The 2022 LCS Spring Split is right around the corner with the start of the Lock In Tournament. Teams are split into two groups for this event. Group A consists of 100 Thieves, Cloud9, FlyQuest, Golden Guardians and TSM. Group B includes CLG, Dignitas, Team Liquid, Immortals and Evil Geniuses. With a brand new roster Golden Guardians will surely be looking to figure out where they are at to start the season. Before it all begins, here is a Golden Guardians 2022 LCS preview.
[Related: All 2022 LCS Rosters and Academy Rosters]
2021 Summer Review
Golden Guardians were in a weird spot heading into 2021. Due to them losing their roster to 100 Thieves and budget cuts due to covid, they went cheap. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily as it allowed them to do a developmental roster. In this, they found some success. Ablazeolive is the standout as he almost won Rookie of the Year and dominated the Mid Lane. Even with the roster swaps with Solo, Chime, Niles and Newbie, GGs had some respectable wins. The team only got better in the final few weeks of the season when they acquired Licorice from FlyQuest.
So heading into 2022, they have two solid players to build around after a rebuild year. Not too bad.
Golden Guardians 2022 LCS Spring Split Roster
Golden Guardians 2022 LCS Coaches:
One of the underappreciated parts of Golden Guardians has always been their coaching staff. It’s usually so good to the point where other teams yoink some people from them. Case and point is with CLG. CLG grabbed Jonathon McDaniel to be their new GM. Jonathan was GG’s assistant GM. ThinkCard and Croissant who worked on Golden Guardians Academy were also grabbed by CLG as their new coaches. So Golden Guardians had to replace a good amount of staff. Starting with Academy, they got Akaadian to be their new head coach. ChuChuz, Spookz and Swiper3rR from GGA all got promoted to the LCS team. Finally, Hustlin and Stixxay joined the LCS team as Assistant Coaches.
Golden Guardians 2022 LCS Players:
While coaches are great, there needs to be a solid team backing them for success. Golden Guardians are doing a good job on this front. Their roster seems to be a team that can not be slept on. Starting off with the returning members, Licorice in his few games on Golden Guardians dominated. So much so, that he earned Player of the Week on his first week with the team. Now is this necessarily an indicator of his long-term success? No, but what it does show is his ability to still compete at a high level after a bad season with FlyQuest. Licorice is a rock that Golden Guardians wants to build their franchise around.
Ablazeolive was one of the biggest surprises of 2022. In a year with Jiizuke, Perkz, Jensen, Abbedagge, and PowerOfEvil, Ablaze’s lane stats were incredible. He had a GD10 of 139, XPD10 of 88 and a CSD10 of 2.8. His DPM was also third in the LCS at 515. Keep in mind, these stats are while he was on a weaker roster. Danny might of won Rookie of the Year, but Ablazeolive certainly deserved it as well. If he can keep up this level of performance in 2022, in a year where Jensen, Jiizuke and Perkz are all not in the league, Ablazeolive might be the best laner in the LCS.
The new additions to the Golden Guardians are just as exciting. Pride, formerly known as Pridestalker, is a hyper-aggressive Jungler. In 2021, he popped off on a lot of the fast clear style Junglers like Zed, Xin, Talon, Lillia and Udyr. With this, he was able to get some massive leads including his 290 GD10 and 165 XP10 in EU Masters. In the Play-Ins for EU Masters, he was able to get figures like 522 GD10 and 484 XPD10.
These stats are impressive, but the question is whether Pride will be able to keep up this level of productivity versus stronger Junglers. Inero has a good eye for scouting players that he think has a lot of potential. Pride could certainly be one of them, but there is some room for doubt. Will he be better than Icon? Probably. Will he be the next Closer? Probably not, but it’s possible. Time will tell how good Pride is at adapting to the higher level of competition and meta changes away from fast clear champions.
Lost is one of the most tragic cases of not playing to a player’s strength. If fans just watched him in the LCS in 2021, one would be justified to think his performance was rather mediocre. Lost though isn’t a weak side player. In Academy, he was known for his strong side hard carry ADC style. On TSM, he was not enabled to play this way, for better or worse.
Golden Guardians are probably going to enable him to play how he wants. This is why Golden Guardians signed a support like Olleh who has experience with this exact same style of play. From Doublelift to Cody Sun, Olleh has played with a lot of resource-heavy laners. This isn’t to say that Golden Guardians NEED to play through Bot Lane every game. Licorice can play carry style champions. In most games though, fans should expect GGs to put resources Mid and Bot.
Predicted Spring Placement: 6th
Potential Range for the Team: 7th-5th
Golden Guardians are a surprisingly strong team. While they won’t probably make a deep playoff run or make Worlds, this is a team that has the ability to take games off of better squads. The main question is Pride. If Pride is able to keep up his style of play at the LCS level, GGs are going to be scary. If he is forced to be a little bit less aggressive or play more for his lanes, a bit of that spark will be lost, no pun intended.
The other question is Olleh. Olleh should be a good fit for this team, but there might be some rust after not playing professionally for over a year and a half. To be fair to Olleh, he was dominating Solo Queue in Korea, but it’s not the same. Lost is a great fit for Olleh’s style and the Bot Lane should be spicy.
Sixth seems like a fair place to put Golden Guardians at the end of the split with a plus-minus of 1. They have stronger individual players than teams like CLG, IMT or FlyQuest. If a team like TSM, EG or Cloud9 blow up or perform under expectations, GGs could yoink that spot.
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