We’re just two days out from Split 1 of the 2023 LCO season kicking off, and in all honesty, it’s going to be hard to look past a Chiefs back-to-back.
The reigning LCO champs, who finished the year with an insane 40-2 regular split record and dropping just a single Split 2 match to Pentanet in the grand final, will enter the season as profound favourites — even despite the squad undergoing a number of changes.
Following their appearance at Worlds, Chiefs’ jungler Park “Mir” Mi-reu (nee Arthur) made a move overseas to Team Liquid Challengers to compete in the NACL 2023 Spring Season.
Also departing The Chiefs was top laner Kim “Topoon” Ji-Hoon and support Ryan “Aladoric” Richardson, with the latter opting to take an indefinite break from competitive League of Legends after the squad’s 0-5 run at Worlds.
But with The Chiefs roster reveal last Monday, it was confirmed that Aladoric would retain his spot in the squad for Split 1 2023, stating on Twitter: “After some reflection, the disaster of a 0-5 Worlds run and this roster, I decided that 2022 Worlds couldn’t be the last time I compete on that stage.”
Aladoric returns to partner Quin “Raes” Korebrits in the bot lane. This will be Raes’ 15th OPL/LCO split, and his tenth for The Chiefs. The 24-year-old has shown no sign of slowing, posting a career high 6.14 kills/game last Split and leading the league in kills, KDA and GPM.
With James “Tally” Shute announcing his retirement, Roland “Kisee” Vo makes a return to The Chiefs mid lane position. He previously played under Chiefs throughout 2021, and finished third with Order in Split 2 2022.
Also jumping over from the defunct Order roster is top laner Brandon “BioPanther” Alexander, taking the reins from Topoon. The versatile top laner played 16 different champions across Split 2 — the most of any player in the LCO — and will no doubt be up to the task of filling Topoon’s shoes.
Finally, Leo “Babip” Romer will take the vacant jungling position. After a stint overseas with TSM Academy and a Worlds appearance with Peace in 2021, Babip returned to The Chiefs as team coach for Split 1 2022.
He would coach the squad through both splits last year, but will now start for the Split 2 champs in Monday’s opening match against Team Bliss.
The Chiefs will open their 2023 account against both LCO debutants in Bliss and Ground Zero in week one. Assuming no schedule updates, eyes will certainly be on week two’s back-to-back against Dire Wolves and Pentanet.
In short, The Chiefs are very clear favourites heading into 2023. While this may not be the same team on paper that utterly dominated the bulk of 2022, the pieces that make up this new roster — combined with their experience both domestically and overseas — should mean we’ll see the blue-and-white squad very much ahead come LCO playoffs.
The 2023 LCO Split 1 is jut two days away, and over the weekend Snowball Esports will finalise each and every squad’s preview ahead of the season opener. Follow Snowball Esports for the up to date details and predictions as season 2023 begins.