The Golden Guardians have finalized their 2022 LCS roster and, well, it’s a lot better than anyone had expected! We’ve become accustomed to GGS being a middle-of-the-pack contender, a team that can pack a punch but never really go places. Because of this, we’re elated beyond measure whenever they manage to assemble a roster worthy of attention! Be that as it may, they’re fun to watch and are as feisty as it gets.
This lineup will not end the long-established status quo, nor will it challenge a spot near the very top of the region. However, it will be highly competitive and could potentially pull off a few seismic upsets further down the line.
What more could you ask for?
It’s a nice mix of grizzled veterans (two former champions, no less) and a couple of promising young greenhorns; so, there’s ample room for them to grow and evolve as a five-man unit. The more seasoned among them are still motivated to compete at the highest levels (and prove their doubters wrong), whereas the younger ones have someone they can learn from as they attempt to leave their mark on the LCS.
Kudos to the GGS coaching staff and Nick “Inero” Smith — they’ve navigated the off-season wonderfully and have assembled a roster worthy of mentioning.
2022 Golden Guardians LCS Roster Revealed
The following five players will all compete under the Golden Guardians banner throughout the 2022 LCS competitive season:
Top Lane: Eric “Licorice” Ritchie
Jungle: Milo “Pridestalkr” Wehnes [MOUZ > GGS]
Mid Lane: Nicholas Antonio “Ablazeolive” Abbott
AD Carry: Lawrence “Lost” Sze Yuy Hui [TSM FTX > GGS]
Support: Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung
Quite solid, all things considered. Great, even, given the circumstances. The Guardians never had as much money to work with as some other LCS orgs (to say nothing of the post-pandemic landscape), nor are they an age-old organization everyone wants to sign with. Simply put, they’re a small and, comparatively, insignificant brand. It might be a harsh way of phrasing it, but it is by no means incorrect.
So the fact that they’ve ended up with such a good lineup is nothing short of phenomenal, especially after the wholly underwhelming, “developmental” roster they had fielded throughout 2021.
Pridestalkr is a well-known jungler who had competed in the LEC nearly half a decade ago. It wasn’t a particularly impressive stint, but he was as young and inexperienced as they come, and he was never really set up for success. Far from it, in fact.
For the last three years, he’s been wrecking the house in the ERLs and making a name for himself. As such, he’s more than worthy of a starting spot. Still, most of us thought he’d end up in the LEC — not the LCS. But it seems that the ERLs have exploded in popularity so much that they’ve become a scouting ground for North American teams as well. On first thought, it’s unexpected, but it makes a lot of sense the more you think about it.
In any case, if Pridestalkr can put his best foot forward and play as well as he can, there’s no doubt in our mind that he’ll quickly rise through the ranks in NA and put on a show.
A Fascinating Bottom Lane Duo
Lost and Olleh is a pairing no one expected, but we’re glad to say that it’s a pretty positive surprise overall. There’s a good chance they’ll enter 2022 motivated beyond measure and could, therefore, perform a lot better than expected. They’re not going to beat the brakes off of Victor “FBI” Huang and Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun, but they’ll almost certainly be competitive.
And that’s the leitmotif of this whole roster. They have a fair bit of potential on paper and could, by all means, surprise us in the best of ways. Whether that’ll end up happening remains to be seen, but there’s a reason for optimism.
We also have Licorice in top and Ablazeolive in mid, two players who’ve earned their spot on the starting lineup and have performed very well back in Summer. Ablazeolive, in particular, was low-key one of the best mid laners in NA. He was fourth in Kill Participation (67.4%), third in GD10 and XPD10, fourth in CSD10, and third in Damage Per Minute (515). [Stephen “Triple” Li’s numbers weren’t taken into account as he had played only nine games in total on the LCS stage].
That’s… weirdly dominant for a player who didn’t get that much attention. His phenomenal Zoe plays were often highlighted, but he flew under the radar other than that. He was GGS’ most important catalyst throughout the year, and that’ll probably remain the case in 2022 as well. Fortunately, he’ll have an aggressive, mechanically gifted jungler by his side, so we could very well see the best and most dangerous Ablazeolive yet!
While it’s still too early to make any prediction, we’d be surprised if this Golden Guardians roster doesn’t qualify for the playoffs at least once next year. They have all the right tools to compete with the best teams in North America, and while they’re not favored to win all too often, at least they’ll put up a fight and entertain everyone in the process as well.
All in all, this 2022 Golden Guardians LCS roster is more than worthy of our undivided attention. The LCS will return to action on January 14, so we’ll get our first look at this (arguably quite undervalued) roster in just a few weeks!