Golden Guardians have undergone a promising roster overhaul after taking last place in both splits of the 2018 season.
In the top lane, the Guardians picked up Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell from TSM. Hauntzer was well known for his dominance as a native top laner against top lane imports such as Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon. Hauntzer’s skill proved itself out even among star teammates like Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng.
Unfortunately, Hauntzer struggled to maintain that form through much of 2018 as his ranking among LCS top laners dropped significantly.
In the mid lane, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen joins the ranks in his return to the LCS. Froggen was considered a contender for best mid laner in North America before leaving Echo Fox in 2017 after an eighth place finish. Since then, Froggen has focused on promoting his streaming career before joining Origen for a single split of European Masters play in 2018. Although Froggen has shown his potential for dominance in the past, some fans wonder if he still can remain relevant at the highest levels in season nine after such a long hiatus.
On support, Golden Guardians found their final offseason acquisition in Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung. After joining Team Liquid in 2018, Olleh grabbed two consecutive LCS championships with his bottom lane partner Doublelift. But despite these achievements, Olleh proved to be unreliable when facing the pressure and scrutiny of the international stage that Liquid worked to compete on, even subbing himself out during MSI.
Without a doubt, Olleh has shown his competence, but it is still unclear how he will adapt to a new roster and the new stresses that come with it.
After a disappointing franchise debut in 2018, the Golden Guardians are looking to be a potential contender for the playoffs with the addition of some talented and decorated veteran players.