While North America and the LCS are no longer in 2020 World Championship contention, there is still big news to be had for the region going into its offseason and free agency period. Big roster shuffles seem imminent this year as Oceanic players have been given domestic status and organizations such as Immortals and Counter Logic Gaming are in need of major rebuilds.
Players can explore options while still under contract to a team, hoping for a better situation or a higher wage, but there are also those who have expiring contracts and will be forced to negotiate a new contract. Here are a few of the more notable LCS players with expiring contracts who could make waves going into the 2021 season.
The North American native has been in the LCS for a while now, starting his career with Gravity in 2015 before joining TSM and then landing with his current team, Golden Guardians, in 2018. Hauntzer, like many tenured domestic players, is a hot commodity in the offseason. He has shown an ability to compete in multiple metas and perform well against other LCS top laners, but has also had his failings at international events.
Hauntzer is a classic North American weak-side top laner who could add flexibility to a team like Evil Geniuses, with multiple imports in multiple positions, who may need more domestic players in order to field the rest of its roster. He could also take his talents to an Academy position, mentoring younger players who may enter the league in the future. Hauntzer also has the option to return to Golden Guardians if the organization decides to give him another contract, which seems likely after the team’s performance this season.
Santorin’s contract with FlyQuest has finally come to an end. The jungler now has NA resident status and has been with the green and gold brand since 2018. He previously signed an extension in 2019 that ends this November. Santorin has been FlyQuest’s heart and soul during the organization's upswing in 2020. He was a big part in the team’s run to the 2020 World Championship and has cemented himself as one of the most consistent junglers in the league.
While it only seems right for FlyQuest to re-sign the Danish jungler, Santorin’s profile has never been higher and he could possibly demand more money or a better position with a different team. Regardless of what happens, Santorin will be a highly sought-after prospect this season, especially for teams that want to invest in a veteran presence in a team full of younger players.
The two stalwarts of the Team Liquid organization are now on the market. Both players have resident status and should be big ticket free agents that any team with money to burn should be targeting. This is the first time Impact will be available for other LCS teams since 2017, and he is a player who has performed at the highest level consistently over his entire career. Any team with an LCS title on its mind should be looking into signing the Korean native.
Jensen is also a player that teams with title aspirations should be looking to pick up. Jensen will be a hot commodity who should demand a high price for his services.
As the LCS free agency period picks up after Worlds 2020, expect these players and other LCS veterans such as Choi "huhi" Jae-hyun and Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett to make a big splash before the 2021 season.