League of Legends: Xpecial Benched for Opening Match
by James Bates
One of the most long-running pros in the League of Legends scene may be on his way to another team, if the latest reports can be believed. While there hasn't been any official statement from Team Dignitas regarding the fate of Alex "Xpecial" Chu it has been noted that he's not in the team's starting lineup for their match against Team EnVyUs on Jun 3rd, their first match of the season. Instead, a much newer face was in the support role, as Terry "BIG" Chuong. The former Echo Fox support will be starting for Dignitas, it appears, which leaves Xpecial fate up for debate, as he was as far from impressive as possible during the NA LCS 2017 Spring Split.
Whether or not Big will prove to be an upgrade on Xpecial, however, is a much more tricky question. Big's "legacy" in competitive play isn't exactly stellar, as both Echo Fox and Team Dragon Knights struggled when he was on their respective rosters. The Dragon Knights were relegated outright, and Echo Fox has been in a constant battle to stay out of the Promotion Tournament since they were formed. Furthermore, Big is best known for his play on melee supports such as Alistar and Braum, neither of which are particularly popular or powerful at the moment, which brings into question his ability to lane effectively. Still, it's not all downsides, as Big has been noted for his shotcalling on his teams in the past, and shotcalling is just what Team Dignitas seemed to be lacking during their inaugural split.
WWG's Matt Best was skeptical about the swap's permanency. "Call it a terrible pun but I'm not big on Big heading to Dignitas," he said. "While the case can be made that he was a bright spot on a terrible TDK, he didn't impress on a mediocre Echo Fox. It's always been about redemption and trying to prove his potential and I simply don't think he'll be able to shine with Dignitas. I expect Xpecial to fill back into the support role barring any personal reasons as to why he's not starting."