The French top laner has finally made his way across the pond to join Immortals for 2020. Last year was a doozy, as Misfits continuously had gameplay issues. Eventually, the organization subbed in most of the Misfits Premier players, and sOAZ did not play the back half of Summer Split. Eighth and ninth place finishes must have been quite bitter for sOAZ. At 2018 Worlds, Fnatic started Bwipo almost every game, while sOAZ faded into the background. Ever since then he has not found much success, and pressure is building. Moving to North America shows he is trying to turn yet another new leaf, but a bust in 2020 could very well make it his last year.
As an individual, Dardoch does not necessarily have a ton of pressure to perform in 2020. He played all of 2019 on OpTic Academy, and many fans have been asking for his return to LCS. But, as TSM’s fifth jungler since 2018 Spring Split, pressure is mounting on this position. Until they have a stronger, more consistent split, any jungler TSM brings on will be under the spotlight. A bad showing this year could be detrimental for both parties. Dardoch risks a return to Academy; TSM risks another disappointment for the fans.
Another Academy player rising to LCS for a second chance, Goldenglue joins Golden Guardians for 2020. On Cloud9 Academy last year, Goldenglue placed second in Spring Split and third-fourth in Summer Split. He has had starting opportunities with several different teams over the years, but just never seems to stick. Considering Golden Guardians perceived lackluster roster for 2020, and the overall mid lane talent pool in LCS, Goldenglue may be under more pressure than ever. Cloud9 had Jensen in 2018. Team Liquid had Piglet, Slooshi and Mickey in 2017. Echo Fox had Froggen in 2016. Golden Guardians only has Ablazeolive on Academy for 2020, so they don’t have the same safety net to fall back on if Goldenglue falls through.
Cloud9 and Sneaky part ways, and Zven enters the fold. Unfortunately, he was unable to find proper success with TSM over the last two years, and now he replaces another fan-favorite North American AD carry. Zven will be under a lot of pressure in 2020. Cloud9 essentially dropped Sneaky in favor of a new bottom lane, so they will be expecting a return on this investment. The fans are feeling pretty thrown off by this change, so they will be quick to jump on Zven if the roster starts failing. And Zven is probably putting a lot of pressure on himself to at least make it to Worlds, which he has missed since coming to North America in 2018.
Aphromoo’s situation is similar to sOAZ – a veteran player who has a history of success, but completely failed last year and now finds himself on a completely new team in 2020. He joins Dignitas for 2020, alongside rookie bottom laner Johnsun. Aphromoo went to Worlds with CLG in 2016, but suffered jungle issues and missed Worlds in 2017. He then moved to 100 Thieves, where they struggled with more roster issues but at least made Worlds 2018. Last year, they changed the roster a bit, but could not quite settle on which import players to use, and Aphromoo quickly declined from 2018 Spring Split MVP to only receiving one All-Pro vote across all of 2019. If Dignitas have similar roster issues and fail to perform with Huni, Grig and Froggen, then organizations will probably start questioning Aphromoo’s role within these teams.
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