With every off-season brings Free Agency - a wild scramble after Worlds where players and teams look to upgrade themselves in hopes of improving enough to win the big tournament next time around. This is the time where teams say "Our performance this year was not good enough," and "Thanks Player... Welcome Player!!!" and "It isn't you, it's me." (That last one may sound familiar to some of us, but we must carry on!)
Many players with expiring contracts will choose to sign a new one with their current team for various reasons, like good culture fit, it happens to be the best offer, they just don't want to move apartments, etc. But many, of course, do look to make those upgrades mentioned previously.
For the teams hoping to nab them - and for the fans hoping to see their favorite star find a new home - InvenGlobal has compiled a list of the hottest Free Agents this fall. (Not actually free. In fact, quite honestly these are the most expensive.)
Who's On It?
On the list features players from across the globe, representing almost every region. (There was no information on SEA, and just sorry LAT.) Most of the players are well known names, proven and desirable. They're household names like Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok*, Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao, and the crowd favorite Jackson "Pabu" Pavone.
*UPDATE NOTE: It was reported by Inven KR and other KR media that Faker signed a three year contract last year. However, Riot's official database says his contract expires this November. This article is written based off Riot's own database.
Also included are some of the currently hot players from emerging regions. Players who have gotten some international experience and been impressive. Players like Royal Youth's top laner İrfan "Armut" Berk Tükek, who won our MVP during the Play-In Stage, and some of his teamates.
Others from the Play-Ins like Calvin "k1ng" Truong, Stephen "Triple" Li, Kyohei "Ceros" Yoshida, Yuta "Yutapon" Sugiura, Nihat "Innaxe" Aliev, and Berkay "Zeitnot" Aşıkuzun.
Even the legendary Felipe "brTT" Gonçalves is up for grabs this year. Maybe he will finally come to NA and take Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng's spot as strongest ADC in the region. Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik panned out pretty well for TSM, (please ignore that they missed this year's Worlds, they would want you to), so why not sign brTT, Ceros, or Pabu?
And the Stars?
Most players listed are from the major regions, of course. The biggest name of all, Faker, likely tops the Most Wanted list, but there are many others from Korea like Kim "Deft" Hyuk-kyu, Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong, Song "Smeb" Kyung-ho, and - my personal favorite - Han "Peanut" Wang-ho. (BRING PEANUT TO NA!)
China has a bunch as well! Uzi, joined by his support Shi "Ming" Sen-Ming, make the list, as well as the FPX duo, Lin "Lwx" Wei-Xiang and Liu "Crisp" Qing-Song. Since this is their first international competition (discounting Rift Rivals this year), pay close attention to them. While Kim "Doinb" Tae-sang may be the star, he is unavailable - both contracted and married.
Three of the famous Flash Wolves roster, Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan, Huang "Maple" Yi-Tang, and Lu "Betty" Yu-Hung are on it too!
Then those most readers will know best, the western players. From the once fan favorite TSM, both Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg and Jesper "Zven" Svenningsenare on the list. After blowing up the roster following their second big upset at Worlds in a row, what will happen following their second Worlds miss in a row? Along with Bjerg, there are a few other NA old guard players too, like Zaqueri "Aphromoo" Black and Jake "Xmithie" Puchero.
Europe has plenty up for grabs as well. Daniele "Jiizuke" di Mauro, Alfonso "mithy" Aguirre Rodríguez, along with much of the current Splyce roster. G2's best player also made the list, not to mention League's Best Smile Award winner, Jonas "Kold" Andersen.
There are a few Academy/chellenger players as well who have created some buzz and gained some attention. For teams looking to help grow talent and form players, these may be good people to look at. Lee "Strompest" Seung-min and Marcin "Selfie" Wolski particularly, with a few others as well.
Where is this List?
Fret not, the list is here. There are three ways to sort it - by position, by residence, and by player name. If there's a specific player you're really hoping to see move, just ctrl+f his name. Otherwise, glance through and start dreaming of who you could have join your favorite team, or where your favorite player could go.
Will Zven and Mithy reunite somewhere? Will a legacy name leave their signature org? Which players will swap regions? Which will retire? Will Peanut rejoin Faker in his old org, or will they go somewhere together? Or will Peanut make a smarter decision and finally come to NA? Let us know on our Twitter, @InvenGlobal.
NOTE: The best thing about the By Position view is that you can find the open spots for the players on the list. For instance, next to Zven is Uzi... If Zven leaves, all of the hottest replacements are right next door. And next to Bjergsen is Faker. Just some low-hanging food-for-thought.
NOTE 2: This information is all according to the contract database, and therefore not official. Changes will be made to players' contracts, and it's possible teams have worked out deals with players already that are not reflected here yet.
*FINAL NOTE: Don't get your hopes up to have Faker join your favorite team. His contract was up last year as well and he still stayed with the org. Also reminder that Inven KR reported a three year contract and the official Riot database may be incorrect.
Find the rest of the database here. If for some reason you have any trouble viewing the list, want to ask why your favorite player isn't on here, or share your hopes and predictions for this year's roster moves, comment below, on our Twitter, or respond here.