At long last, the LEC’s offseason has come to an end. Team Vitality has officially revealed its five starters for the 2023 LEC Winter Split, marking the end of all ten LEC teams’ roster announcements.
Vitality has made sweeping changes across its entire League of Legends division. On the player roster, only mid laner Luka “Perkz” Perković reprises the role he had in 2022. On the top side of the map, Vitality fields Kyeong “Photon” Gyu-tae. The South Korean makes his LEC debut with Vitality, after spending 2022 on T1’s academy team in the LCK CL.
Jungler Zhou “Bo” Yang-Bo makes his long-awaited appearance on the Vitality lineup. The team hired the prodigal jungler in 2022 after he had been handed a four-month ban for match-fixing in the Chinese academy league. According to Vitality, Bo first had to work on his English proficiency, but the team is now confident enough to field him.
Vitality found its new bot lane duo closer to home. Former Misfits Gaming bot laner Matúš “Neon” Jakubčík joins the team after a breakout year in 2022, which saw him climb the ranks to one of the LEC’s best bot laners. Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser stands by his side in 2023; the support player has departed his long-time home of MAD Lions to don Vitality’s jersey.
The coaching department of Vitality also changes for the 2023 season. Former head coach Louis-Victor “Mephisto” Legendre has been replaced by Misfits’ 2022 coach Alexander “Carter” Cartwright.
The 2022 superteam disaster
Vitality’s sweeping changes come after a catastrophic 2022 season. The team invested a lot of money in building its team, bringing together what many considered top-tier talent in every role. But the first cracks in the ‘superteam’ project showed early on. During the Spring Split, Vitality struggled to find a coherent playstyle as a team. They largely relied on its talented individuals to show up on a given match day, with middling results. The team limped across the playoffs cutoff line with a 9-9 record. In the playoffs, Vitality clutched out a victory over Excel Exports, but fell to eventual champion G2 Esports later, and ended the split in fifth place.
In between the Spring Split and Summer Split, Vitality replaced jungler Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek with Kang “Haru” Min-seung, hoping to improve the team’s coordination in the late game. It worked, but Vitality’s early game turned much worse for it. Once again, Vitality struggled severely to play a team game. Fate was not as kind on the team in the Summer Split. Though the race for the playoffs was incredibly close in the Summer Split, Vitality ultimately failed to make it to the top six.
Vitality gets a new shot at finding glory starting Saturday, Jan. 21st, when the LEC Winter Split kicks off.