The League of Legends offseason is always filled with either excitement or disappointment for a lot of esports fans. Last year had some twists but this year is on a whole different level as there were a lot of changes that make a lot of us question how it came to this conclusion. Let’s take a look at some of the most surprising 2022 offseason changes that have left us dumbstruck and wanting for an explanation. We’ll be taking a look at changes in all of the major regions.
The Most Surprising 2022 Offseason Changes
After the conclusion of Worlds 2021, the floodgates have formally opened as players’ contracts began expiring and organizations began scouting players to add to their rosters. As usual, a lot of favorite names in esports organizations began leaving and joining other orgs while others decided to re-sign in the hopes of winning with their current teams. The 2022 offseason changes involve a lot of drama and controversy which makes it even more exciting than it usually is.
We’ve compiled a list of what we think are the most surprising 2021 offseason changes from all the major regions to determine which ones are the most unexpected. We’re ranking them according to how unlikely it was for this to happen and how a lot of the community took the news as extremely exciting or devastating. Take note that this article was written on December 1, 2021 which might explain why some changes after that might not have been covered in this article.
10. River Joins Dignitas
PSG. Talon is widely considered to be the most dominant team in the PCS. River was one of the players that helped in bring the team the success that it had over the past season. Their dominant clean sweep in the Summer Season made us believe that PSG.Talon has found the perfect combination of players that will secure them a path to worlds. We’ve even placed them higher in our Top 10 Worlds 2021 Teams Tier List due to the confidence that we had for this team.
We didn’t really expect any news to come out of PSG.Talon, thinking that they’ll run it back with the exact same roster or if they did, they’d receive offers from the LPL, which has high offers and an extremely competitive environment. This is why we found it surprising when we heard that River decided to move to the LCS and join Dignitas. A lot of Korean players join the region regularly but they usually arrive directly from the LCK, which is why we considered this as one of the most surprising 2022 offseason changes.
9. Fudge Swaps to Mid Lane
Lane swaps have been increasingly popular in the past year and it seems that another player has decided to try his luck in another role moving into the 2022 season. Fudge is a player that started out as a name that a lot of Cloud9 fans didn’t really have a lot of expectations for but developed into one of the best top laners in the LCS. He became known as a reliable carry top laner in the region and has only begun to make a name for himself in that role as a rookie.
When Perkz’s departure was announced, a lot of names have come up to replace him in the mid lane now that the team has more budget to work with. No one really expected that instead of finding a mid laner, the team decided to swap Fudge into the Mid Lane to fill Perkz’s shoes. While it’s true that the champion pools in Mid and Top are fairly similar, we didn’t expect a young top laner to make the move so early into his career which earns it a spot at our 2022 offseason changes ranking.
8. Bwipo, Hans Sama, and Inspired Move to NA
The LCS always receives talent from all over the globe and the fact that they do almost never surprises anyone anymore since we all know that the region has the best offers in the world. However, the LCS usually gets washed-up players or individuals that had no offers in their respective regions. The most competitive players that are at the top of their game choose to remain in their home regions to eventually increase their chances of winning the World Championships.
Bwipo, Hans Sama, and Inspired are all neither washed-up players or look like individuals that won’t receive any offers from an LEC team. In fact, Inspired re-signed with Rogue just a month before Worlds 2021 which is why it’s incredibly surprising that it was suddenly announced that he would join Evil Geniuses. Hans Sama was also a top name that was speculated to get offers from teams like G2 Esports but decided to go to NA instead. For Bwipo, perhaps it was expected he would leave Fnatic but not go to NA.
7. Summit Joins Cloud9
If you’re a long-time LCK fan, you know that Summit is one of the best top laners in the region. After a long time being a member of Liiv Sandbox, his contract expired, and had the option to go to any team since the region has such a shortage of top laners with the retirement of Khan and hiatus of Nuguri. At best, he would have gotten an offer to join Damwon Kia as they were struggling to find a top laner before they ultimately decided to sign Gen.G’s substitute top laner – Burdol.
Summit may have been a veteran in the region but we didn’t really see him as a player that is nearing his end. Of course, Summit’s pride wouldn’t allow him to go to T1 since he has some beef with Faker. Going to the LCS to join Cloud9 was probably a sensible choice if he’s looking to cash out from his career. Whether or not he’s planning to continue his competitive career playing in the LCS or go back to the LCK depends on him. It’s still one of the wilder 2022 offseason changes so far.
