Following the conclusion of the 2016 League of Legends competitive season, Immortals allowed every player on the roster to seek better opportunities elsewhere, even releasing their Top Laner, Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon from a contract he’s already signed for the 2017 season in order to let him achieve his life’s dream, playing for SK Telecom T1. With only their Mid Laner, Eugene “Pobelter” Park, coming back to the team for the 2017 season, Immortals had 4 spots to fill to continue their quest to become one of the best teams in NA, which went quite well in the 2016 season.
Trying to rebuild their roster, Immortals announced signing their new Jungler, Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett on December 7th, a day after Pobelter renewed the contract with Immortals. Next, on December 8th, the team was joined by a new rookie AD Carry, Cody “Cody Sun” Sun. After that, on December 9th, we were informed that the team’s Top Laner was to be Lee “Flame” Ho-jong, a long-time Korean veteran. The announcement concerning the team’s Support, however, had to wait, the new player was announced on December 13th, one day after IEM Gyeonggi started. It was to be the Korean Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung.
Looking at the roster of the team, it looks to have a great mix of veterans and your prospects. The veteran spots are taken up by Flame, Pobelter, and Olleh in some respects, while Cody Sun and Dardoch are the young upstarts, who are supposed to light the team up with their enthusiasm. Both Pob and Flame have several years of experience playing professional League of Legends, on teams like Team Curse, Evil Geniuses and Counter Logic Gaming in the case of Pobelter and CJ Entus Blaze, LGD Gaming, Incredible Miracle, and Longzhu Gaming in case of Flame. Even Olleh has several years of professional experience under his belt, having played for KT Rolster Arrows, paiN Gaming and Hong Kong Esports prior to joining Immortals.
The true power of the new roster remains to be seen. We had the first glimpses in IMT’s matches at IEM Gyeonggi, where the team lost to the World Championship Finalists Samsung Galaxy and won against J Team, formerly known as Taipei Assassins. The team has just been assembled, however, so it’s way too early to make any determinations as to the strength of the current Immortals roster. When the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split is halfway through its regular season, we might be able to see how likely to succeed Immortals are. They have the tools to reach the Spring Split Playoffs, if not dominate the region like they did last year, but their success will ultimately depend on the form of the team’s veterans and how Cody Sun and Olleh work together and deal with the spotlight that’s sure to come.