With Worlds 2022 about to begin, the Liga Latinoamérica’s Isurus are one of the 24 teams from across the world that are making their way to the biggest event of the year. Every team entering the League of Legends World Championship have the same goal; to stand at the top, uncontested, and hoist the Season 12 Summoner’s Cup high.
After a three-year absence from the international stage, Isurus is back at Worlds with a completely different roster than their 2019 campaign — sans their legendary mid-laner — and after being on the positive side of a heartbreaking Game 5 thriller in the LLA finals.
Isurus (LLA) Worlds 2022 starting roster breakdown
- Top: Kang “ADD” Geon-mo| Signed in December 2021, formerly a member of Team Aze.
- Jungle: Jesús Alberto “Grell” Loya Trujillo| Signed in May 2022, formerly a member of Estral Esports.
- Mid: Édgar Ali “Seiya” Bracamontes Munguía| Signed in November 2018, formerly a member of Rainbow7.
- Bot: Omar André “Gavotto” Gavotto | Signed in December 2021, formerly a member of Team Aze.
- Support: Son “Jelly” Ho-gyeong | Signed in April 2021, formerly a member of Afreeca Freecs.
How they got here
After a fourth-place finish in the 2021 LLA summer playoffs, Isurus looked at the off-season as an opportunity to retool and rebuild their roster around their two star players; mid-laner Seiya, who has been the heart and soul of the team for years, and their shiny new Korean support player Jelly, who came over in 2021 after spending time with Afreeca Freecs in the League Champions Korea. The team added another Korean import with ADD who spent time in the League Pro League as a substitute with Bilibili Gaming and Suning and filled out the rest of their initial 2022 roster with bot laner Gavotto who spent a majority of 2021 in the LLA second division alongside ADD. And finally, they took a flyer on veteran Lucas Antonio “Froststrike” Espíndola Valverde.
The 2022 LLA opening season was a rough one for the retooled Isurus squad. With six of the eight teams making playoffs, getting to post-season play wasn’t very hard, especially with the bottom two teams being exceptionally bad. However, Isurus was the sixth and final team to qualify for playoffs with just a 5-9 record that get four of their five wins against the bottom two teams. However, the team had a little spark in them as they reeled off two lower bracket best of five wins including a 3-0 sweep against the third-seeded Infinity Esports. Their run came to an end in the third round as they lost a heartbreaker five-game series against the top-seeded Rainbow7. With the season ending on good terms and the team outperforming their seed significantly, they came into the closing season with expectations. Isurus did bring in a new jungler though with Grell, who in the 2021 LLA closing season was one of the best performing junglers in the league according to player of the game awards.
IT DOESN'T GET CLOSER THAN THIS:
The final moments of game 5 in the #LLA Final! pic.twitter.com/GUs0ep2RsN
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) August 28, 2022
With the team seemingly on the same page, the 2022 LLA closing season was a huge 180. The team went 9-5 with wins against every team in the league on their way to a second seed in the LLA closing season playoffs. In Round 1 of the upper bracket, Isurus got revenge against R7 as they were on the winning side of a five-game thriller to push themselves to the upper bracket finals. However, they were trounced by the top-seeded Estral Esports and sent down to the lower bracket finals. After making quick work of Team Aze, Isurus set up a rematch against Estral Esports for the title and a trip to Worlds 2022. In that finals, both teams traded blow for blow and game for game to set up a silver scrapes situation between these clearly evenly matched teams. The two best teams in the region put on a show in Game 5 as the game itself dragged past 40-minute mark and the gold even. Estral Esports aced Isurus and attempted a game-winning push. With only Seiya and Jelly alive, Isurus tried their hardest to prevent Estral Esports from getting the final hits on the nexus and with a brilliant defense, Isurus did just that. From what was a game-winning push from Estral Esports, Isurus made it game-losing as they simply walked down mid-lane, ended the series, and pushed themselves to Worlds 2022 as the LLA representative.
Players to Watch
Stats-wise, Isurus doesn’t have any players that stand out, particularly among their LLA peers but all of them are in the top three in each role. But the player people should keep an eye on is their mid-laner Seiya.
Seiya has been playing League of Legends for a very long time and over the course of his nearly 10-year professional career, he has also made a few international appearances. Worlds 2017, Worlds 2010, the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational and MSI 2019. Even at the age of 26, Seiya is still playing at an elite level which is evidenced by his performance in the 2022 LLA Closing playoffs. Seiya led all players in player of the game awards and was the MVP in Isurus’ Worlds clinching base defense. The regular season stats dont do Seiya justice but the playoff stats do. According to Oracleselixer.com, Seiya led all players in KDA throughout the playoffs and in the finals, he put up an unreal statline of 24/8/59 on four different champions in the five-game series.
How Isurus can succeed at Worlds 2022
Just making it to Worlds 2022 is good enough for Isurus but with three of the five players on the team from Mexico and the play-in stage being in Mexico City, this team has real home-field advantage. For the team to succeed, they need to make their country proud which they can do by causing an upset or two. Unfortunately for them, they drew the harder of the two groups but in a best-of-one-round robin, it’s not impossible for Isurus to land a couple of haymakers against the tougher competition. A play-in knockout stage birth is the probable ceiling and they can reach it if Seiya and crew play at their best. If not, at least it’s not a far travel back home.
About the Author
ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.