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The 2021 League of Legends esports offseason is coming to a close for the League Championship Series, with most teams having confirmed their final LCS 2022 rosters. Other regions are moving a bit slower, because while South Korea and China lead the pack in international results, the LCS leads the pack in buying a bunch of star players quickly.
This year saw plenty of interesting moves and returns for the LCS, most notably Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg’s return to pro play with Team Liquid and departure from TSM. But others include the drama around the prohibitive clause around Cloud9’s Luka “Perkz” Perković, the many teamless mid laners and the re-signing of every single 2021 starter for 100 Thieves.
Upcomer’s LCS writers put their heads together and rated each org’s offseason moves going into 2022. Note, these are based on confirmed and rumored rosters from Dec. 9, and the tier lists are each writer’s own individual rating. Teams are put into tiers based on how well they upgraded their roster given their respective resources and available players, not as an indication or prediction of who will be the best team in 2022.
This is not a power ranking, but feel free to scream about it as if it is one.
LCS 2021 offseason tier lists
Parkes “parqueso” Ousley
Liquid put together one of the best rosters NA has ever seen, and they have Bjergsen, so they’re a clear winner. Alongside them is 100 Thieves, who I personally want to praise for keeping their roster together after a strong summer, marking the first time an LCS summer champion has done so in eight years.
The controversial picks here are Golden Guardians at A- and Cloud9 at B. GG made changes mid-season in 2021 and went from 3-15 in the spring to 11-16 in the summer. Now they’ve upgraded the three positions that needed upgrades and should easily be playoff contenders this year. For a team that everyone always writes off as an eighth-at-best squad, I think this will be a great year for GG. Cloud9 made a bunch of exciting changes, but I think the roster is going to collapse enough to keep them from Worlds in 2022 — which would be a huge failure — hence the B placement.
Immortals upgraded a bit but look like a weaker 2020 FlyQuest; I’m not sure what the hope is with their roster. And lastly, I have one word for Dignitas: Why?
This year’s LCS teams have either swung for the fences or gone more of a budget route. While no one has said they are fielding a “development team” for 2022, there are some rosters that are greener than the rest.
The obvious choices for the top spots are Cloud9 and Team Liquid. Both are in the swung for the fences category, and they both hit home runs by crafting internationally competitive rosters.
As for everyone else, Evil Geniuses are banking on their talent scouting again by adding Joseph “jojopyun” Joon Pyun and giving the mid laner one of the best domestic supports possible in Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme. CLG also massively improved their roster (possibly due to installing some new upper management), and while it is on the cheaper side, it’s a squad full of talented domestic players. They and Turkish bot laner Fatih “Luger” Güven should surprise come the spring split.
Alone in B Tier is TSM.
This has been one of the most memorable LCS offseasons of all time. The return of Bjerg and him going to Liquid, Nick “LS” De Cesare becoming the head coach of C9 and 100 Thieves creating a remarkable coaching staff and roster from top to bottom are definitely the highlights. These three teams, for obvious reasons, are among the best of the LCS 2022 rosters.
EG have question marks but are definitely the dark horse to take NA, and as a result, they are alone in A tier. TSM have banked on returning talent as well as newcomers out of China’s LoL Development League in mid laner Zhu “Keaiduo” Xiong and support Wei “Shenyi” Zi-Jie, but they are right in the middle of the LCS pecking order, not too bad not too good.
But it’s the C-tier teams I find the most interesting, especially CLG. Every year for some reason, I always think CLG could make some noise if everything goes right. Every year, I’m left disappointed. However, with the team deep-cleaning its house, the 2022 LCS seasons might be different. I really like what the lower-level teams are doing and expect to see this tier list flipped in a couple of years, but CLG to me has the potential to do things now. I don’t expect them to win NA, but I can see a 2020 Golden Guardians run from the squad.
Who do you think had the best offseason? Which LCS 2022 rosters excite you the most? Let us know on Twitter, and use this link to create your very own tier list on TierMaker.