Leaving the spring split behind, it was clear that Immortals needed to make some major changes. Their roster coming into spring was built largely around veteran players. With every starter on the team having at least 6 years of professional play, Immortals tried to focus on winning through experience. They managed to pull off a shocking upset over 100 Thieves in week 3, and even pulled a win over the eventual spring champions in Evil Geniuses; however, EG struggled immensely throughout the split, failing to show any signs of their potential until spring playoffs came around. Aside from those victories, Immortals was only able to defeat CLG and FlyQuest (twice).
Although both EG and CLG fielded predominantly young rosters, the veteran experience of Immortals was useless outside of those matchups. It was proven further ineffective as Immortals closed the split tied with TSM, whom they never managed to beat, with the worst record at 5-13. As the only team unable to pull out a two win weekend, the spring split clearly spelled out a need to rebuild.
Maintaining the Veteran Focus
While it proved to be an ineffective strategy in the spring, Immortals have opted to double down on their veteran strategy…for the most part. After releasing both Destiny and WildTurtle, the starting support and ADC, in April and March, there were two vacancies left open on the team. Arrow, the ADC brought up from Immortals Academy near the end of the split, remains with the team; however, the ADC spot was not given to him. Instead, WildTurtle was replaced by Golden Guardians ADC Lost. This signing, however, was not finalized until after Destiny’s replacement IgNar was acquired in April.
IgNar was under contract with EG throughout the spring split. However, a split off coupled with the incredible success EG support starter Vulcan found with the team, left IgNar eager to return to play. Incredibly successful in the past with both Evil Geniuses and FlyQuest, IgNar was one of the top North American free agents this midseason, behind only Jensen who was acquired by Cloud9.
With IgNar now signed, an incredible opportunity arose in the ADC position. Lost, who had played the split with Golden Guardians, had stated in the past that he had always wanted to play with IgNar. Now given the opportunity, he signed with Immortals in May, and filled the vacancies brought up by Destiny and WildTurtle. Unfortunately, between signing IgNar and Lost, Immortals’s jungler Xerxe announced he would be returning to Astralis in the LEC for the summer split. With yet another spot open on the roster, Immortals opened their eyes to a new roster-building approach.
Young NA Talent
After an incredibly successful campaign by EG on constructing a championship team using native talent (as opposed to imports), it appears that Immortals wanted a taste as well. Losing Xerxe to Astralis in May created yet another opening in the starting lineup. With no talented veteran junglers available as free agents, the opportunity to use an import slot and sign a foreign veteran jungler was on the table. Immortals, hearing the endless calls for investment in native talent, opted out of the foreign market and focused instead on finding a North American player to fill their vacancy.
Luckily for them, they did not have to look any further than the LCS Academy. Despite finishing the split in 7th place, 100 Thieves Academy managed to make it to the grand finals of the Spring Proving Grounds. In doing so, a few stars rose to occasion, and proved that split standings are no indicator of who can perform under pressure. Among those was none other than Kenvi. If you follow the Academy scene in any capacity, you will have heard about Kenvi.
As one of the most talented playmakers in the LCS Academy this split, Kenvi was one of the biggest contributing factors to 100 Thieves Academy’s success. Touting an extensive highlight reel from Proving Grounds alone, Kenvi was the premier pick for a spot on the starting lineup of an LCS team. With every other team retaining their jungler going into summer, Kenvi is up for a real challenge against NA legends like Closer and Blaber; however, if EG have demonstrated anything, it is that NA talent can prevail.
With a complete roster addressing their recent vacancies, Immortals look to rebound from their horrendous spring split and move up the LCS standings. The LCS Summer Split opens with a superweek, a 15-game weekend, you won’t want to miss. Tune in on June 17th to see how the new and improved Immortals lineup performs on their return to the big stage.
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