and Nuguri who has been picked by many analysts and fans to be the breakout player of the Split.
It’s not expected for them to make a shocking impact right from the off, but it’s expected for them to improve as the season progresses and are the one team that could cause upsets this split.
LCK Title Favourite
What Griffin were able to do in the Summer Split was incredibly impressive. They got promoted to the LCK and managed to finish the Summer regular season tied in 1st place with a 13-5 record. They unfortunately lost in the Summer Finals 3-2 to KT Rolster and missed out on making it to Worlds after falling short against Gen.G in a closely contested series at the Regional Finals.
Following their successful season immediately after being promoted to the LCK, the strong team synergy that already exists within the star line up will surely be increased. They dismantled teams throughout the KeSPA Cup and have also extended all five starters contracts for another 3 years. This is all setting them up to be a dominant force in Korea and the International level for years to come.
G2 Esports battling for LEC top spot
Following their huge upset victory against Royal Never Give Up at Worlds last year, G2 are definitely a team that many will be eyeing up to push for Championship wins in Europe this season. G2 were by no means a weak roster, but in the offseason, they completed the surprise move of signing Caps from FNATIC, who is noticed as being the best mid laner in the West.
This arrival of Caps has pushed their previously impressive mid laner Perks to bottom lane where he will be transitioning to the role of ADC. These changes are being made as G2 plan to reclaim the title of being the best in Europe again. Perkz and Caps are two of the most mechanically talented players in the regions, but it’s vital that G2 ensure Perkz’ move to bottom lane goes as smoothly as possible.
FNATIC Gain a Rival
The loss of Caps to G2 will leave a sour taste in the mouth of all involved with Fnatic, especially after the team made history by making it to the grand final of Worlds last season. Fnatic need to pull off a strong rebound following the loss of Caps and will do so by bringing in the young Nemesis.
Fnatic have proven in the past that they can develop young talent into the best in the region, Broxah and Bwipo are perfect examples of this, but Nemesis will have huge boots to fill with replacing Caps.
Fnatic will still be a top two team in the region, and if things go as they should, we will all be in for a game to remember as Fnatic could likely face off against G2 for the Spring Championship. The rivalry between these two has been growing and will have heated up even more following the Caps move. Everyone should be excited to watch how this develops throughout the season.
Cloud9 finally have a spark
Following their miracle run to the Worlds Championship semi-finals last year, the spark that Cloud9 have been lacking for the past couple of seasons could very well be reignited.
Despite the loss of their all-star mid laner Jensen during the off season, their hopes remain high to battle for the #1 spot in the region and have a strong Academy programme going so should have plenty of options for the position moving forward.
Team Liquid prepare to dominate
Team Liquid took the 2018 season by storm winning both the Spring and Summer NA LCS Splits, during the off season they made changes to make the already star-studded line up even stronger.
They have kept the core of Doublelift, Impact and Xmithie but have added former world champion CoreJJ to the roster and have managed to acquire Jensen from Could9. This addition of Jensen could end up being a great storyline throughout this season as the two teams could very well be battling it out against each other for the top spot.
The 2019 Spring Split could very well end up being one of the most entertaining ones yet, and many fans will be blessed with incredible storylines to follow throughout the year.