Team Dignitas On The Path To Success Despite Early Playoff Exit

Team Dignitas fell in the first round of the 2017 Spring Split Playoffs, suffering a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Phoenix1. Although the split ended on a low note, Team Dignitas have shown significant improvement since the midway point of the season. Looking forward, Team Dignitas should continue on the new path they have forged with Head Coach David “Cop” Roberson, continuing their upward trajectory next split.

Team Dignitas was one of the most active organizations in the off-season. The former Apex Gaming upgraded their AD Carry position with the addition of Benjamin “LOD” deMunck, whilst also adding heralded Korean jungler Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun, once considered amongst the top two junglers in the LCK.

Team Dignitas made arguably the biggest acquisition of the off-season when they signed one of Korea’s best top laners in Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho to complete a roster loaded with talent. The organisation additionally revamped their coaching staff in an attempt to better embed their new-found Korean talent and allow them to thrive.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Expectations were high for the new roster, with some “experts” such as Duncan “Thorin” Shields pegging them as a top two team in North America. While the talent was undeniable, the squad failed to find their rhythm under their new coaching staff. After falling to the bottom of the standings with a 1-6 start, Team Dignitas found themselves threatened with relegation halfway through the split and realized major changes were necessary.

A major change for the organization came with the hiring of Cop, and his promotion to Head Coach of the organization. The change was almost immediate, with Dignitas surging in the second half of the split to an 8-3 record and finishing 9-9. Along with Cop’s arrival, DIG saw the emergence of mid laner Jang “Keane” Lae-young. The rise in Keane’s play was a major factor in allowing Team Dignitas to storm back and finish the split .500 and in the sixth playoff position.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Still, their late season success did not translate to the playoffs, where they were cleanly dispatched by third-seeded Phoenix1. Whilst P1 advanced comfortably, the series was far closer than the scoreline would indicate and should not cause the Team Dignitas organization or their fanbase any concern moving into the next split.

Team Dignitas struggled throughout the split to translate early and mid game advantages into late game decisions that would allow them to close out victories. Multiple times they would build significant leads, only to watch their advantage slowly dissipate as their opponents stalled the game out, leaving DIG unsure of what their next move should be.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Cop’s arrival has started to address some of the roster’s prevailing issues and their strong finish to the season should be indicative of the team’s potential moving into the next split. With multiple new roster additions (including multiple members with limited English proficiency), this roster was always going to take time to develop as a cohesive unit. As team communication and synergy continues to improve, Team Dignitas should expect to challenge for a spot near the top of the standings, competing for an invaluable World Championship seed.

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