Looking Ahead: The Future of Team EnVyUs' League of Legends Team

by James Bates

team envyus wallpaper by irninjuh-d9dg6r1
(Photo: Team EnVyUs)

This weekend EnVyUs overcame their first major hurdle as a team: staying the NA LCS for another split. The team ended the 2017 Spring Split in tenth place, and were immediately shipped off to the promotion tournament. While they did eventually triumph over both Gold Coin United and eUnited, their performance was anything but consistent or, for that matter, impressive. Thus, while they may have won the battle for their lives, the team is soon going to have to figure out the next pressing question: how to stay out of the 2017 Summer Split's Promotion Tournament.

There's little question about what would happen if Team EnVyUs simply decided to go into the next split with the exact same roster. While they might not get tenth place again, there's little doubt that they'd get higher than ninth. We can safely expect that some major changes within Team Liquid will raise them out of the relegation zone, meaning that the only team particularly close to EnVyUs' level that would be left in the NA LCS is Echo Fox, a team that has certainly had better highs that EnVyUs and hasn't ever stooped quite as low. If EnVyUs want to make it out of the relegation zone next split, it's pretty clear that some changes will have to be made.

Where should those changes be targetted, though? The most obvious target is Hakuho, whose got a reputation for being a strong voice for the team, but a equally strong reputation for being something of a feeder. While Matt managed to dethrone him this split in the contest for most deaths over the course of a split, it's worth pointing out that it's the first split that Hakuho has participated in the NA LCS and not been the player to die the most. Interestingly, a suitable replacement may have come to light in this very tournament, as eUnited's support, Zeyzal, certainly raised some eyebrows over the course of the promotion tournament with some rather exceptional carry performances. Considering Zeyzal has a strong reputation for shotcalling himself, it's not entirely unrealistic to imagine that EnVyUs might look in that direction for some new homegrown talent.

The other position that's in sore need of a revamp is the mid lane. While Ninja isn't terrible he's also an import. If your imported Korean is earning stats that are roughly comparable to Goldenglue then you need to reevaluate whether he's really the best player you can get your hands on. While EnVyUs has been vocal about wanting another Korean on the team in order to facilitate communication with LiRa, one must wonder if it must be this Korean player, as Ninja has done little over his career to distinguish himself, at least in North America. Considering how much EnVyUs must have shelled out to get LiRa, they should probably look into getting a mid laner that actually is worth the import slot they consume, or just stick to homegrown talent if they're willing to settle.

Obviously, there's no way to know right now whether Team EnVyUs plans to make any changes or if they even think changes need to be made. What we can know,though, is that their current roster has already clearly not cut it in the LCS. Just because they managed to outperform the NACS teams this split doesn't mean that they can continue to do that indefinitely, a lesson that NRG eSports learned quickly and viciously. Time isn't something that Team EnVyUs has much of, and how this offseason goes for them will tell us quite a lot about what we can expect from this team come Summer Split.

By James Bates

A wanna-be novelist turned coach turned journalist, James is living proof that you never know where you'll end up. He's in love with narrative-heavy games, which he proves by spending his days writing about a game with less lore than Doom. His greatest regret in life is not having his name in the credits of Life is Strange, and it's galvanized him to truly pursue developing games that don't begin in packed taverns and use D20s.