The LCS has gone through a lot of changes for the 2021 season. The format is different, the league has rebranded and most of the teams have almost entirely new rosters. This should be a new era for the LCS for a lot of reasons and heading into the Spring portion of the season (no longer known as a Split), teams will be looking to show that they made the right moves. To start things off, here is the Golden Guardians 2021 LCS Spring Preview.
*Note: All predictions assume the main roster plays all of the games.
[Related: What is the 2021 LCS Start Date?]
Almost every team in the LCS performed below expectations in 2020, but not Golden Guardians. They started by making the playoffs in the Spring and while they were swept by FlyQuest, fans and analysts alike could tell that they were improving. They finished the regular season with an 8-10 record in the Spring and players like FBI and Closer were showing that they might be the real deal.
Then during the summer the team brought in Damonte and huhi to play mid and support respectively. As the Summer Split went on Golden Guardians continued to get better and started looking dangerous just at the right time. They swept TSM in a surprising fashion and then lost to TL before playing TSM in a rematch during the Playoffs. While they would lose a heartbreaking series, every LCS fans could tell this team was legit and ready to take the next step. That is to say, they would have been if the roster stayed together.
In what was a bit of a surprising move, Golden Guardians transferred their entire team minus Hauntzer to 100 Thieves and brought in four rookies and Stixxay. While Ablazeolive has been in Academy for some time and seems ready he will likely have an adjustment period like most rookies. Scouting Grounds pick Niles and his jungler, Iconic, from Maryville will be doing something that has never been done. When they play their first game they will be the first players to ever jump directly from college to the LCS.
With Newbie being another surprising pickup from the Latin America scene, this team comes into the season with low expectations. They will be hoping Stixxay can help bring them along as the one veteran this team has. If he cannot help to soften the initial blows then this roster will definitely be taking its lumps early and often as all the rookies attempt to find their footing in the LCS. There are two players who could make major progress and even contend for a rookie of the year award in Niles and Ablazeolive. Both look ready for the LCS and will need to perform above many analyst’s expectations for this team to have any chance.
The full schedule is still not known. Only the Lock-In teams have been revealed along with the dates for when the team plays in the regular season. They do not include who they face or at what time.
Predicted Lock-In Placement: 9th-10th and 0-4 in Groups
The Lock-In group draft was not kind to Golden Guardians at all. They will, unfortunately, have to face four teams that all have playoff expectations and two or potentially three of them could be contending for an LCS championship at some point this year. Because of that, it feels really unlikely that this team will make any noise during the Lock-In. If they are able to pull off even one win, Golden Guardians fans should be ecstatic.
Even with the doom and gloom prediction for the Lock-In tournament for Golden Guardians, this will be a great way to set a baseline for their young players. They will be getting their first taste of action at the LCS level and will be facing some of the best players in their respective roles. This should be seen as an amazing teaching and learning opportunity for this team considering that these wins and losses have zero effect on their regular-season record.
Predicted Spring Placement: 9th
Potential Range for the Team: 6th-10th
As for the regular season, it will likely be another struggle for Golden Guardians. But, this is why the team was built this way. They are not expected to do much this season other than to learn and grow as much as possible. Golden Guardians are hoping that they can continue to cultivate talent as they did with Closer and FBI. If they can potentially find a cornerstone player in any of their four new players then this season will be seen as a success.
That said, if and only if, this team can find a way to come together and rattle off some wins while all the other LCS teams are also trying to figure things out, then they could try for a playoff push. For the Spring portion of 2020, a playoff spot and likely an early exit has to be the ceiling for this team. Golden Guardians will need a few miracles for anything else to happen. Look for them to finish near or at the bottom of the LCS. Anything else should be received with great applause from GG fans.
“From Our Haus to Yours”