The NA LCS trade deadline has arrived and current first place team, Echo Fox, has made a few blockbuster moves under the wire. According to a press release from Echo Fox, the team will be adding a new member while shaking up its starting roster and releasing one player.
Most of Echo Fox’s mid-season dealings have dealt specifically with the team’s bottom lane, which had been under-performing for much of the season so far, despite the overall strong performance of the team. Longtime NA LCS ADC and Echo Fox starter Johnny “Altec” Ru, has been released as a part of Echo Fox’s trade deals, while current NA LCS Academy ADC Lawrence “Lost” Hui will move up to the starting roster.
Joining Hui in the bottom lane is Echo Fox’s largest new acquisition, former Cloud9 star support Andy “Smoothie” Ta. Ta has, over the past several years, been widely considered as one of North America’s best supports, making the NA LCS All-Pro Team in all of the last three splits. At the beginning of Cloud9’s extremely tumultuous Summer Split, Ta was benched, and has only been allowed to play two games so far this split.
Ta will be replacing Wang “Feng” Xiao-Feng as Echo Fox’s starting support, a job that was owned by Adrian Ma heading into the split, who was benched as well.
While not a part of the official Echo Fox press release, mid laner Jae “Fenix” Hoon Kim also appears to have also been released, as he tweeted on Tuesday.
I'm currently a free agent. Thanks to @echofoxgg for providing me a great opportunity to play on great organization.— Jae Hoon Kim (@Midfenix) July 24, 2018
I'm still fully motivated and confident with my plays.
DMs open, email- firstname.lastname@example.org
There numerous changes for Echo Fox don’t seem too far out of line with the moves of the rest of the league. However, with many teams in the North American LCS struggling to put together more than one win in a row, it’s difficult to say if the teams’ new philosophy on releasing veteran players is a good one or not.