At least four teams will not field their starting rosters for the start of the 2022 LCS season
LCS Lock In 2022 begins in two days, but some teams have understood the bigger picture better than others. Starting January 12, four of the ten LCS teams will not play in Lock In with their scheduled starting rosters.
Cloud9 was the first team to go public that their full roster would not be playing together for LCS Lock In 2022. However, it was not the organization’s announcement that revealed this information, but the new head coach. Nick “LS” De Cesare.
LS, alongside top laner Park “Summit” Woo-tae, AD carry Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol, support Kim “Winsome” Dong-keon, C9 Academy jungler Sebastian “Malice” Edholm, and several other members of the Cloud9 staff, will not arrive in North America until February.
This means that the members in question will miss the Lock In tournament entirely. No plans have been announced by C9 regarding the LCS Lock In, but one would assume Cloud9 Academy top laner Darshan “Darshan” Uphadyaya, AD is carrying Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and backer Jonah “Isles” Rosario will join jungler Robert “Blaber” Huang and mid laner Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami on the LCS roster for the tournament.
A day later, TSM announced that TSM Academy would play the LCS Lock in place of the main roster after complications related to COVID-19, primarily regarding mid laner Zhu “Keaiduo” Xiong’s visas and backing from Wei “Shenyi” Zi-Jie, banned the team from preparing for the event.
On Monday, January 10, Dignitas announced that jungler Kim “River” Dong-woo had not yet been able to enter the United States due to logistical issues related to COVID-19, and would be missing the first week of the LCS. Lock In. As a result, DIG Academy jungler Lawrence “eXyu” Xu will replace River during the first week of the tournament.
On the morning of January 12, Golden Guardians announced that Golden Guardians Academy would instead play their LCS roster for the Lock In due to visa complications. The GG Academy has its own visa complications, with position coach Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes playing AD carry for GGA due to visa issues preventing Vincent “Violet” Wong from emigrating from OCE.
If reports regarding Team Liquid support Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in currently without possession of a green card, Team Liquid would not be able to start CoreJJ and AD would carry Steven “Hans sama” Liv at the same time as CoreJJ is still ranked as an import.
This scenario would leave half of the LCS teams without their planned LCS Lock In 2022 starting rosters.