The League of Legends offseason might not have many tournaments, but that doesn’t mean it’s a boring time for eSports. Every year, regional shuffles and roster moves provide fans with plenty of action during the break.
While much of the action occurs among weaker teams, even World Championship attendees are not immune to the chaos of roster-mania. Typically, a few teams who drowned in groups for the umpteenth time make some changes ahead of the new season.
Here are a few players who might not make the cut for their current organisations in 2018:
5. Yu-Hao “Mouse” Chen, EDward Gaming
Since his starting debut in the 2016 Summer split, Mouse has always been one of the weakest links on EDG.
Partly-excused by limited playtime, his first Worlds appearance was certainly underwhelming, with the 2017 championship showing little sign of improvement.
Mouse bottomed out the score sheet, averaging an abysmal -21.3 CS differential at 10 minutes. Whilst not entirely at fault for EDG’s underperformance, he and Clearlove were undoubtedly the weakest members of China’s number one seed this Worlds.
Fortunately, EDG have several potential replacements at hand. Zhao “Aodi” Au-Di subbed for Mouse at Worlds and, though he is yet to appear internationally, he has played a few games in the LPL.
While he still has a lot to learn, his first few games on carry champions seemed promising for a player of his age. Perhaps next year he will replace as Mouse as EDG’s top lane experiment.
4. Shi-Yu “Mlxg” Liu, Royal Never Give Up
It may seem odd to cut a player after reaching the semifinals of the World Championship, but that is the situation that RNG find themselves in.
Mlxg has consistently underperformed throughout 2017, a permanent hinderance to the Chinese squad’s development. In the LPL Summer final, his dismal play heavily contributed to their 3-2 loss.
At Worlds, the jungler fell short once again in a clutch series. Each player on RNG has shown tremendous growth this year except for Mlxg; it might be time to find a new jungler for the best all-Chinese team.
3. Wang-ho “Peanut” Han, SK Telecom T1
Peanut has had a rough tenure with SK Telecom T1. After a career-defining season of broken records and triumphant titles with the ROX Tigers, Peanut’s time with SKT has been somewhat anticlimactic.
Here and there he showed flashes of brilliance, but his overall play could not hold a candle up to his 2016 season. His year of decline ended on yet another sour note, as he failed to grant his team their third straight Worlds victory.
The loss came after months of uncertainty about the jungle role, as Peanut and Kang “Blank” Sun-gu battled for the starting position.
Peanut is far from a bad player, however, his time with SKT has not lived up to expectations and, frankly, not up to par with his true ability. It may be time to find him a new home, where he can better display his skills for the game.
2. Gang-yun “Trick” Kim, G2 Esports
Of all the possible departures on this list, Trick’s is the most likely.
Since their unfortunate groups exit, G2 eSports has all but confirmed changes to their two-year roster and for some, the move is a long time coming.
Trick’s consistency has faltered significantly since his first year with the team. His numbers have violent spiked and fallen many times over the past few splits.
Feel really sad and sorry maybe its my last game in eu team thank you guys for cheer us and sorry didnt make group out stage
— Trick / KangYun Kim (@G2Trick) October 13, 2017
It will be hard not to miss one of the two players who stuck around for G2’s incredible dynasty. After four straight EU LCS championships in a row, it will feel odd to see G2 lift a trophy without their franchise jungler.
1. Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen, Team SoloMid
This tournament was the last straw for Svenskeren. Ever since joining the team, Sven has looked out of place in what has been considered a superstar North-American lineup.
As far back as last Worlds, rumours swirled that the Dane would be kicked for his uninspiring performance. Yet, partially due to his synergy with Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Sven stuck around for another year.
Now, a year later, he has not shown much improvement. While he is not getting caught quite as much, his impact has also noticeably dropped.
In an effort to cut down on his mistakes, Sven cut down his impact. Once again, he seemed out of his element against the abundance of world class junglers at the 2017 World Championship.