10 champions in 10 games: Dardoch's flex jungle pool key to Dignitas' resurgence and 3-0 week

Source: Dignitas

 

In the 10 games that Dignitas has played this season, jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett has played a different champion in every single game, making for the most diverse champion pool of all junglers so far.

 

Dignitas started off the 2021 LCS Lock In on the right foot by taking a win against FlyQuest but lost the next three games to face group stage elimination in yet another unconvincing tournament showing by the org. However, Dignitas has been off to a much stronger start in the 2021 LCS Spring Split. After six games, Dignitas is tied with TSM for 3rd place, its most recent coming on the back of a rare, but phenomenal blue Kayn performance, courtesy of Dardoch. 

 

The Kayn picked marked Dardoch's 10 unique in 10 games, as the jungler has pretty much gone through the entire jungle pool that's not permanently banned.

 

Tournament Jungle champion Opponent Result
2021 LCS Lock-In Taliyah FlyQuest W
2021 LCS Lock-In Karthus Immortals L
2021 LCS Lock-In Nidalee Evil Geniuses L
2021 LCS Lock-In Lilia Cloud9 L
2021 LCS Spring Split Udyr Counter Logic Gaming W
2021 LCS Spring Split Dr. Mundo Team Liquid L
2021 LCS Spring Split Rengar 100 Thieves L
2021 LCS Spring Split Hecarim Immortals W
2021 LCS Spring Split Kindred Golden Guardians W
2021 LCS Spring Split Kayn Evil Geniuses W

 

Although a flat 50% win rate is nothing too exciting, Dignitas' 4-2 record so far is indicative of improvement and increased synergy within the team. Dardoch plays activator on whatever champion he chooses, catalyzing plays with fellow veteran Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black. The jungle/support battery has been at the center of Dignitas' success throughout the season thus far, and Dardoch's flexibility has given a unique edge to the squad. 

 

 

"I definitely think that to a certain extent, it is a 'me' thing," Dardoch told Inven Global when asked about his champion pool. "I wouldn't expect anyone else to pick Rengar or Karthus, for example, in the LCS." Despite this, Dardoch believes that there should be a bit more versatility in how the jungle is approached in a competitive setting, especially in the draft phase. 

 

"Some picks are a little too off the wall for most people to succeed, but for the most part, I think junglers happen to have a tendency to resort to comfort," Dardoch continued. "They get their champion drafted earlier in the draft phase because truthfully, in a way, jungle is the hardest role to abuse in a sense. They're just fighting neutral monsters, and that's easy when you have players who protect the jungler to make sure he doesn't lose much."

 

This idea isn't new to Dardoch, nor is it of his own origination. In fact, Dardoch has increased his flexibility primarily because of experience on the other side of matching up against that type of player.

 

"It can be really annoying to play against someone who can play anything, and I've experienced that so much on the other side. I hated it."

 

In a meta defined by power-farming picks like Udyr and Olaf, Dardoch has not only ignored the latter of the two best jungle champions but has also shown that a willingness to be more flexible than his peers can give Dignitas the edge it needs to exceed expectations throughout the start of the 2021 LCS Spring Split. 

 



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