Echo Fox has the distinct misfortune of having a lot of pretty good players, but the roster adds up to a little less than the sum of its parts. When you break down the specific players in the Echo Fox line-up, they each seem like they would be strong role-players on another team, however, together they end up leaving some fairly significant gaps.
Chief among these gaps: a carry. Each and every member of Echo Fox is a fantastic support style player. These are the players you want to surround your stars with. They will facilitate meaningful plays, effectively manage minion waves and never fall too far behind their opponent. But you can’t build a team out of those.
This was a consistent problem for Echo Fox during 2016 — their first year in the NA LCS — when they came in 10th in the Spring Split and 7th in the Summer with both rosters lacking a player who could carry consistently.
The 2017 roster, which will remain unchanged from the Spring Split, has two of the most support-focused players in the league in Looper and Keith. Both players found their niche as utility players through significant trial and error, moving through just about every play style on the way to what has worked best for them. In fact, both players were in the top half of average assist leaders for their roles during the Spring Split despite Echo Fox having the fourth lowest kills per game of any team in the NA LCS.
The future gets a little brighter when we look at Froggen, the team’s longest standing LCS member, who has a long-held reputation as a player resigned to hard farming into the late game before he makes an impact. However, last split he began branching out and playing more traditional, more modern, carry champions. While the team struggled overall, Froggen himself found success with the style, though it isn’t clear yet whether or not Echo Fox can consistently rely on him as their go to play maker.
It’s worth noting that despite his increase in carry play, Froggen certainly didn’t shirk the role of utility midlaner completely, ending the Spring Split with the highest average assists of any player in the role.
The one potential wildcard in the line-up is jungler, Akaadian. After an impressive breakout during the Spring Split — his first in the LCS — it’s easy to see a version of Echo Fox that aims their rosters extensive creative energy towards Akaadian’s preferred carry junglers.
In fact, he even managed to end the split with the highest average kills of any jungler that started the entire season. The question the team will have to own is whether or not they can look to a first year player to be their team’s primary carry.
Even more worrying, whether or not a jungler can reliably occupy that kind of position in a team in the current meta. While the plan hasn’t quite worked for any other team, they also haven’t tried it with a player with the kind of pure aggression that Akaadian brings to his jungle game.