Coming off one of their worst years in organizational history, Immortals (IMT) are looking to rebound in 2023. With a record-breaking—not in a good way—9-28 record this year, Immortals were outperformed by every other team in the LCS, including a Dignitas that went 3-15 in the Summer Split.
Although it is unfortunate for the scene as a whole, the reduced interest and decreasing viewership this year has caused a holistic decrease in the purchasing power and player salaries in North American League of Legends.
This is beneficial to weaker teams like Dignitas and Immortals as they can “afford” higher tier players for their rosters. This was shown to be true when Dignitas signed Santorin and Jensen from Team Liquid and Cloud9 respectively.
Unfortunately, it looks like we might see another year where Immortals bottom out.
Despite retaining two of their players, Immortals are tied for the most changes of any organization this year. Alongside FlyQuest, Immortals have made a total of nine changes. Unlike FlyQuest; however, these changes are all signings. FlyQuest, on the other hand, made two positional changes alongside seven signings.
On the coaching side of things, IMT are looking to improve their systems significantly. Releasing both Gabriel “Invert” Zoltan-Johan and Tomáš “Nightshare” Kněžínek from the primary coaching positions (both were the Head Coach at some point during the season), IMT have signed on four additional coaches to help guide the struggling team to find success.
Starting in 2023, Joshua Alan “Mabrey” Mabrey; Jake Kevin “Xmithie” Puchero; Mervin-Angelo “Dayos” Lachica; and Richard “Draxyr” Yuan will be joining the organization as the Head Coach, Strategic Coach, Systems Coach, and Positional Coach respectively.
Alongside these new coaches, IMT has employed the help of James “Tonington” Kandel and Parth “Parth” Naidu as their new General Manager and Consultant. With such heavy emphasis on their systems, it appears Immortals are focusing on developing their players rather than scouting external talents.
This is seen in their most recent roster changes as well. Focusing on what works, IMT retained Revenge and Kenvi to rebuild their roster around. To fill their vacancies in the mid, ADC, and support positions are Ablazeolive, Tactical, and Fleshy respectively.
Will Immortals Be a Contender in 2023?
Looking at the rest of the LCS rosters, 2023 is not looking great for IMT. They have arguably the worst bottom lane in the league. The only other teams with comparable bottom lanes are TSM and possibly Dignitas. While Chime performed well for TSM last split, Dignitas favored their academy ADC over Neo.
To his credit, Neo was a top performer for a terrible Dignitas roster, but he could not compete with the best ADCs in the league.
Together, these two will have a lot to prove for TSM next split. Dignitas are a little more difficult to pinpoint. Spawn has had some bright spots and shows a lot of potential for them with the help of veteran players like IgNar, Santorin and Jensen; however, IgNar is coming off of one of his worst career performances in history with Immortals.
If they can find some stability with their veterans, Dignitas has top 6 potential; however, this remains to be seen.
In the mid lane, Ablazeolive is undoubtedly an upgrade from PowerOfEvil; however, he is one of only six mid laners from 2022 to remain in the LCS. The additions of Haeri, VicLa, Diplex, and Gori to their respective rosters makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly how well Ablazeolive will do next year. It does not help his case that he was one of the worst performers in 2022.
The jungle is arguably North America’s strongest role. With top tier players like Closer, Inspired, Santorin, and Spica remaining in the LCS next year, Kenvi is likely to be one of the worst junglers in the league. His LCS debut in 2022 was tainted by the meta forcing him onto tank and scaling jungle picks.
This playstyle was completely opposite to what made him so special in the academy scene; however, the recent meta changes are leaning more towards the carry junglers that he is known for.
Unfortunately, it appears the only other jungler worse than him is Bugi. With Pyosik, the 2022 World Champion jungler, entering the league, the jungle pool is only growing stronger. This will be a big year for Kenvi to prove himself among some of the greatest NA junglers to ever do it.
Looking at the top lane, things are potentially positive for IMT. Revenge is by no means a “bad” or “weak” top laner; however, he is in a very similar position as Kenvi. The top lane pool in the LCS is looking very strong. With names like Ssumday, Impact, Summit, and Fudge competing next year, Revenge will have to do a lot to carry against some of the top tier teams.
There is some hope however, as players like Armut, Tenacity, Licorice, Dhokla, and Solo are unproven, weaker, or on a similar level to Revenge. Despite the heavy hitters listed previously, Revenge has potential to push into the top 5 this year.
Read more about the LCS.