6. Doinb Leaves FunPlus Phoenix
In terms of 2022 offseason changes, Doinb leaving FPX is probably one of the more controversial ones on the list. Despite the FunPlus Phoenix’s disappointing showing at the Worlds 2021 tournament, Doinb didn’t seem like a player that was at the top of the list of getting booted from the org, even though he did underperform during the tournament. When all the steam from Worlds started to clear, there were rumors that FPX would change their roster.
Despite those reports, Doinb was still the face of FunPlus Phoenix and is probably one of the biggest names in the LPL both domestically and internationally. It just doesn’t make sense for Doinb to get removed. Although, it is possible that Doinb left the team on his own accord but the fact that FPX didn’t make an offer for him to stay is still questionable. The 2022 offseason changes all leave us with a lot of questions and this one is definitely at the top of the list of the ones that do.
5. Nuguri Takes Competitive Hiatus
Just like Doinb, Nuguri also severely underperformed in Worlds 2021 despite being considered one of the best top laners in the world before the tournament. It was already surprising when Nuguri decided to leave Damwon Gaming after winning the 2020 World Championships with the team. He mentioned that he wanted to test his own skills at the LPL where the competition in the role is extremely rich, and so we thought that he would stay for more than one season.
When FPX announced that they will let go of their entire roster following their disastrous run at Worlds 2021, we though that Nuguri would get picked up by Damwon Kia after Khan’s departure and the severe lack of top laners in the LCK. There were rumors that T1, Nongshim Redforce, and Damwon Kia were fighting to get Nuguri for their starter. However, in one of the most surprising 2022 offseason changes, he decided to take a competitive hiatus despite all the offers in front of him.
4. G2 Lets Go Of Everyone
G2 Esports is another team whom the fans had high expectations for but fell flat when it mattered. Despite the disappointing season, we didn’t really expect that the organization would let go of every single member on the League of Legends team aside from Caps and Jankos. By every member, we don’t just mean the League of Legends players since they also removed the coaching staff, analysts, scouts, and every other member of the LoL support staff.
A lot of fans agree that G2 Esports needed a full rebuild but some question why EVERYONE had to go. Rekkles got kicked only one season after joining the season. The rumored addition of Targamas and Flakked was good news but fans are afraid that the org traded experience for potential. Regardless, 2022 offseason changes in EU are definitely getting out of control since there have been a lot of questionable changes that is surrounded by controversy so far.
3. Bjergsen Joins Team Liquid
When it comes to TSM, there’s no other player that best represents this organization more than Bjergsen. He has been the face of TSM ever since he became a member and when he decided to announce his retirement, it felt like the end of an era in the LCS. A semblance of hope lit up when he announced that he would be TSM’s new head coach, so it still felt like he was a core member of the team even though he wasn’t the one competing on stage.
Retirement meant that we wouldn’t see him play anymore or at least, that’s what we believed. We were already surprised that he announced that he would come back to pro play. That might have meant that he would come back to the TSM roster to retake his place once again. However, Bjergsen chose to leave TSM and join one of their rivals instead in Team Liquid. Fans of TSM were terribly devastated about this news and felt like the org was slowly crumbling down, especially since Reginald was facing some drama at the same time.
2. Adam Leaves Fnatic In Controversial Manner
Adam has been Fnatic’s biggest surprise this year as he went from being a rookie in the LEC to a Worlds contender. When Fnatic beat G2 Esports in the lower-bracket, everyone thought that this is the team that would be EU’s top competitor at Worlds and the it was the at the back of Adam pulling out his crazy picks. Adam even mentioned how Wunder didn’t take him seriously during scrims and disrespected him with a Yuumi top pick against his signature Olaf.
Wunder replacing Adam despite the history was a surprise enough in itself to place him on the list of our most surprising 2022 offseason changes. However, he posted a Twitlonger exposing how he didn’t like the circumstance on how Upset decided to leave them at Worlds 2021. Upset answers back with his own reply to the situation. In the end, the Fnatic fandom was left split by this drama, not knowing which of the two players they wanted to side with.
1. Rekkles Joins The LFL
The most surprising move during this season is undoubtedly the fact that Rekkles decided to go to the LFL to join KCorp instead of playing in the LEC. Rekkles is considered the best AD Carry in Europe and holds the title of being the King in the North. Even though he didn’t manage to hard-carry G2 Esports to the World Championships, the way he played in the regular season wasn’t even remotely close to being bad in any way. It’s not like he hard-griefed his team either.
There are some rumors that he didn’t receive any offers from the LEC teams but it might be more believable to think that he, himself, didn’t accept any offer to play for the region. There were also rumors that he would instead join Ninja’s in Pyjamas in the LPL since he mentioned that he would like to end his career in that region. The LFL has been producing top-tier talent and has had high-quality games so it might make sense that he wanted to play in this region.