After EDG took an international title at this year's Mid Season Invitational, China's LPL has solidified itself as an international presence to be reckoned with. Ask any player and they'll tell you that their goal is to win worlds. Clearlove, EDG's jungler, stated in his recent interview with Riot Games: "I feel like my main goal wasn't MSI. My main goal is to win the S5 World Championship."
With the addition of two brand new challenger teams, Qiao Gu and Unlimited Potential (some might recognize Samsung Blue's Heart on the latter lineup and LMQ's Mor on the former lineup), China's LPL is at its most competitive yet.
Here are some of the confirmed roster changes:
After EDG won LPL spring split and validated themselves as an international force at this year’s Mid Season Invitational, upsetting crowd favorites SKT T1, they’ve decide to keep their current lineup in tact, with AmazingJ taking the starting position at top lane. Why did they decide to bench Koro1? Some have speculated that this is EDG's attempt at branching out their roster and experimenting with new changes. Either way, coming into the LPL summer split as first seed, EDG looks forward to defending their reigning title as strongest team in China.
Not too many adjustments have been made to the LGD line-up aside from Fan, who will be taking Pyl’s place for a few games so Pyl can recover from his recent jaw surgery. He will return to play in two weeks.
Many may know U as the substitute mid-laner for EDG when Pawn had medical ailments that kept him away from the competitive stage during spring playoffs. For the summer split, U will be taking the starting position as Snake’s new mid-laner, replacing BAKA.
Many might recognize OMG as the team that upset Najin White Shield in the S4 World Championship Quarterfinals. Since then, OMG replaced their ADC with Uzi, to varying degrees of success. OMG underwent a drastic roster makeover after the spring split, with top laner Gogoing and jungler Loveling taken out in place of Xiyang and MLZZ. These roster changes were made in lieu of OMG’s disappointing performance during the LPL Spring Playoffs, with Gogoing unable to adjust to the Cinderhulk meta and a complete lack of organization in rotational play.
Some might recognize King’s brand new line-up as Royal Club’s former line-up. After being kicked out of the LPL standings in relegations, Royal bought VG.P, a second place team in the LSPL that managed to qualify to the LPL, rebranding them to “RNG” or “Royal Never Give Up.”
Now how does that fit in with King? Well, Royal also bought King and Gamtee, two lower tier teams, transferring the entirety of SHR’s original lineup into King. Confusing? We know. That's how China rolls.
There weren’t many changes otherwise. Hu1, the former jungler for Gamtee, is now the substitute jungler for InSec. He was known for scoring a pentakill in his competitive debut in the spring season.
Former LMQ Mor renamed himself TcT and went on to qualify for the LPL as the first place LSPL Challenger series seed. QG is known for their strong performance in the Demacia Cup, a tournament sponsored by Tencent that features the likes of both LPL and LSPL teams. They're known for upsetting popular LPL favorites like WE, Snake and OMG.
RNG is a mix of former Gamtee and King. Letme and Xiaohu both hail from GT while Noheart and Mlxg are from King. Godlike is sitting in as a substitute in top lane and some may know him as the former top laner of LMQ, Ackerman.
Team WE came in as the dark horse at IEM Katowice 2015, but managed to pull an upset over favorites GE Tigers that let them secure a spot in the finals against TSM. After receiving negative criticism and backlash from fans for underperforming in the regular season, YuZhe left the team to join Newbee and since then, Conan has taken his place as support.
We look forward to seeing whether or not EDG will be able to defend their reigning title for the summer split with the removal of Koro1 from the starting lineup. Or will Snake, the dark horse of the spring split, be able to grab the title this time around with the removal of BAKA, who had an arguably smaller champion pool than U? Will OMG be able to return to form after replacing two of their star players?
What roster changes are you most excited see? Let us know in the comments down below.