Does NRG have what it takes to retain its spot at the top of the LCS mountain?
While there have been some exciting moves ahead of the 2024 LCS Spring Split, the team that should be spoken about the most is NRG. NRG is coming off the back of a fantastic Summer Split, the organization's first in quite some time after taking over the spot from Counter Logic Gaming. Not only did they qualify for their first World Championship, they did so by taking down Cloud9 – an organization looking to become only the third team to win three LCS titles in a row. And to top it all off, NRG brought North America back to the Worlds knockout stage, the first to do so since Cloud9.
NRG has made one roster change to their championship-winning roster, but does it have what it takes to retain their crown? ESTNN will dive into the 2024 NRG roster, including the players they kept and how expectations have changed now that they are no longer seen as the underdogs.
New Year, Same NRG, Kinda
Even when a team typically wins a championship, they usually disband following the end of their Worlds campaign. This isn’t the case with NRG, who are retaining four out of the five players who took down Cloud9 in the Summer and 2-0’d G2 to be the only Western team to make it out of the Swiss Stage for Worlds 2023.
Niship “Dhokla” Doshi, Juan Arturo “Contractz” Garcia, Cristian “Palafox” Palafox, and Ian Victor “FBI” Huang will all be returning to the organization that gave many of them their first trophy. With the departure of Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun, NRG looked to former Golden Guardians support Choi “huhi” Jae-hyun to fill the void left by the aggressive Korean Support.
Huhi in for igNar is a brilliant and obvious decision for the NRG management. Huhi is considered one of the best supports in the region and has an already established relationship with FBI. The pair spent time both on Golden Guardians and then 100 Thieves, with the latter earning them a championship in 2022. Keeping almost the 2023 roster is an important statement for the NRG organization. They are faithful to the players who brought them to the top of the LCS mountain and are not looking to cash in on their hottest commodities. This is a good sign for the NRG fans that this organization is committed to winning and is not looking for a big payday from a couple of their star players.
NRG Must Adopt A New Mindset
NRG can no longer be considered the underdogs, even when teams such as Cloud9 and FlyQuest pick up star-studded rosters. This mindset will not be able to cut it now. Even if the players are more than capable, they probably did not expect to be accelerated into the “big-time” as quickly as they did during the Summer Split. NRG went from being the hunters to the hunted, and with a statement victory against G2 under their belts, nothing but first place should be acceptable for this NRG roster.
NRG’s players should convincingly channel the confidence they would have received from taking down two of the most prominent organizations in Western League of Legends history in a dominant fashion. This is an opportunity for a player like Palafox to cement himself in the history books. Not many North American mid-laners have seen prolonged success; this is a chance for him to put his name amongst the best in LCS history.
Here is the full NRG roster for the 2024 season:
- Top: Dhokla
- Jungle: Contractz
- Mid: Palafox
- ADC: FBI
- Support: huhi
Stay tuned to ESTNN for the latest League of Legends news and updates.