Where the NA LCS Spring Split allowed Team Dignitas to lay the foundations, the Summer Split has seen the organisation build upwards towards the top. With the acquisitions of AD carry Johnny “Altec” Ru and support Adrian “Adrian” Ma, Dignitas are looking to add additional reinforcements.
As the dust settled on the third week of the North American League Championship Series, Team Dignitas stand proudly at the summit of the league table. The Dignitas lineup has bounced back from their disappointingly early playoff defeat, slingshotting into a three-way tie for first place.
Many teams would use a hot streak to solidify their starters and build upon their momentum, but Team Dignitas has continued to add members to their roster, bringing in strong substitutes Altec and Adrian.
As part of their arrival, Team Dignitas simultaneously parted ways with former starting support Alex “Xpecial” Chu, who joined Phoenix1 and became their immediate starter.
Xpecial had seized the starting role on Team Dignitas in the last split, but has fallen out of favour since the mid-season break as Dignitas opted instead to utilize Terry “Big” Chuong.
“Our goal is to continue to grow and improve as a team.”
“We believe these changes help to strengthen our line-up during our push to qualify for the World Championships. Adrian and Altec will both bring high level skills and experience to our team.”
David “Cop” Roberson, Team Dignitas Head Coach
The departure of Xpecial makes sense for both teams, as Phoenix1 desperately needed a replacement for the ineffective Jordan “Shady” Robinson.
It is clear that Xpecial is a player who would not be comfortable remaining in the shadows, and Phoenix1 gives him an opportunity to not only start, but also the opportunity to play with the reigning NA MVP No “Arrow” Dong-hyeon.
The addition of Altec is logical for Team Dignitas, as ADC is likely the roster position that could benefit the most from gaining a substitute.
With arguably the best top laner in NA in Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, and a time share already in place between the junglers, Altec should push current starter Benjamin “LOD” deMunck to raise his game.
When Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng talked about his return to Team SoloMid after a stint with Team Liquid, he stressed the benefits that could come from a system where the team had two ADCs available to them.
“I’m looking forward to having a six-man roster because honestly, there are times when I have a lapse in motivation – time when I don’t want to play solo queue or put in those extra hours.
“If you look at SKT, they’ve been the best time for a long time now, they always have these substitute players: Pilot and Huni, they even have a mid substitute for Faker!
“It’s just good for extra motivation, to have somebody to bounce ideas off who plays your role too… it’s good all around, there is no downside.”
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng
While Altec should be a beneficial pickup for Team Dignitas, the addition of Adrian is a more questionable move. A former all-star support, Adrian is undoubtedly a talented player who could mechanically challenge Big for the starting position.
Yet the issues for Adrian lie with his presence off of the rift, where personal issues and a reputation as a poor teammate have found him removed from two different teams in the past split.
For Team Dignitas, taking a risk on a potentially troublesome personality such as Adrian does not make sense for a team that is working to continually improve their synergy and team play, gradually acclimatising their Korean talent to the North American region.
The benefits of adding him as a substitute for the support position do not outweigh the risks and Team Dignitas should have heeded the warnings of his exits from Immortals, Phoenix1 and even Team Liquid.
For both Altec and Adrian, it would be a surprise if either player sees much starting time initially. The addition of a second bot lane for Team Dignitas will likely only be a move to strengthen their practice and continue the development of their current starters LOD and Big.
Still, the willingness of Team Dignitas to make moves despite their early success shows a thirst for improvement that is not easily sated.
While Adrian and Altec may not see much time on the Rift, Team Dignitas hopes their presence will be felt through the play of Big and LOD. If the bot lane of Team Dignitas is able to improve, Team Dignitas’s already dangerous roster could challenge for one of the best in NA.