The Summer Split will be the fourth in the NA LCS for Immortals, but the first one following a disappointment. After two straight top-two regular season finishes, Immortals plummeted out of the playoff picture with a 8-10 regular season record, good for 7th place in the standings.
It’s difficult not to see this roster as a bit of a step backward in that regard, as the Spring Split’s experiment was to bring together a roster with better synergy than the successful 2016 version. After finishing in seventh, the decision was made that these changes didn’t quite work out and that a change had to happen.
To understand the Immortals 2017 Summer Split roster, we first have to be familiar with the parts that didn’t work in the Spring Split. Namely, the group of players they were asking to work together.
It would be entirely reckless to speculate on what exactly the team went through or which personal relationships may or may not have been strained, but what we can say for sure is that whatever issues they were having behind the scenes manifested themselves clearly on the LCS stage.
While Dardoch may be one of North America’s best junglers, he clearly wasn’t the right fit for this particular Immortals roster. He was able to apply constant pressure, but the players around him were never quite conducive to his preferred carry-oriented jungle style.
Meanwhile, those same players needed a jungler who could put them in the best position to succeed. In most of Immortals’ best games from the Spring Split, Flame was simply given the tools he needed to make plays and carry the games.
With this in mind, it’s hard to think of a better jungler than Xmithie to take over on the Immortals roster. While Xmithie does, on occasion, play carry junglers, his home is on utility-focused champions, and he is at his best when he is helping his team succeed.
Just look at his former team Counter Logic Gaming during the Spring Split. Mid laner Huhi was never a carry player, nor could he ever truly be one. But when Xmithie was at the top of his game, he often made Huhi look like a potent carry mid laner in the NA LCS. To take good teams’ role players and put them in a place to carry is a daunting task that takes a very special kind of talent, and no one in the NA LCS has that talent quite like Xmithie.
The only remaining question for the roster is whether Pobelter and Flame — both veterans of a sort — are capable of being the players Immortals put their trust in to be playmakers during key games.
In a similar vein, there are more than a few questions surrounding the Immortals bottom lane that likely won’t be cleared up before the split starts. For one, who is going to be their starting support, Olleh or Stunt? More importantly, how will the continuing development of Cody Sun — who will be entering his second LCS Split this summer — expand the horizons of Immortals as a team, and will he develop into the kind of player they can rely on to consistently outperform his competition?
While we can’t say for sure, it seems the atmosphere of the 2017 Spring Split for Immortals was heated. By bringing in one of North America’s most supportive and consistent junglers, Immortals has opened up a whole new element to their team that wasn’t present before. The biggest question now is whether or not support was all the Immortals carries really needed to succeed.