At the North American Summer Promotion Tournament, there may be no player as critical to their team’s success as Gold Coin United’s jungler Lucas “Santorin” Larsen.
After a disappointing showing in the Spring Promotion Tournament, there will be extra pressure for Santorin to perform if GCU’s hopes of the NA LCS are to be realized.
When looking through the rosters of the North American Challenger Series, there are few names as recognizable as Santorin’s.
A veteran of the NA LCS, Santorin is a former jungler for Team SoloMid, Team Coast, and most recently NRG eSports. With his wealth of experience, Santorin was expected to be a leader for GCU that could be counted on to provide a consistent level of performance.
While Santorin has excelled against his opponents in the NA CS, he was thoroughly outclassed when it mattered the most in the Spring Promotion Tournament.
Against Team EnVyUs’s Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo and Team Liquid’s Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin, the Dane failed to make an impact and could have easily been considered the weakest element of the GCU roster.
After his failure in the Promotion Tournament, no one would have questioned GCU if they had decided to replace Santorin ahead of the NA CS Summer Split. Instead, Santorin remained in the starting lineup and has led GCU back to their second consecutive NA CS Championship, defeating rivals eUnited 3-1 in the process.
Playing P1 on the 11th of August at 12pm to kick off the promotion tournament! Really excited and hopefully we can come out on top?
— Lucas Larsen (@SantorinLoL) August 7, 2017
In the Summer Promotion Tournament, Santorin will find his NA LCS opponents both boast some of NA’s best jungle talent. Pheonix1 jungler Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung is a favorite to earn NA LCS Rookie of the Split, and his aggressive jungle style could be punishing for Santorin if they fail to maintain proper lane and vision control.
Team Liquid will counter with both Reignover and the newly returned Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, both experienced veterans of the NA LCS who were considered top players at the position in the recent past.
Reignover has already proven his ability to dominate Santorin through smart pathing and predicting Santorin’s routes, and it would not be surprising if Dardoch follows in his footsteps to do the same.
The other NA CS squad in the Promotion Tournament, eUnited, also starts a former World Champion jungler in Choi “DanDy” In-kyu.
A dangerous jungler in combination with eUnited mid laner Lee “GBM” Chang-suk, Santorin turned in a solid performance in the Summer Playoffs where he bested DanDy over the best of five set. Still, DanDy’s experience makes him a jungler that Santorin can ignore at his own peril.
All eyes will be on Santorin at the Summer Promotion Tournament. With franchising on the horizon, this is GCU’s last opportunity to state their case for permanent partnership. If Santorin falters once again, the chances of GCU advancing will be slim at best.