"Perfectly balanced..." The recent trend among the LCK teams -- 'Building a 10-man Roster'

There is a character parody of the movie "Avengers: Infinite War" in this cartoon lightly. It is not much related to the flow of the movie, but please note that those who are sensitive to it.






Today's editorial cartoon is about the recent trend among the LCK teams -- building a 10-man roster.

The head coach of Afreeca Freecs, the figure that led the team to the previous Finals of LCK Spring, is well-known for his intense amount of practice. Since his time in the StarCraft scene, head coach 'iloveoov' has been giving himself and the players under him a ton of practice. His methods from back then have carried over to the League scene, where they have been proving more than effective -- and both the players and staff members have acknowledged his methods as their source of success this season. How was it possible for iloveoov to create such an environment within the team? The secret lies within the coach's mentality and the 10-man roster that AFs built.

For almost every other team, a player's practice routine involves a set of scrims and a couple of solo queue games before calling it a day. This way, players can use solo queue to play against the "unexpected" and gain ideas. And according to other players, it's a good way to relieve the stress the players receive from the scrims. However, solo queue lacks the quality that is found when playing against other professional teams at the highest level. 

By fielding a 10-man roster, however, AFs secured more time for scrims within a day. Instead of depending on the other LCK teams for practice, the organization started running scrims by dividing the roster into two teams of fives. Although you can technically say that this method was used in the past by establishing sister teams and/or academy teams, it's worth noting that all ten players on AFs are capable of playing as starters in the LCK.

This system comes with both positives and negatives. It will allow the team to plan and refine their strategy and tactics continuously until they're satisfied, hidden from the other LCK teams. In addition, the players will naturally gain more team-practice over individual-practice. This method, however, is not without its flaws. With repetitive scrims, the players may become too accustomed to the playstyle of their counterpart player -- this can result in a player deluding himself into making a certain play that may or may not work against another player of a different playstyle. Finally, fielding a 10-man roster can be quite expensive to maintain. 

If you only look at the results, AFs' methods have definitely been effective, as the team has made it to 2nd place in the LCK. This also sparked a trend within the LCK, as a number of LCK teams started looking for amateur players who are readily available to play on stage. Although it's still merely speculation as the teams have not announced anything yet, the fans and analysts are leaning towards the idea that the teams are indeed building full 10-man rosters.

With the revelation that a 10-man roster and a large amount of practice are important, teams have started altering the way they operate. Can this change become the cornerstone of a more fiery LCK next split? We'll soon find out. 

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