It’s time to take a look at the most promising players from the 2020 North America Academy League, players who might be the ones to dominate the LCS or even the world stage in the future.
The competition in NA Academy has increased in the last couple of splits, as several players have been promoted to the LCS with success, including Edward “Tactical” Ra and Colin “Kumo” Zhao. The league is still full of young talent, but who has the most potential to play on the big stage?
Jackson “Evolved” Dohan has been a big part of TSM Academy and their success in the current summer split. The team is currently in first place with a record of 9-3, chasing another trophy for the organization.
Evolved was formerly known as a Katarina one-trick, but has since expanded his champion pool. He started his professional career in discussions with Evil Geniuses after being drafted at the 2019 LCS Scouting Grounds, but was only associated the team for mere days before TSM signed him to their academy team.
Since his debut at TSM Academy things, have been moving fast. The 2020 North America Academy League Spring Split went well as TSM reached the semifinals before losing to Cloud9 Academy, who went on to win the split. In the summer, Evolved has stepped up even further and improved along with his team. He currently sits on the best KDA for all mid laners at 6.6. Evolved has also proven that he is no longer a one-trick after playing five different champions in the summer, carrying games on all of them.
The future of Evolved is looking bright, but it’s hard to imagine that he will get to play in the LCS while at TSM. Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg is currently the heart of the organization and one of its co-owners, so it would most likely require another team to pick up the talented mid laner.
Another mid laner that cannot be overlooked is Nicholas “Ablazeolive” Abbott. He has been in the scene for years, but has never been able to make it to the LCS. Ablazeolive started his career at TSM Academy where he played for two years, winning the 2019 North America Academy League Spring Playoffs trophy.
Ablazeolive has been a consistent force in academy for several splits, but heavy competition between LCS mid laners has postponed his debut.
Ablazeolive is currently playing for Golden Guardians Academy alongside veterans Darshan “ZionSpartan” Upadhyaya and Yuri “Keith” Jew. The team is tied for third with a 7-5 record and has proven to be a solid squad that can make a run in the playoffs.
Looking at the statistics, Ablazeolive is a force to be reckoned with. He currently has the second best gold differential at 10 minutes of all mid laners in the league, showcasing that he is an effective laner. Ablazeolive has also been put on utility champions in several games, such as Galio and Karma, which has required him to give up his own lane priority for his team to succeed. That he has maintained strong lane statistics in spite of this is telling of his abilities.
The talented bot laner has been playing in academy for several splits, with some performances on the LCS stage during his time on Echo Fox. Lost never found his breakthrough on the big stage, but his recent performance on TSM Academy shows that it might happen soon.
Together with laning partner Erik “Treatz” Wessén, he has been able to consistently outperform the other bot laners in the league. Lost is currently leading the league with the most total kills and the highest KDA, proving that he is a reliable carry for his team.
As is the case with teammate Evolved, it’s hard to see that Lost will get a shot in the LCS with Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng currently being the starting bot laner for TSM. Lost will have to prove himself further and hope to be picked up by another LCS team for next season. He seems to deserve it.