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Scott Kostov | 4. August 2022

LIDER and River rumored to be the new starters for Golden Guardians LCS roster

After two consecutive weeks in which they lost both games, Golden Guardians of the LCS might be looking to make roster changes.

Golden Guardians LCS struggles

In their fourth year as a part of the LCS family, the Golden Guardians organization is yet to make a significant impact on the league. Despite their best efforts, they have yet to achieve something more than a fifth-place finish in a regular split. Following the two weeks in which they went winless and lost crucial matches to TSM and FlyQuest, Golden Guardians seem to be making changes. Amid this four-game losing streak, they lost the match versus TSM, with whom they are now tied for the seventh playoff spot with a 4-9 record. The Flyquest loss probably stung more, since without it they would be one game away from the sixth spot and closer to benefitting from the meat grinder that is the three-way tie for the third spot.

Giving young players a shot

Despite all of their playoff runs having ended prematurely, nobody can deny the hard work that their talent evaluators have done. Namely, the Golden Guardians’ strategy is to give young and promising players a chance and a foundation upon which they can build. Before he won the 2021 LCS Summer split and the MVP award with the 100 Thieves organization, star jungler Closer came into the LCS through the developmental ranks of Golden Guardians. The bot lane of the mentioned 100 Thieves roster composed of FBI and Huhi, was also a part of GGS at some point. Despite not enjoying much success, GGS are sticking with the formula and seem to be making new roster changes.

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Credit: LCS/ Riot Games

Recent roster changes to the main and academy rosters

Golden Guardians took a shot on EU Solo Queue superstar, Pridestalker, when they acquired him in November 2021. Pridestalker was an enigma coming into the LCS since he was inactive for two years since his last European regional league showing. Despite him being good friends and former teammates with mid-laner LIDER, who Golden Guardians acquired in May of this year, it seems they might not get to play together on the LCS stage.

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GG Pridestalker Credit: Riot Games

New mid jungle duo for Golden Guardians in the LCS

LIDER, who just got his work visa to the USA approved, might be coming directly to the LCS starting spot. Incumbent mid-lane starter, Ablazeolive, was a part of the Golden Guardians Academy roster for their first game yesterday in the Proving Grounds circuit.  With the recent report that came out a few days ago that Korean jungler River has joined the Golden Guardians, it seems they will be fielding a different roster in week seven of the LCS Summer Split. Western audiences might remember River from his 2020 Worlds performance on the PCS Champions PSG Talon and his short stay at Dignitas earlier this year.

Golden Guardians Academy vs EG Prodigies / Play-In Stage / LCS Proving Grounds 2022 Summer from leagueoflegends

 

Clearing import slots with role swap supports

To make all of this possible, since both LIDER and River are imports, it seems that Korean support Olleh is also getting demoted. The starting support for GGS Academy, Prismal, who is an American citizen is also missing from the GGS Academy roster at the Proving Grounds circuit. This clearly signals that there will be changes in both rosters heading into week seven, with the most likely starting five being made up of:

  • Top laner Licorice
  • Jungler River
  • Mid laner LIDER
  • ADC Stixxay
  • Support Prismal

If this holds true, it would be interesting to note that half of the starting LCS supports will be role swaps.  Zven, Huhi, Aphromoo, and CoreJJ are already doing it and finding success and Prismal might be the next in line. Prismal was one of the top ADCs in the LCS Academy for years, but he finally might get his chance to start on the big stage as a support.

Header: Riot Games