For any professional League of Legends organization, the goal remains the same: win their respective league and perform well at international tournaments. As a result, these teams make major changes in the offseason to increase their chances of success for the next year.
Some teams strike gold during free agency, whether they build a lineup that finds supreme synergy or helps develop young prospects into promising talents. But in many instances around the world, teams fail to find the right pieces to fit with each other, even if they might look like a great combination on paper.
From supposed superteams to big-name acquisitions, here are the most disappointing roster moves that never panned out in competitive League.
Liquid builds a forgettable superteam
When Liquid brought over two of the best European players to the LCS, fans were reeling. When Bjergsen then came out of retirement and left TSM to join the roster, the collective League community was sent into a frenzy. It felt unfair to have CoreJJ, Bjergsen, Bwipo, Hans sama, and Santorin competing on the same team, like when NBA fans watched Kevin Durant join the Golden State Warriors.
But unlike the Warriors in 2017, this superteam failed to take home any championships. From underperforming stars to clashing ideas around strategy, Liquid struggled with consistency as they eventually lost to Evil Geniuses in both the Spring and Summer Playoffs. For a roster with such explosive acquisitions, they went out with a whimper.
Bilibili Gaming signs Uzi for nine games
Uzi has always been considered as one of the best players in League history, but his career was cut short because of debilitating wrist issues that forced him to retire. When Bilibili Gaming announced the legendary AD carry was returning, longtime League fans were ready to believe in the Mad Dog again.
Unfortunately for those hoping in the 25-year-old veteran, things were too good to be true. He ended up only playing a grand total of nine games before getting sent back to the sidelines and replaced by Doggo as starting marksman.
The team barely crested into the playoffs and were promptly eliminated in both League seasons as they look to rebuild and revamp the lineup for 2023.
Vitality stumbles with “biggest LEC roster we’ve ever seen”
When Team Vitality called its 2022 roster “the biggest LEC roster we’ve ever seen,” many European League fans went into the season with high expectations from such high-level players. The team brought over a trio of different stars to light up its path, including iconic EU mid laner Perkz, top laner Alphari, and former MAD Lions AD carry Carzzy.
But after barely scraping into the playoffs in the spring, and completely missing the postseason in the summer, the team must rebuild again. This superteam failed to find a playstyle that could fit their individual needs, and as a result, they could only rely on their individual skill for so long before getting dropped by much more cohesive teams.
Fnatic signs firepower, ends with no results
Fnatic has always been the standard of excellence in the EU League scene, after capturing multiple LEC championships and representing the region at countless international events. But over these past few years, the team has constantly struggled with behind-the-scenes issues that eventually bled into their stage play.
Even though the 2022 roster boasted a new collection of experienced LEC stars—like Wunder, Razork, and Humanoid—they still couldn’t maintain a high enough level of play. They didn’t even have a whole lot of unrest internally. Whether it was uncharacteristic mistakes in the bottom lane, a lack of coordination in teamfights, or glaring mistakes in macro, the team could never string together enough wins to gain momentum in the regular season, the playoffs, and at Worlds.
Nuguri comes home but DWG KIA still falters
Ever since they captured the Summoner’s Cup in 2020, DWG KIA was considered to be one of the most fearsome teams in the world, thanks to the sheer firepower they have in the top side of the map. ShowMaker and Nuguri are widely known as two of the best players in not just their role, but two of the best to play League.
But, when their top side brother Nuguri left to join the LPL in 2021, the team’s edge was dulled enough for them to lose their throne a year later to Edward Gaming.
When DWG KIA played the 2022 Spring Split with Burdol, they were reduced to a third place squad with an 11-7 record. This prompted the organization to bring back Nuguri in the hopes that his strength could return the kings back to the summit, but instead, they dropped one spot in the regular season and in the playoffs.
The big issue was their lack of impact from opposite side of the map—Nuguri was always a welcome addition back, but their bottom lane was a huge weak point other teams exploited to its fullest. In the end, the star top laner couldn’t help DWG KIA overcome the disparity, ending their season in the quarterfinals at Worlds 2022.