Although Echo Fox finished 3rd in the NA LCS Spring Split earlier this year, the organization felt it was necessary to make changes to the over-arcing state of the team. In recent weeks, we’ve seen famed starters like Kim “Fenix” Jae-hun and Adrian “Adrian” Ma take on lesser roles within the organization, resulting in massive speculation regarding the future of the starting roster and the franchise as a whole.
With the team’s starting lineup in question throughout the majority of the Summer Split, it became evident that Echo Fox was grasping for answers and doing everything in their power to hold onto a spot in the playoff race. The league is getting more and more competitive by the day, and Echo Fox realized they couldn’t sit idle while the team’s fate hung in limbo.
It was only a matter of time until they pulled the trigger.
By releasing Adrian, Fenix, and bottom laner Johnny “Altec” Ru at the deadline, Echo Fox freed up space on their roster for a massive overhaul, introducing Tanner “Damonte” Damonte to a full-time starting spot in the mid-lane, as well as Lawrence “Lost” Hui into the fray as the team’s new starting bottom laner.
However, the most substantial and dramatic move for the foxes came right before the 8 p.m. ET deadline. By trading away their starting support player Wang “Feng” Xiao-Feng to Cloud9, Echo Fox opened up room to take on Andy “Smoothie” Ta, instantly promoting him to the team’s starting five.
And now, while there still may be some uncertainty in the bottom and middle positions for Echo Fox, the organization is showing utmost confidence that its post-deadline roster might just be the team’s best shot at making it to the World Championship.
With Smoothie and top laner Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon both being in the conversation for Spring Split MVP at one point, and jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett in the middle of an MVP-caliber split, the ceiling for Echo Fox’s roster is incredibly high. And while Damonte and Lost may be question marks going forward, they’ve both been touted as solid, promising prospects. It’s a safe bet that they’ll eventually start showing signs of progression on the LCS level.
And now, with just 4 weeks remaining in the Summer Split, Echo Fox is on the cusp of a playoff berth in a highly competitive league. As the team sits on top of the standings with a record of 6-4, just 1 game separates the top spot in the NA LCS from 8th place. The league hasn’t been in this heavy of a deadlock in its entire existence, and with 8 games remaining for each team, every moment matters.
For Echo Fox, a team that looked like an unstoppable force at the year’s start, these next few weeks will determine the fate of an organization that has an unparalleled chance to prove it’s worthy of contention and merit.
After years of slugging in North America’s basement, perhaps now is the time when we could finally the team make a run at, and subsequently secure, a Worlds berth. The stage is set, and with a new-look roster filled to the brim with potential and talent alike, 2018 could be Echo Fox’s year.
Photo Credit: Riot Games, League of Legends