* = Speculated
TL: Alphari, Santorin, Jensen, Tatical, CoreJJ
I just want to thank TL for saving Alphari, if you watched any of the LEC last year you know it was painful to see Alphari stuck on that Origen roster. We saw what TL's carries could do/ Core's leadership at worlds and now adding arguably the best jungler and a force in the top lane I think its safe to say I am excited for TL.
Prediction: TL wins the split in a great finals match 3-2 over C9.
C9: Fudge, Blaber, Perkz, Zven, Vulcan
C9 moved on from Licorice, arguably the best NA Top last year, because they know what they have in the future star top laner Fudge. This move gave C9 the capital to go out and win the Perkz sweepstakes.
Prediction: C9 takes home 2nd in the split.
TSM: Huni*,Spica, PowerOfEvil, DoubleLift, SwortArt*
Alot to unpack here, the loss of Bjergsen was a tough blow but signing PoE is a nice consolation prize. If SwordArt and Huni both end up signing with TSM (rumored that the Huni/Lost deal has been called off) they will have the perfect leadership to help develop a young star, this young star being Spica. It will be intresting to see TSM's 1st year with North Americas most storied player at the helm.
Prediction: TSM finishes 3rd-4th, Huni/DL gradual decline will start to show but will still be in the 1st tear of LCS teams.
EG: Impact*, Svenskeren, Jiizuke*, Lost*, Ignar
Well the majority of their roster is up in the air its hard to say too much, I do feel like they will be the "Gatekeeper", in terms of we beat the bad teams and are competitive against the good teams, again this split though. Signing Ignar is under appreciated and his playmaking/shotcalling will deffently help this squad.
Prediction: Finish 4th-7th.
100T: Ssumday, Closer, Damonte, FBI, Huhi
Can you say Golden Guardians 2.0 ? With the only difference being Ssumday instead of Hauntzer I love this team. After getting the best laning ADC, retaining their superstar Top, locking down a top 3 Jungler 100T looks like they are in for a very solid year.
Prediction: 100T didn't make the F/A splash like C9 but instead took a promising team and made an upgrade. Finish top 3.
FlyQ: Licorice, Josedoedo, Palafox, Johnson*, Diamond
FlyQ took the C9 package deal of Licorice,Palafox, Diamond and also brought in Rainbow7's jungler Josedoedo. We all know Jack takes care of his players so it is nice to see a few of them togeather on a new team. With some veteran leadership from Licorice FlyQ seems to have a nice mix of vets and rookies, last year Diamond and Palafox dominated the LCSa winning the title back to back. We got a glempse of Josedoedo in the worlds play-ins this year and he preformed very well leading R7 to a 2-2 record, beating LGD and UoL, before losing to LGD in the elimination round.
Prediction: Depending on what ADC they land they will be a top 5-6 team.
CLG: Finn, Broxah, Poebelter, TBD, Smoothie
CLG fans probably don't want to hear this, but looks like another year of mediocrity on the horizon (basically a less good EG if that does end up being their roster).
DIG: Hauntzer*, Dardoch, TBD, TBD, Aphromoo
Pretty meh about dig this year, expecially if they fail to retain Johnson. Limited upside in my opinion.
Prediction: Finish 8th-10th.
IMT: Revenge, Xerxe, Insanity, Raes, Destiny
Retaining and developing Insanity was the right move he fits in their budget and has a ton of upside. I would of liked to see Isles signed with Raes but it looks like he would raher play for C9a instead lul. Xerxe will get another shot after a dissapointing year with OG and does bring some experience to the table of an otherwise very young roster. I do think Allorim was delt a bad hand with last years roster but Revenge, #1 NA SoloQ, should be intresting to see in action.
Prediction: If they can overcome being such a young roster I think they could turn a lot of heads and have a good amount of upside. Finish 5th-8th.
This is just a big "uhhhhhhh" moment. GG was arguably my favorite team last year and should of saved us from the TSM embarrasment at worlds. GG obviously had some budget cuts and decided not to retain a promising team.
Prediction: Cant really make one since the majority of their roster is unknown, but its not looking good. Finish 8th-10th.
With the collapse of the OPL and subsiquent addition to the import clause allowing for another import spot per team if they are from the OPL we are going to be seeing alot of fresh faces in the North American League of Legends scene.
Most Improved Player: I believe that Insanity will turn alot of heads this year, if you go back and watch the games he had so many good games where he or IMT just made one critical mistake, i'm hoping that he builds off last year and proves to be a force in the Midlane. The lack of vetran leadership on IMT is concerning though.
Rookie of the year: Hard to say with so much new talent coming in but I think this award will be going to Fudge, not only did Fudge absoutly smurf all last split in LCSa he deserved to be on an LCS roster imo. Fudge will be on a top teir team and will have an agressive Jungler/ dominant mid to make he can thrive on the island that is top lane.
IMT/FLYQ have the most variance in terms of how well they could finish in my opinion.
Things to keep an eye on: Does Chovy come to NA? Does K1ng stay with C9a?