Dignitas turned multiple heads in confusion before the start of Week 2 in the 2021 LCS Summer Split when they announced the mid-lane substitution of Soligo for Yusui, a member of the team’s Academy team and veteran of the North American amateur scene. A team that overwhelmingly exceeded pre-season expectations with a fifth-sixth place finish in the Mid-Season Showdown and started the summer split in a positive fashion had switched mid-laners just when the road to the playoffs and Worlds contention was ramping up.
As fans, pundits, and analysts alike expressed their surprise at yet another roster shuffle amidst the split’s early stages, the Dignitas management assured that their move held the potential to spawn even greater growth than what they have already achieved thus far in 2021.
The switch wouldn’t be a double-edged sword that people assumed would thwart the camaraderie created by the team in spring at the expense of obtaining greater draft flexibility, all the while discarding their former starter altogether; it would benefit both sides of the coin equally, with both affected members learning from their newest positions and subsequently bettering themselves.
“That [spring] start has given us an opportunity to expand our roster in new ways both strategically and individually. Soligo has been developing at a great pace in LCS and Yusui has been performing great in Academy”, said James Baker, Dignitas’ Director of Esports, in an announcement video regarding the roster swap. “We feel that the swap will enable both players to accelerate their growth and overall work out better for the team in the long run.”
In so fielding their second mid-laner of the split, Dignitas ended Week 2 with a 1-2 outing after having defeated Immortals but losing to Team Liquid and Cloud9. During Week 2, Gamezo caught up with the team’s division coach Jimmy Harrison for an exclusive one-on-one interview to discuss the rationale behind him bringing in Yusui for Soligo, what he has seen from his team thus far, and the direction the general meta is heading towards for the future.