Which players are looking to make an impact going into week 5 of the NA LCS? Here are a few that are looking to stand tall and help lead their teams to victory.
Every player in the North American League of Legends Championship Series has a role to play, and these players are doing their part to boost their team wherever possible.
Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho is the current top laner for 100 Thieves. Coming to NA from different regions can be a stressful event, having to learn new customs, new languages, and meeting new teams can be daunting for anyone. Fortunately for NA fans, Ssumday has proven that he is quick to adapt, and very eager to show off his skills. Formerly of KT Rolster in the Korean scene, Ssumday demonstrated consistency in his play, and while KT may not have had a lot of joy in the post-season, their regular season play was always excellent. Ssumday came to NA in 2017 to join Team Dignitas, and though they got off to a rocky start, they were able to prove their worth in the summer split, finishing 5th overall and battling it out with CLG for third place in the playoffs. When Dignitas was unable to secure an LCS slot, Ssumday signed on with 100 Thieves for the 2018 season.
Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett is the current jungler for Echo Fox. Fans of the NA LCS will no doubt recognise Dardoch, his many roster swaps drawing no small amount of criticism. Fortunately for Echo Fox, Dardoch seems to have learned from his previous experiences, and has settled in quite well with his new team. A former “Rookie of the Split”, Dardochs mechanical ability has never been in question, with an aggressive playstyle and a knack for knowing exactly where his enemy counterpart is. Favouring champions with a lot of utility, Dardoch looks set to prove once and for all that he is a dominant force in the jungle.
Eugene “Pobelter” Park is the current mid laner for Team Liquid. A born and raised North American talent, Pobelter has to compete in a world where most of his contemporaries are drafted from other regions, due to a perceived lack of natural talent. With these circumstances, Pobelter has made a name for himself as perhaps the best North American mid laner, able to compete with rivals such as Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, and Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg. Able to fulfil a variety of roles in the mid lane, Pobelter has shown aptitude on champions designed both to assassinate his opponents, as well as champions more suited for drawn out fights. Pobelter stands ready to prove that sometimes, it’s better to buy domestic.
Apollo “Apollo” Price is the current AD Carry for Clutch Gaming. Having been around the Challenger and LCS scene since 2014, Apollo has had a relatively quiet career, flying under the radar for the most part. While some perceived him as being less skilled than his contemporaries, it soon came to be apparent that Apollo’s issue was simply that he was consistent without being flashy. In a region full of playmaking AD Carries more than happy to take the spotlight, Apollo seems content to play the role that will best help his team. With the ability to play most, if not all, AD Carry champions, Apollo is ready to do his job and help his team progress.
Andy “Smoothie” Ta is the current support for Cloud9. Smoothie has been playing in the North American scene since 2015, when he qualified for the NA LCS with Team Dragon Knights. TDK had a rough time however, and Smoothie left to join Team Liquid in late 2015, before again leaving there to join Cloud9 in early 2016. Now holding down the starting support role, Smoothie has been making waves, with his new found shot calling responsibilities helping his team rise to the top. An aggressive, playmaking support, Smoothie is more than happy to get physical with the enemy team, utilizing champions that provide a lot of utility and crowd control to help take down his opponents. Having demonstrated an aptitude for champions such as Alistar, Smoothie ensures that his team is always poised to make proactive moves in order to secure victory.
These are the players that are worth paying attention to in future games. For more information on when they’ll be playing next, check out the official schedule for week 5, or to see which players to keep an eye on in the European LCS, check out our article here.