As a rebranded team with a revamped roster featuring three South Korean players, there were always likely to be ‘teething issues’ upon Team Dignitas’ return to the NA LCS. These problems have plagued DIG within the first four weeks of the Spring Split, with the management opting to rehire previous coach David “Cop” Roberson in hopes of fixing their split before it’s too late.
Cop’s extensive league career makes him one of the longest serving veterans still working within the scene. Having played four of his six years with Team Curse and Curse Academy, he eventually left the organization at the end of 2015. Following his departure, many were uncertain as to what the future held for Cop, a player widely regarded as the competitive benchmark for all aspiring AD Carries.
Cop was bought back into Dignitas to replace previous head coach Kim Jung-su, under whom the roster were sliding towards the foot of the table. Analysts pinned the squads failings on communication issues, noting the teams three Koreans as a disruptive factor in the team’s synergy.
— Team Dignitas (@TeamDignitas) 31 January 2017
Advantageously, DIG Mid laner Jang “Keane” Lae-young is fluent in both Korean and English, serving to bridge the linguistic divide between the players. There’s certainly an argument to suggest that in game communication can be short and sweet, not requiring a high level of detailed language to discussing the macro level of the game. Rather, the players rely on an understanding of one another’s play style – a synergistic quality for which the coaching staff are wholly responsible.
This is where Dignitas’ saviour steps forward to fix their communication issues. Cop is half Korean and already has an amazing understanding of the macro game in League of Legends and has quickly stamped his mark on the team. Team Dignitas looked like a completely different team as they notched an impressive 2-0 series victory over one of the best teams in the NA LCS; FlyQuest and shrugging off fellow strugglers Team Liquid, 2-1.
The combination of these strengths has quickly changed how critics view Team Dignitas: instead of being a bottom tier team they are starting to look like they could make a late surge towards the summit of the table. Although Liquid may be one of the worst teams in the LCS at the moment, beating FlyQuest was not seen as a possibility for this Dignitas squad. The team may still be tied for 9th place, but with Cop at the helm, Team Dignitas have the potential to re-stitch their debut season ambitions.