Looking to shake up their roster, FlyQuest eSports announced the signing of former Tempo Storm AD Carry Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek to replace former starter Johnny “Altec” Ru. While once considered one of the most promising ADCs available, Freeze’s play has fallen off and a change at ADC seems puzzling considering FlyQuest’s other roster issues. After this move, FlyQuest have failed to improve their roster significantly and Altec should become a sought after ADC in the NA LCS.
There was once a time where Freeze was considered one of the hottest up-and-coming AD Carries in the western scene. A part of the H2K-Gaming roster that qualified for the 2016 World Championship, Freeze’s fall slowly cumulated with a series of injuries that forced him to take a back seat as H2K made their successful Worlds run with Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou.
At the end of the split, Freeze and H2K would part ways, with Freeze making the jump to the NACS to play on the newly formed team Tempo Storm. While he had a good split for Tempo Storm, Freeze was never the star he was hailed to be, concerning considering the Challenger scene ADC pool is dramatically weaker than the NA LCS.
After Tempo Storm was eliminated from the NACS playoffs by Gold Coin United, Freeze’s future remained an unknown until his recent signing with FlyQuest. After Tempo Storm was eliminated from the NACS playoffs by GCU, Freeze’s future remained an unknown until his recent signing with FlyQuest.
If there was a primary roster issue for FlyQuest, it was not at the ADC position. When looking at the roster, the concern instead should be directed at the top lane and the play of An “Balls” Le. Possibly the worst top laner in the NA LCS, as the season progressed the skill gap between him and other top laners made Balls a liability that forced specific draft patterns and put FlyQuest at a significant disadvantage against the other top NA teams.
Replacing Altec with Freeze is a misplaced solution that does not fix FlyQuest’s primary roster concerns. Unless other major changes are made before the roster lock, FlyQuest can only hope to maintain their top four position, an outcome that seems highly unlikely as the other NA LCS teams continue to improve and synergize while FlyQuest desperately treads water.
When assessing the strength of AD carries across the NA LCS, Altec has been traditionally undervalued and underrated. Posting a KDA in the top half of the league, Altec had multiple standout performances, despite a less than stellar split from his lane partner Daerek “LemonNation” Hart.
Altec becomes even more valuable in the NA LCS when considering his NA residency, and the oft-undervalued experience he brings is in the top half of all the league’s ADCs. A mechanically sound player, while he may not be looked upon to carry many games, Altec will rarely lose lane in a way that allows his opposing number to snowball the game.
In the LCS alone, there should be multiple teams that would consider Altec for at minimum a tryout. Three teams who quickly come to mind are Team Liquid, Echo Fox, and Team EnVyUs. Team Liquid, in particular, has struggled to fill their ADC position since the switch of Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin to the mid lane, and after Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng’s departure, have yet to announce a suitable replacement. With Altec’s NA residency, he would be a perfect fit as a skilled ADC who allows them to keep both of their current imports.
While Freeze’s EU residency does not hurt FlyQuest (they had two extra import slots), the replacement of Altec as the first move for the team does not make sense when looking at other much more pressing holes on their roster. Ultimately the roster move by FlyQuest should ultimately have little impact on their team as a whole, but by contrast Altec could provide significant help to many NA LCS teams desperate for a resident ADC.
NA LCS Transfer Targets Who May Be On The Move In The Summer
Twelve NA Players Who Could Be On The Move
CLICKON examines twelve players who could be added, dropped, or traded in the time before the 2017 summer split.
Stunt – Probability: Moderate
With the recent announcement of Shady being named as the starting support for Phoenix1, Stunt should be high on the list of multiple NA teams looking for an upgrade at the support position. After a breakout rookie season, he has proven he has the potential to be a top tier support in NA. A return to his former organization in Team Liquid would be plausible, or a potential trade to Echo Fox.
Deftly – Probability: Moderate
eUnited's AD Carry is one of the most talked about NA CS talents currently available. After a strong performance at the Promotion Tournament, he may be a viable option for teams in desperate need of ADC help.
LirA – Probability: Low
The most valuable member of EnVyUs's line-up , any rebuild will likely be built around him. If he didn't count as an import, LirA's value would be through the roof as one of the best junglers in NA. With limited teams that have import slots open and his immense value to NV, do not be surprised in LirA stays put.
WildTurtle – Probability: High
Team SoloMid has stated they will move to a six-man roster with the arrival of Doublelift, but in reality whoever does not gain the starting ADC position on TSM will be highly sought after. With multiple teams in NA in desperate need of ADC help, look for Turtle to be on the move.
Adrian – Probability: Moderate
Once an All-Star for the NA LCS, Adrian now finds himself as a free agent after his departure from Team Liquid. While the talent is undeniable, many of Adrian's pocket power picks are currently out of the meta, and rumoured team issues may cause other teams to think twice before signing him.
Piglet – Probability: Moderate
After switching from ADC to mid, Piglet had an up and down season in his new role. For the upcoming split, Piglet may retire or be replaced by another import in the mid lane. If he stays with Team Liquid for next split, do not be surprised to see him move back to his former role of ADC.
FeniX – Probability: Low
The mid laner for Gold Coin United has been regarded as possibly the NA CS's best player this split. After GCU's failure to reach the LCS, he could be an option for teams looking to upgrade their mid, and who have an import slot available. Outside of Team Liquid and NV however, options are limited.
Ninja – Probability: High
Likely the most criticized member of Team EnVyUs, much of the blame for their struggles this split has fallen on Ninja. Currently occupying a valuable import slot, his performance has likely not warranted him staying with the team. Do not be surprised to see him replaced very soon.
Keith – Probability: High
Keith's play has been so poor this split, it has evolved into a meme. With Echo Fox likely to look at other ADC options, Keith's days in the LCS appear numbered. There are few teams in the NA CS who should even consider picking him up at this point.
Doublelift – Probability: Certainty
Doublelift will be returning to TSM to compete for the starting ADC position with WildTurtle. There should be no doubt as to who TSM will choose, considering Doublelift's veteran presence and shot-calling ability.
Shiphtur – Probability: Low
With a wealth of LCS experience, and maybe more importantly resident status, Shiphtur may seem like one of the best available mid lane options for teams looking for mid lane help. Still, the fact the he was not considered for the mid on Team Liquid could be telling as to his perceived value by LCS organizations.
NighT – Probability: High
One of the most talked about possible moves, NighT could soon find himself on another team. The reigning EU Rookie of the Split, NighT is highly sought after as a mid laner. Do not be surprised to find him on a team such as Team Liquid when the next split begins.