Immortals Secured Their First League Championship Series Summer Split Win Using The Academy Roster

Immortals Secured Their First League Championship Series Summer Split Win Using The Academy Roster
Credit: Riot Games via YouTube

After an abysmal 0-4 start to the 2020 LCS Summer Split, Immortals took their first win of the split today against Golden Guardians.

The League of Legends team recently made major changes to its coaching staff after struggling to find a single win in two weeks of competitive play. On June 24, Immortals released GM Keaton Cryer and head coach Thomas “Zaboutine” Si-Hassen. As a result, interim general manager Mike Schwartz stepped up to the plate and immediately made a monumental decision.

Schwartz, alongside coaches Adrien “GotoOne” Picard and Paul “Malaclypse” Decsi, opted to start the organization’s academy roster for the weekend, bringing veteran jungler Xmithie back to the premier stage for the first time since late March. The decision also led to mid laner David “Insanity” Challe’s highly anticipated LCS debut.

In their breakout match, the newest iteration of Immortals overcame a 3,300 gold deficit to defeat Golden Guardians in just under 35 minutes. Immortals AD carry Apollo Apollo Price led the charge, securing an unofficial quadrakill and even stealing a drake as Ezreal to propel his team back on top. Insanity’s debut was also impressive, going deathless on Orianna against Golden Guardians’ Tanner “Damonte” Damonte.

But while Immortals took the victory, it was Golden Guardians that made some avoidable mistakes. During the drafting phase, it was confirmed that top laner Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell accidentally locked in the incorrect runes. Instead of choosing the Conqueror keystone, Hauntzer ran with Fleet Footwork for his Mordekaiser pick, resulting in significantly less sustain within prolonged brawls. The Golden Guardians solo laner finished the match with a disappointing 2/5/0 performance.

This put a good precedent for LCS teams to use their academy rosters more often instead of recycling old veterans. There’s plenty of NA talent in minor Leagues, but which don’t get time to shine due to the stubbornness of teams using the same players over and over again, even though they’ve fallen off from their prime.

North America could take a lead or two from the European minor league, European Masters, where young rookies prove themselves before being acquired by the League European Championship teams. This is great for the ecosystem of the region with young rookies constantly showing up and upsetting the veterans and giving them a run for their money. Sadly, NA seems to be focused on the old veterans, the superstars of the regions and do not give that many opportunities to rising rookies to show themselves on the main stage.