Golden Guardians announced its League of Legends Championship Series Academy roster on Monday, November 29. With that, GG completed its offseason, having already finalized its main roster earlier this month.
Familiar Faces Join
Golden Guardians hit a reset button on their Academy LoL esports team this offseason, forming a new roster. The decision follows GG’s third-place finish in the LCS Proving Grounds 2021 Summer and an underwhelming run through the NA Academy regular season.
As revealed by the NA esports organization, the new LoL Academy roster will feature some familiar faces from the LCS. That includes former LCS starters.
Golden Guardians Academy roster for the 2022 season will feature:
- Zheng “Tony Top” Fen – top lane
- Ethan “Iconic” Wilkinson – jungler
- Tommy “ry0ma” Le – midlane
- Vincent “Violet” Wong – ADC
- Jonathan “Chime” Pomponio – Support
Ry0ma joins Golden Guardians Academy as a former 100 Thieves LCS mid laner. The 22-year-old Australian pro has spent one year competing in the LCS in 2019 – 2020, but he struggled to achieve much.
Ahead of the 2021 season, he moved to the 100 Academy, with who he has achieved plenty of success. Most notably, ry0ma placed third in NA Academy 2021 Summer and won the LCS Proving Grounds 2021 Summer in September.
As one of the top Academy midlaners, ry0ma has now teamed up with Golden Guardians, who count on him to lead them to the organization’s first Academy trophy.
From LCS To Academy
However, ry0ma is not the only former LCS player to join Golden Guardians Academy. Last season, Iconic and Chime were part of Golden Guardians’ LCS roster but moved to the academy after GG decided to freshen up its main roster with new faces.
Iconic got replaced by former MOUZ jungler Milo “Pridestalker” Wehnes. Meanwhile, Chime had to make room for the arrival of Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung.
Even though Iconic and Chime both got demoted to the Academy roster, they are still eligible to get promoted back to the LCS if things don’t work out as intended. And we can be sure GG will consider that option.
Iconic and Chime impressed in the LCS debut last season. With that, it’s fair to assume they will be huge assets to the GG Academy roster.
Joining ry0ma, Chime, and Iconic in GG Academy are Tony Top and Violet.
Tony Top has been drafted by Immortals in 2020 and has since been playing for Evil Geniuses Academy. Although he hasn’t achieved much with EG, Tony Top was one of the best players in his position last season.
Violet joins GG Academy from League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO), where he played for an Australian LoL esports team, PEACE. Violet was one of the top players in his region and an integral part of the roster which made it to the 2021 LoL World Championship.
New Roster, New Coach
Besides replacing its entire academy roster, Golden Guardians also added a new coach. As revealed by the NA esports organization, its Academy team will be led by former LCS jungler Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham.
Akaadian joins GG Academy with no coaching experience. However, he is still one of the most experience LoL esports players in the region.
The 24-year-old made his professional debut in 2014 and has been competing at the highest level since 2017. Most recently, he was the starting jungler of Dignitas in the LCS but left the team in July 2020.
Akaadian has been since sitting on the sidelines, waiting for his chance to return to pro play. Instead, he will make his debut as an LoL coach in the upcoming season of the LCS Academy league.