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Risen From the Ashes: P1's Team Development

Prior to the Summer Split, two teams found themselves being shuffled out of the LCS due to complicated ownership situations and, in a matter of days, two new teams would take their place: the highly anticipated Team EnVyUs and the lacky-filled Phoenix 1. While one team was built out of experienced players like Seraph and Ninja, P1 was lucky to scrounge together anything at all, with Mash being the most prolific player on the squad. However, Phoenix1 also featured highly-touted top lane talent, Zig, and the infamous Inori, who has been known to have attitude issues in the past. Regardless, no one was rhapsodizing over the lineup and many questioned whether this team could avoid 10th place, much less relegation.

At the very beginning of the split, it was pretty clear that Phoenix1 were indeed going to have a hard time competing. P1’s Inori had visa issues to start the split and his team was forced to use Zentinel in the jungle. Even so, Phoenix1 showed some promise, as they were able to attain early gold leads through strong laning, but against a tough LCS field, laning was hardly enough.

Like most young teams, there was a lack of direction in Phoenix1’s gameplay that can be explained by the usage of a substitute jungler and two mid laners, in Slooshi and Pirean. Also, with the lack of time before the split, poor early performances were to be expected. At the very least, Zig and P1’s bottom lane were performing reasonably well and showed signs of life if some kind of team synergy were to ever come together. P1 even managed to steal away a few games, but not a match. Eventually, the missing piece to the Phoenix 1 puzzle presented itself when Inori was finally granted a visa and had the opportunity to compete.

Inori has no doubt been the catalyst to Phoenix 1’s late season development, with all four of the team’s match wins coming in his tenure. Inori has brought an aggressive type of jungling to the LCS that somewhat resembles Dardoch’s initial burst onto the North American scene or even Karsa’s initial appearance in the LMS. He fits in well with mid laner, Pirean, as the mid laner has mostly been a source of crowd control and side lane facilitation, operating as a true secondary carry. Inori slots in perfectly, being one of the main carry forces with Mash and Zig.

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