Misfits are exploring specific combinations during scrimmage sessions which, should they function, would improve its flexibility. In doing so, they avoid committing folly: exploring 28 different lineup combinations. Implementing all of them would be unrealistic, especially with playoff roster lock rules limiting the number of substitutes to two. “Every variation in our roster will have certain strengths and weaknesses,” Moose said. “If we fully understand what these strengths and weaknesses are, we can utilize them for our opponents.”
However, the implementation interferes with the standing of Misfits’ academy. Moose laid out the puzzle he faces on a weekly basis: the LEC team plays scrimmage sessions from Monday to Thursday, and the LFL squad plays on Tuesday and Wednesday. As the priority lies in reaching the world championship, the organization has set its eyes on winning the LEC Summer Split.
Any potential trade-off remains worthwhile, as Misfits can use the varied skillsets of their academy players, many of which are capable of starting in the LEC or have done so, such as Matus “Neon” Jakubcic in 2018 and Thomas “Kirei” Yuen on Week 2 of the Summer Split. In addition, some academy members have refined their gameplay around limited but key aspects — such as Adam “LIDER” Ilyasov’s mid lane assassin play. “We have specialists on our academy roster that do certain things so well, some even better than our main starters,” Moose said.
– Four takeaways from COD World League Anaheim
– Ninja at risk of missing Fortnite World Cup
In addition, the approach also provides opportunity for academy members to play in the LEC, should they follow the coaching staff’s lead. Besides, many Misfits players are under contract until 2020. As such, being bound to a contract without growth perspectives could mean death to a career. The 10-man roster may indirectly solve the problem, but it asserts Misfits’ commitment to its LEC and LFL players, and its desire to promote cooperation across the board. “We would love to build that synergy in all aspects over the long amount of time we have with our players,” Innerflame added.
Through infrastructure coaching staff improvements, Misfits hope to build trust with their players and to gain flexibility on Summoners’ Rift. In that setting, they would perform substitutions for strategic reasons, rather than performance-related ones as has been the case for many teams in the past. Following intense practice and a litany of lineup experiments during scrims, the coaching staff would gain flexibility before crucial games. Should they reach that stage come playoff time, they would be a fearsome team to face.
“Before and when we do make a change in our starting five in whatever week that is, I don’t feel any player will feel shorthanded by it,” Moose said. “They will know what they need to do to get back up there, or why that change was made.” Should observers at large see the big picture when Misfits perform roster changes, they may thus avoid buying into false narratives. The Summer Split’s round robin provides a great opportunity for scrim-to-stage trials. In the end, Misfits aspire to prepare several lineups come playoff time, with Summer Split victory — therefore world championship qualification — as their sole motive.
“Come summer playoffs, we would have way too much of a threat with the different variations that we can use,” Moose said. “Just the difficulty of prep that our opponents would have would give us an edge that we need.”