Team Dignitas' NA LCS Week 1 Preview: DIG vs. Phoenix1/Cloud9
Tue 17th Jan 2017 - 10:42am
It's almost time. With Week 1 of 2017 NA LCS Spring soon approaching, let's quickly review Team Dignitas' updated roster following this offseason, especially for those who lagged behind. In addition, as people anticipate marquee storylines surrounding personnel changes and last season's results, let's also dive into abbreviated rundowns on the team's first two matchups: Phoenix1 (P1) and Cloud9 (C9).
Top Left to Right: P1 Inori, C9 Impact, and DIG Ssumday. Photographs courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr.
#DIGPhoenix1 Game Preview - January 21, 2017
Battle Theater (NALCS2) 3:00 p.m. PST / 6:00 p.m. EST
Team Dignitas launches its 2017 NA LCS Spring campaign when it takes on Phoenix1 Saturday, January 21. The best-of-three series takes place in Battle Theater (NALCS2) approximately 3:00 p.m. (PST) following Team Envy vs. FlyQuest.
Team Dignitas come into Saturday's game acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers, one of five teams with NBA ties. In doing so, the Philadelphia 76ers became the first traditional American professional sports franchise to own an eSports organization, buying both Apex Gaming and Team Dignitas to form a newly merged Dignitas team.
Backed by the 76ers, Team Dignitas storms back into the NA LCS introducing former KT Rolster top laner Chan-ho "Ssumday" Kim and former Longzhu Gaming jungler Sang-hyun "Chaser" Lee. Rounding out their roster are domestic talents Lae-young "Keane" Jang, former Team Envy AD carry Benjamin "LOD" deMunck, and Alex "Xpecial" Chu. The team also hired a new coaching staff with Jung-su Kim and Jae-seok Park taking over at the helm.
Headlining Team Dignitas' revamped roster is Ssumday, one of the world's top ten League of Legends players in ESPN's August, 2016 individual global rankings. By the end of 2016 LoL Champions Korea (LCK) Summer, Ssumday averaged 3.3 kills (1st), 2.1 deaths (10th), and 6.4 assists (2nd) per game.
Phoenix1 made several roster changes this offseason, acquiring former H2K mid laner Sang-ook "Ryu" Yoo, former KT Rolster AD carry Dong-hyeon "Arrow" No, and former Immortals support Adrian "Adrian" Ma. The team also hired former Team Impulse and Royal Never Give Up coach Sang-chul "Fly" Kim.
Phoenix1 rounds off its roster by retaining Derek "Zig" Shao and one of the most promising domestic junglers in North America with Rami "Inori" Charagh.
Featured in Team Dignitas debut match against Phoenix1 is the Chaser versus Inori match-up. Through his inaugural game in the NA LCS, Chaser looks to resume his 2015 campaign as one of the premier carry jungle threats. Following a similar trend, fans expect Inori to resume his late-2016 form after shining with aggressive jungle picks like Hecarim and Rengar. All eyes will be on both junglers as they traverse the Rift with new weapons in all three lanes.
#DIGCloud9 Game Preview - January 22, 2017
Battle Arena (NALCS1) 3:00 p.m. PST / 6:00 p.m. EST
Team Dignitas will play its second game in Week 1 when it faces 2016 NA LCS Summer Finalists Cloud9. Game 2 from Battle Arena (NALCS1) begins approximately 3:00 p.m. (PST) following TSM vs. Immortals.
The last time the Team Dignitas brand squared off against Cloud9 was February 27, when Cloud9 won 1-0 with Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen going 13-1-0 on Leblanc. Last split, Jensen notably scored a pentakill with Malzahar in his final series against Apex Gaming. Against Cloud9, Keane averaged 5.3 kills, 3 deaths, and 3 assists per game. Xpecial meanwhile averaged 0 kills, 3.3 deaths, and 8.7 assists per game.
Team Dignitas' opponent also made several changes to its LCS roster this offseason by signing former Cloud9 Challenger player Juan "Contractz" Garcia as the team's starting jungler and former Apex Gaming top laner Ji-won "Ray" Jeon as a substitute.
Coming back as starters for Cloud9 include Eon-yeong "Impact" Jung, Jensen, Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi, and Andy "Smoothie" Ta. William "Meteos" Hartman, who returned to the main roster on May 2016 following a year-long hiatus, remains on the team as a substitute.
Headlining this particular series is the top lane matchup between Ssumday and Impact. In his last match against Impact on April 10, 2014, Ssumday accumulated 4 kills, 1 death, and 8 assists with Renekton. During the 2016 NA LCS Regional Qualifiers, Impact averaged 5.3 kills, 2.1 deaths, and 7.3 assists. Three years since their last professional encounter, the two South Korean titans clashing once again may potentially be the biggest storyline during Day 3.
Where to Catch the Action
LoL Esports: Website Broadcast
YouTube: LoL Esports
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