Saturday, January 22

Team Vitality Makes It Official: Perkz, Alphari, and Carzzy All Confirmed for 2022

The 2022 Team Vitality line-up has finally been unveiled and, needless to say, there aren’t any surprises! Barney “Alphari” Morris, Luka “Perkz” Perković, and Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság will all be joining Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek and Labros “Labrov” Papoutsakis for the forthcoming competitive season.

It goes without saying, but this is undoubtedly one of the best and most stacked line-ups in LEC history! Whether it’ll succeed and leave a mark still remains to be seen, though; superteams rarely panned out in the past and there’s a very good reason why: it’s less about having five of the best players you can find and more about striking a fine balance between seasoned veterans who are still at the peak of their powers and relatively inexperienced (but mighty promising) rookies.

Having five legends under one roof is rarely a recipe for success: they all have their own ideas on how the game should be played and, more often than not, an unchecked ego. Now, we don’t think that’ll happen with this 2022 Team Vitality line-up in particular, but it’s still something worth mentioning. Food for thought, if you will.

Lofty Goals and Expectations

Anything but winning the LEC (or, at worst, finishing second) would be a seismic debacle for a line-up as stacked as this one — and they’re surely aware of it as well. Vitality have cut no corners whatsoever and signed arguably the very best players they could. Moreover, it seems that these players have been hand-picked, as they complement each other quite nicely. They’re all mechanically gifted, unrelenting and bafflingly aggressive, and are always willing to trade blows on the Rift no matter the odds. They’re feisty, is what they are, and they have the talent to back it all up.

Still, all of that doesn’t necessarily have to result in a spectacular showing on the LEC stage. We’re confident in their chances, of course, but we all need to temper our expectations as there’s a very real chance they won’t hit the ground running but will, instead, gradually improve and — eventually — realize their full potential further down the line.

Speaking of their potential, it is astounding in-depth. We have the best Western player of all time in Perkz (who just so happens to have eight LEC titles, a Mid-Season Invitational medal, and an LCS trophy), the two-time back-to-back LEC champion Carzzy, and a top lane behemoth who will now have his best shot yet at etching his name in history — and he’s more than ready for the monumental task at hand.

“After eight years of building Team Vitality to be the biggest French brand in esports and gaming, the organization is accelerating its development to become a European powerhouse by investing in the most accomplished players in esports history. With the ambition to get the final of the World Championship, Team Vitality is creating a top-performance model. Bringing together a powerful mix of established athletes, promising rookies, and experienced coaching staff alongside top-of-the-range infrastructure and performance centers. Team Vitality has a truly international roster with players from 10 nationalities across both LEC and LFL rosters,” as per the official announcement.

With so many exceptional players, winning the LEC is all but guaranteed, right? Well, it’s not that simple.

What’s Realistic?

The European region is stacked with exceptional line-ups and teams capable of challenging for the LEC throne. There’s just no other way to put it. So, with that in mind, Team Vitality will face an uphill battle come 2022, even though they’re favored to overcome most — if not all — of said obstacles.

Fnatic and G2 Esports are arguably their biggest opposition and, frankly, we’re still not convinced that Vitality are better “pound-for-pound.” Their players might be more popular, they might have more imposing pedigrees, but they’re not necessarily better than, say, Fnatic’s 2022 line-up. In fact, one could argue that the boys in black and orange have a more diverse arsenal of weapons and can play a wider range of styles and strategies. This is obviously just a (relatively premature) assumption, but it is based on empirical evidence.

In other words: don’t expect this Vitality line-up to come out the gates swinging, wrecking house like their lives depend on it. That will happen at some point — how could it not given their staggering talent and depth — but they’ll need a few weeks to develop synergy and get on the same page, weeks during which they might drop a few games to seemingly unimpressive gatekeepers and bottom-dwellers.

Once that acclimation period ends, though, this 2022 Team Vitality roster is all but guaranteed to deliver. And, frankly, we can’t wait to see them in action! There’s no weak link to speak of, no player that could get exploited nor an insufficiently capable member who’s going to fumble and fail once things go down to the wire. Labrov is obviously the least experienced of the bunch, but he’s performed incredibly well given the circumstances and has kept his job for a reason.

This line-up seemingly has it all: grizzled veterans, cerebral shotcallers, aggressive playmakers, and a metric ton of bravado — it echoes much of what made Team Vitality great in the past. Only this time, however, they’re not a one-dimensional challenger with a puncher’s chance but rather a layered, astonishingly capable behemoth who’s one of the biggest frontrunners to win it all.

If they can conjure up an identity to call their own, figure out their in-game roles and responsibilities, and find a way to beat Fnatic in both Best of 1s and Best of 5s, they’ll not only become LEC champions but will represent Europe on both international stages next year. There’s a lot of pressure on the Vitality boys, but they’re well equipped to handle it, no doubt.

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