The initial Summer Split expectations for Immortals were tepid at best. Fading over the last few weeks of the Spring Split, Immortals’ roster appeared to have taken a turn for the worse after the departure of who many considered to be their best player, jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett. Defying the odds, Immortals have stormed out of the gate.
As the Spring Split came to a close, a word that could easily be used to describe Immortals split would be “underwhelming”. With two big signings in the off-season, Immortals looked like a team primed to make a big splash in the NA LCS, yet the team failed to find consistency.
After only one split would part ways with Dardoch in a trade with Counter Logic Gaming that brought jungler Jake “Xmithie” Puchero to the team.
Many viewed the trade as a downgrade for Immortals, one of NA’s most promising talents in Dardoch being swapped for the quiet and unexciting Xmithie. But after their 2-0 dismantling of their trade partner CLG, Immortals looks to have gotten the better end of the deal.
Once considered one of NA’s best junglers, Xmithie appears reborn with Immortals. A steadying presence for the team, Xmithie has been dominant on the rift, enabling both of his solo lanes to shine after a poor split previously for both mid lane Eugene “Pobelter” park and top laner Lee “Flame” Ho-jong.
— lolesports (@lolesports) June 23, 2017
While Immortals solo lanes have started to deliver on their expectations, the most noticeable growth for the team has been in the bot lane.
A rookie last split, AD carry Cody “Cody Sun” Sun has begun to assert himself as the top tier ADC Immortals believed he could be. With his support partner Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung elevating his play to an almost All-Star level, their bottom lane has developed into one of NA’s best.
Despite their improvements in individual play, the most noticeable change for Immortals has been the dramatic improvement in their macro play.
While part of this could be contributed to Xmithie’s presence in game, much of it also may stem from a change in the coaching staff that included the arrival of Kim “SSong” Sang-soo.
A perfect example of their stellar macro play and objective focus was in game 2 of their series against CLG where despite being down 9-2 in kills at twenty minutes into the game, Immortals still held a 1k gold advantage.
By taking towers and gaining CS advantages when CLG was chasing kills, Immortals significantly outplayed their opponents. This is a promising trend for Immortals that if it can continue should hold them steady at the top of the standings.
Immortals have proven with their win over CLG that their early start is not a fluke. A dramatically improved squad from just a few months ago, they now have victories over CLG, Team SoloMid, and Cloud9. With convincing victories over the traditional top three of NA (by a score of 6-1), Immortals may be the new frontrunners in North America.