After 7 weeks of play in the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split, Dignitas sits in 9th place with a 4-10 record. The results are a far cry from what the team expected coming into summer, but after some swaps with Dignitas Academy's roster, has found recent success.
AD Carry Johnson "Johnsun" Nguyen and Support Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black have remained LCS starters for the entire split. Mid Laner Kim "Fenix" Jae-hoon and Jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett were promoted in favor of Henrik "Froggen" Hansen and Matthew "Akaadian" Higginbotham. Top Laner Omran "V1per" Shoura has retained his starting position for most of the split, but Samson "Lourlo" Jackson has started two games of DIG's last six games in the LCS.
In those six games, Dignitas is 4-2 after starting the LCS Summer Split with an 0-8 record, and with the expansion of the 2020 LCS Summer Playoffs bracket to include eight teams instead of six, DIG is finding its footing in time to remain in the post-season race, and by extension, keep its hopes for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship alive.
Dignitas' most recent win came against Evil Geniuses, where despite being down in gold to EG, DIG continued to win fight after fight before eventually seizing control of Baron Nashor, and after that, the game. Johnsun spoke to Inven Global's Nick Geracie about Dignitas' exciting win over EG, building new roster synergy in the middle of a split, and what he's learned since his LCS debut this spring.
Congrats on your win today, Johnsun. How are you feeling?
I guess I'm kind of relieved that we won...*laughs* excited, too.
It was crazy watching DIG win teamfight after teamfight while behind in gold before eventually taking Baron Nashor and the game. What was the team's strategy in choosing fights at the right time to stay in the game?
We basically knew what EG's tendencies as a team were in the mid game. Throughout the game we were making fast plays and taking odd-numbered fights on the bot side of the map, and we usually won them.
The way EG wants to play their composition is to play to Camille's side of the map, so that's why we always saw Jungler Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen's Sett and Mid Laner Greyson "Goldenglue" Gilmer's Galio hovering for Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon. Overall we had a stronger 2v2 mid/jungle, so if it was 3v3 either on side, usually with our Support hovering, too, we're going to win those fights.
It felt like EG's combination of Camille/Sett/Galio was not executed in a coordinated fashion very often. Do you feel you were able to take advantages of their mistakes?
Their composition usually just wants to dive top, but the one or two times they did, they didn't get too much out of it. With Aphelios, EG had a good late game teamfight-scaling comp, but our champions played well into Aphelios, so it was hard for Bang to teamfight. Even when Aphelios was ahead, we just played away from him.
Since Volibear is a tank, V1per is generally going to repeatedly die to dives against Camille, Sett, and Galio in the top lane, but there was once that we were able to block their dive top by forcing a 2v2 in the mid lane.
Your Support aphromoo got his first Player of the Game award in quite some time in this win. What did you think of his performance today?
Yeah, aphro played alright. I just think of how he died when he missed a Flash->hook on Aphelios and died to the turret, but I think he played pretty well. Our most consistent player right now is aphromoo. Because of that, I guess Player of the Game was well-deserved.
Speaking of consistency, this iteration of Dignitas' roster is its best this summer. What's it been like building synergy with new starters in the middle of a split?
All of these roster swaps are fine for me because bot lane stayed the same, but overall I think it can be pretty annoying for a team to deal with because you have to be able to understand each others' strengths and weakness, champion pool, and communication to win. For me, however, it's been fine because I can play both strong side and weak side of the map. The players I've played with in the past two splits have a lot of experience, so I've learned a lot.
What did you learn in your first split in the LCS?
I learned to communicate more in the mid game, and honestly, even if we don't win, do my best to carry. Most games we've played so far have looked pretty doom, so I'm just trying to find a win condition in any situation, or at least a way to come back in the game. I think I've done better with that this split when compared to last split.
Dignitas is usually winning through the bot lane. Do you think this iteration of DIG's roster plays around bot more effectively than other roster combinations?
I want to say it's that me and aphro are playing better. I don't think we play to bot lane every game, we're just getting advantages ourselves early on in the 2v2. I'd say we're just doing our job better than we were last split.
Thanks for the interview, Johnsun. Is there anything you want to say to the Dignitas fans?
Thanks for the support. We'll try to make it into the Summer Playoffs despite our rough start to this split.
It is tough to shine in fantasy as the Support of a losing team. The start of the year was rough fort everybody involved with Dignitas, but this recent resurgence has brought Aphromoo the fantasy production he has deserved all season long. Over Dignitas’ last 4 wins, all of which have come in their last 6 games, Aphromoo has averaged 13.25 Assists and hasn’t scored below 13 points. He won’t ever lead the position, but has been a great bet to produce enough to make his low price seem like a good deal.
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