The League of Legends off-season is almost over. Spring 2020 felt so long ago, but you don’t need to worry, with action kicking off across all regions in the next two weeks. Didn’t keep up with the roster shuffles? Here are the five biggest ones you need to know.
If you have been wanting the LEC back so you can spam in the chat, or just hanging out for other high-quality League of Legends around the globe, you won’t have to wait much longer. The Summer 2020 off-season is wrapping up, with play kicking off from June 5.
There've been a few major roster moves, with some fan favorites swapping allegiances in the final rush to Worlds. If you haven’t been keeping up, we’ve got a list of the top five transfers you need to know before play starts up.
5. Huni to Evil Geniuses from Dignitas
Heo ‘Huni’ Seung-hoon was the Mr. Moneybags of the LCS. His pre-season contract extension with Dignitas was reportedly worth $2.3 million over two years, and over a third of what they set out to spend on their 2020 roster. Disputes about his worth aside, it didn’t pan out for him.
We have added a new member to the Evil Geniuses family, one that's well versed in top-place finishes.
Let's get ready to #LIVEEVIL | Presented by @WebullGlobal pic.twitter.com/ZIZMNIfyGA
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) May 28, 2020
While he managed to help lead the then-Clutch Gaming roster to Worlds in 2019, Dignitas slumped in 2020. The team was markedly different — Huni being the only player to remain from that Worlds roster — but they were by no means slouches on paper. After failing to make playoffs though, change was needed.
There was one team that were looking at Huni — buyout and all — at the end of Spring 2020. Evil Geniuses stunned the LCS when they rose up to second place in their first split since 2015. While things were working out across the map, they saw a possible upgrade by getting Huni for Colin ‘Kumo’ Zhao in the top lane. Now, it’s just a waiting game to see whether it will pay off.
4. Caps and Perkz role swap for G2 Esports
If you’re a G2 Esports fan — or just even loosely follow professional League of Legends — you’re probably used to this by now. G2 Esports’ power duo Rasmus ‘Caps’ Winther and Luka ‘Perkz’ Perkovic have been switching between mid and bot for the last 18 months.
While they reached new heights with Perkz in the bot lane in 2019, Caps’ debut in the bot lane for Spring 2020 was rocky. G2 Esports did win the LEC title, however it wasn’t as convincing as their 2019 run.
We were very close to sending Wunder to botlane but we decided to run it back with our 2019 roster for summer/worlds
having the two best western mids and ads in the same team sure gives some headaches 🤡
— Fabian 'GrabbZ' Lohmann (@G2GrabbZ) May 6, 2020
So, in preparation for Summer 2020 and the push to Worlds, Perkz is once again starting in the bot lane. The champion pool is slightly different from when he made his rise — Kai’Sa and Xayah are out, Varus and Aphelios are in. However, adaptation is his strong suit, and he should rise up to be one of the best bot laners in Europe yet again in no time.
3. Dardoch to Dignitas from TSM
Joshua ‘Dardoch’ Hartnett’s trade was the most controversial move of the Summer off-season. The former TSM jungler was let go, but it wasn’t without a name drop from TSM President Leena Xu on Doublelift’s stream.
With TSM looking to bring on a new jungler, it was unclear whether Dardoch was going to find a home for Summer 2020. However, he’s managed to slide into the Dignitas roster alongside yet another ex-TSM jungler in Matthew ‘Akaadian’ Higginbotham.
The man who nobody wanted will have another chance to prove that his standout split with Echo Fox wasn’t just a flash in the pan. He’s shown glimpses of brilliance in the last couple of splits, but he hasn’t found consistency.
— Dignitas (@dignitas) May 26, 2020
This stint with Dignitas could prove to be the change of pace he needed, or could put the nail in the coffin of his LCS career. Only time will tell.
2. Uzi retires from pro League of Legends
The retirement of Jian ‘Uzi’ Zi-Hao marks the end of an era in Chinese League of Legends. “The puppy,” as he’s affectionately called, called time on his career after a bevy of health issues set him back.
The writing was on the wall. He didn’t make a single appearance in the LPL Spring 2020 split — even during playoffs, where he usually flies in to be the savior of his team. No such heroics were made, and as such, RNG were relegated to their worst finish in the LPL since 2015.
As of today, LPL0006 @UziRNG will officially retire. Uzi was not only the heart and soul of RNG, but also an icon in the esports world as a whole. From a teenager onwards he never gave up and worked as hard as he could to be the best he could in his role, he inspired many. pic.twitter.com/wsqqOnqE4o
— Royal Never Give Up (@RNGRoyal) June 3, 2020
He retires with a couple of LPL trophies in the cabinet, and one Mid-Season Invitational title — but no Summoner’s Cup. The door is open for him to possibly return once he gets on the mend, but if he doesn’t, his legacy as one of League’s all-time greats will remain.
1. Doublelift to TSM from Team Liquid
Two years ago, Doublelift threw his TSM jersey in the trash as he joined Team Liquid. He’s dug through landfill though, retrieved it, given it a wash, and is getting ready to adorn it for Summer 2020. He’s back with the boys in black, and it’s huge news for both parties.
Doublelift’s Spring 2020 performance with Team Liquid was his worst split in his nine-year playing career. The 26-year-old found himself benched for rising star Edward ‘Tactical’ Ra mid-way through the season, and even on his return, he failed to impress.
Citing team culture as a problem, he’s moving back to TSM to join old team mates Soren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg and Vincent ‘Biofrost’ Wang to mount a resurgence like no other.
— TSM (@TSM) April 26, 2020
TSM will be looking to return to their winning ways with the seven-time LCS winner in their pocket, and they might just be the team with enough firepower to knock Cloud9 off their perch.
Honourable mentions: Kobbe to Misfits, Smeb rejoins KT Rolster
There are two honorable mentions that deserve to be touched on, even if they don’t make it into our top 5.
Kobbe is heading back to Europe, joining Misfits after his stint with TSM in 2020. Things didn’t go as planned for him on the American line-up, as the former Kings of NA stumbled to yet another mediocre finish — fifth in the regular season, fourth in playoffs.
On the other side of the world, Smeb is returning to the Rift. The two-time LCK champion and Worlds finalist will be rejoining his old team in KT Rolster for the Summer 2020 season. KT surprised most by making it to the LCK Spring 2020 playoffs, and with their star Smeb back in the top lane, there’s now a clear path for them to potentially make it to Worlds.
The League Summer 2020 season begins with the LPL in China on June 5. The LCS and LEC will return on June 12, while the LCK returns on June 17.