After a 3-0 loss to FlyQuest this past Tuesday, Golden Guardians end their Spring Split tied for 5th with 100T. After many people placed the team at the bottom of the LCS coming into the splits, fans can be happy with a playoff appearance. They surprised many people by being good at their game plan. The problems arose when teams prepared specifically for that gameplan, and then GG seemed to struggle to adapt. In the end, they showed us that they have potential as a team, and going into summer they have a strong base to build off of.
FBI had a standout year, finishing with top stats for an ADC particularly in damage share. Even with some instability at support, he was able to be the main carry of Golden Guardians. He was very good on some of the meta teamfighters like Varus and Aphelios. One issue, however, is that teams usually pair both picks with Tahm Kench and both Huhi and Keith seemed to struggle on that pick. FBI was able to perform on other picks such as Kalista or MF, but it seemed like he wasn’t able to carry quite as well on them.
In the series against FlyQuest, Golden Guardians faced lots of champions looking to dive the back line. Champions like Leblanc, Kassadin, Reksai and Pyke are all going after someone like an immobile ADC. Even in game 1 when FBI was on the super-mobile Kalista, it’s tough to do proper damage when PowerOfEvil is doing 2K DPM from fog of war on Leblanc. The win condition of a strong ADC backed up by good engage from Jungle, Top or Support was not working when the ADC was struggling to stay alive. This is the strategy that got them to playoffs, but not being able to adapt from it is what ended Golden Guardians’ playoffs.
The Keith roleswap experiment went probably about as good as could be expected. He looked good on some engage champions like Thresh and Nautilus, but struggled with isolated deaths. Once Huhi came in, he had similar issues – looked good at times but seemed to have issues dying off on his own. Moving into summer, neither seems to be the clear front-runner in the role. Perhaps more stability at the role and additional practice time will help one of these two to stand out.
After several splits of strong performance on Cloud 9’s academy roster, Goldenglue got a chance to prove himself as the only NA Mid laner to start the split. The season had it’s ups and downs for Greyson. Early on he had some struggles, particularly on Zoe. However, at the end of the split Zoe was the champion he had some incredible performances on to get the team to playoffs. With a strong finish to the regular season, he will be looking to increase his consistency in the summer split. Additional time spent playing with Jungler Closer should benefit their synergy as well next split.
Closer, freshly imported from Turkey, had a very impressive first split in the LCS. Voted to the Second All-Pro team, his performance was a pleasant surprise for many. He seemed to excel on champions with some playmaking ability, and the team looked strongest when he could engage. Jarvan IV was a particularly good champion for him, especially when paired with some engage from Top or Support. At times, he did get a little overzealous and would go too far without the teammates to follow up. However, this should improve as the team has more time to play together and synergize.
Hauntzer had a quietly solid season. He spent most of it on tank duty, but did have a pop off game when he got his hands on Fiora. The team definitely benefited when he was on Ornn, when he could buff up the carries with his upgrades while also being a strong frontliner. When it wasn’t Ornn/Maoki duty, his Aatrox looked good as he got some more agency and could look make more plays on his own. One of the few LCS veterans on the team, he can continue to be a rock for the team going into summer. If they are looking for a different playstyle to develop, he has shown that he can play carries previously. Paired with a strong Jungler like Closer, he could become a big win condition for GG.
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