As the North American Challenger Series comes to a close, multiple members of the league are being promoted or signing contracts with the teams of the NA LCS. Whether teams are trying out new talent in a lost season, or trying to fix internal issues before playoffs, multiple teams have made the decision to take the next step with NA CS players.
For Counter Logic Gaming, a place in the LCS for jungler Omar “OmarGod” Amin was only a matter of time. This was apparent when OmarGod was drafted first overall in the inaugural NA Scouting Grounds, hinting at how talented and valuable CLG perceives him to be. As a member of CLG Academy, OmarGod has been a standout player for CLG Academy despite the team’s struggles as a whole.
During the first eight weeks of the Split, OmarGod had made spot appearances with the main roster, proving he could handle the pressure, talent, and advanced teamwork the NA LCS has compared to the NA CS. With starting jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett failing to integrate into the team-centric culture CLG is known for, CLG was confident enough in OmarGod’s abilities to trade Dardoch to Team Liquid and promote OmarGod to the starting position.
Promoting OmarGod should be beneficial to the long term success of the team. A talented jungler, the ability to play well within a team should raise the ceiling for just how good CLG could be. In his few games in the LCS OmarGod has proven himself a capable jungler, and as a rookie, he still has significant potential to grow. With two weeks remaining in the Summer Split OmarGod will have ample time to continue to adjust before the playoffs.
For a team already eliminated from the playoffs, Pheonix1 announced the signing of former tempo Storm mid laner Marcin “Selfie” Wolski. After losing starter Yoo “Ryu” Sang-ook to reported burnout, Pheonix1 had turned to former mid laner Choi “Pirean” Jun-sik for their previous week. Arguably the best mid laner in the NA CS, Selfie is a strong mid lane addition for any team that has an open import slot. His signing by an LCS squad is not surprising, although few would have guessed he would have an opportunity to play in the LCS this Split.
With the season all but over for Pheonix1, this move makes a lot of sense when looking towards the future. Pheonix1 still has an opportunity to make the World Championship through the gauntlet, and with over a month to prepare Selfie may prove to be the best option for Pheonix1 in the mid lane. With rising jungler Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung and reigning MVPNo “Arrow” Dong-hyeon, Pheonix1 remains a dangerous team for those hoping to earn NA’s third seed at Worlds.
With multiple players already making the jump to the LCS, do not be surprised if more roster changes are announced in the upcoming weeks. Team Liquid has also been extremely active, adding three new players to their roster in the past week. With four of the NA LCS teams practically eliminated from playoff contention, there is little to lose by trying out new talent for their roster next season.