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Echo Fox: 2019 Summer Split Preview

Coming into Summer Split, Echo Fox will be hoping that their off the rift issues don’t translate on the rift. Most people have heard everything going on with Rick Fox, the Ownership group of Echo Fox and Riot stepping in to say that measures would be taken if Echo Fox didn’t fix their problems. But Spring Split as a whole wasn’t terrible for Echo Fox.

The team finished 8-10 and slid into the playoffs as the sixth seed. They were able to take a game off of TSM but ending up losing 3-1 in the first round. Throughout the Split they were unable to find their rhythm. While they split most of their series 1-1, they got swept by Clutch and TSM and were able to 2-0 the last place 100 Thieves. This team struggled at the onset of the split and specifically with their jungler, Rush, who had just come back to the LCS.

As of the writing of this article, Echo Fox have not made any changes to their roster or coaching staff. Also it looks as though their starting lineup from last Split will stay the same. There is a chance that some Academy players could come up such as Panda should the team struggle.

Roster Breakdown

Solo: 2.6 KDA, -71 GD10, 7th in KDA for Top Laners, 4th in Kill Participation for Top Laners
Solo is the 2019 LCS Spring Split quarterfinals Invisible Woman
Image from LoL Esports Flickr

While Solo is not exactly imposing his will in the top lane, he is nothing if not consistent. He is either average or just a bit below average in most laning stats. As was seen much of last Split, Solo will try to keep up in lane but rarely commands focus from the enemy jungler because of this. Where he impacts the game most is in team fighting. This is what Echo Fox are built to do is normally their win condition. Being fourth in kill participation backs this up.

Solo is a role player on this squad. He will rarely be the star. This is despite the fact that he plays mostly carry type champions. By looking at his stats from the past few years, this is what he is. He plays a carry champion, stays alive and rarely gets too far behind. Then he does enough damage and zoning in team fights. Solo will need to do the same in this Split if Echo Fox wants a chance at Playoffs again.

Rush: 3.0 KDA, +27 GD10, 5th in KDA for Junglers, 4th in Kill Participation for Junglers
Courtesy of Echo Fox: Rush

Rush had a bumpy start in his first Split back in the LCS since 2016 but then he seemed to figure it out in the second half. He was near the top five in most categories for junglers and really showed well when playing Jarvan as his record on the champion, including playoffs, was 5-1. He is great at getting around the map and setting up his team. While his kills may be near the lowest in the LCS, his assists were near the top especially considering he missed a couple weeks in the middle of the season.

The goal for Rush will be to be more consistent on more champions than just Jarvan. Eventually teams will start banning him, especially if Jarvan is a major key for Echo Fox’s draft as a whole. He will also need to make sure that he is continuing to setup Fenix and Apollo and letting them carry. While it would be nice for Echo Fox to have a third carry, it is unlikely to come from Rush as he rarely plays carry junglers. Even when he played Karthus he was still mostly assisting instead of getting fed and finishing off kills.

Fenix: 3.1 KDA, +65 GD10, 7th in KDA for Mid Laners, 8th in Kill Participation for Mid Laners
FOX Fenix is the Invisible Woman for week five of the 2019 LCS Spring Split
Image from LoL Esports Flickr

With Echo Fox completely revamping their roster, they brought Fenix back after the weird situation last year where they released him without giving him time to sign somewhere else. It was surprising but, nonetheless he was back in action for EF last Split and while he did well in lane, his mid and late game presence were a bit lackluster. Being +65 in Gold Differential at 10 minutes has him at third for all Mid Laners in the LCS which shows that his laning wasn’t the problem. It seemed as though he struggled to carry that lead over into the other areas of the game. He lacked most importantly getting kills which can be seen in his bottom three stats for KDA and Kill Participation.

For Fenix, he will need to focus on being the carry the team needs here in the second Split. There’s no doubt that he is statistically one of the best laners at his position but, for a team that is built around team play and their mid and bot lanes carrying, Fenix has to do more.

Apollo: 4.4 KDA, -9 GD10, 6th in KDA for ADC, 6th in Kill Participation for ADC
Hakuho: 116 Assists, 11% First Blood, 1st in Experience Difference for Supp, 2nd in Kill Participation for Supp
Apollo Price has an incredibly high ceiling
Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr

Ever since he has been in the LCS, Apollo has been a low risk type of player and one that clearly has a lot of synergy with his lane partner, Hakuho. Because of that, Apollo will generally stay even or close to that in lane and if Hakuho is hitting CC then they can push into the tower with regularity. Like most of their team they are very consistent. That said Hakuho is one of the better supports in the LCS.

Apollo has a solid KDA and most importantly he is right with the top ADC’s in the fact that he does not die with regularity. This also has to do with Hakuho but generally Apollo will play safe. Other than that he is right in the middle of the pack and for what Echo Fox is about he seems to fit in perfectly with the teams style of play going forward.

Hakuho is the Invisible Woman of week one of the 2019 LCS Spring Split
Image from LoL Esports Flickr

The best player on Echo Fox is without a doubt Hakuho. When he is hitting chains on Thresh the team benefits immensely. Even if he isn’t on Thresh the man still makes plays and sets his team up regularly. This can be seen statistically with him being second in Kill Participation for his role. It is also important to note the fact that he is not putting Apollo behind by dying first all that often and that he has a massive lead in experience which shows his laning prowess. Overall Hakuho is continuing to get better and show that he is one of the best Supports in NA.

Summer Split

Prediction: 9-9

It is likely that Echo Fox will barely make the playoffs again at this rate. None of the teams below them really made any changes to get that much better and the only teams likely to get a little worse would be FlyQuest or Golden Guardians. If Echo Fox can just play their style then that should be enough to get them over the hump.

Matches to Watch For
Echo Fox added Solo, Rush, Fenix, Apollo, and Hakuho for 2019
Image from Echo Fox’s Twitter

Week 4 against Clutch Gaming will likely be interesting as Echo Fox will be looking for revenge after getting swept during the Spring. Clutch has announced that Cody Sun will be their starting ADC and that could make them a little more formidable considering Piglet did not do much. EF will need to play their game and if they do that they should be able to counter Clutch’s early game aggression well.

Another big game will come in Week 2 as they face TSM. Not only did TSM sweep them during the regular season but also knocked Echo Fox out of the playoffs. While this will not be an easy game by any stretch, Echo Fox or the three players that were formerly on Clutch Gaming, had success in stopping TSM back in 2017. If they can find that again then they may be able to surprise TSM.

Closing Thoughts

Echo Fox definitely has talented players and the new pieces in Rush and Fenix are still trying to find their rhythm with the team. While this team has the ability to at least go even it seems as of now that is their ceiling. They should beat the teams near the bottom and maybe scrape a game off of a top three team.

Other than that there is as likely a possibility that they finish out of the top six. They lack a reliable carry that can truly carry day in and day out.  Solo and Fenix will need to start doing more. If they can put it all together they will make playoffs, if not expect to see them in the bottom three.

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