Darren "Mark Hames" Nguyen: GRLCS 2019 Spring Split Diamond-Capped Preseason Power Rankings

With the GRLCS 2019 Spring Split starting this week, we all look forward to the exciting battles that will happen on the rift to determine who is the best GRLCS team in each division. In all of the divisions, we will see new blood try to make a name for themselves alongside legacy teams and veterans try to reclaim glory. Focusing on the diamond division, this list looks forward into the split and ranks the teams from best to worst. Keep in mind that these power rankings are subject to change and are only to be used as a reference point for the first week of action.

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10. Graceland University Esports

As a newcomer to the GRLCS, Graceland University Esports has a lot to prove. Led by team captain, Cdawg34540, the team looks to adapt to the GRLCS meta while spicing it up with some signature picks such as Cdawg34530’s Anivia and Annie in the mid lane. Not much is known about this team, but they’re going to have to make a big splash to contend with some of the seasoned veterans in the league.

9. UCO Broncos

Another collegiate-based newcomer to the GRLCS is the UCO Broncos, who look to represent their university as they compete in the league. Team captain, weiside, will attempt to lead a team of rookies, along with a familiar face in the form of Ignopius, to stardom in their first ever GRLCS split. This team must show us that coordination is key as one of only two collegiate teams in the diamond-capped league. With dedicated practice, this team will most definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

8. Land Snek

With a massive roster revamp, Land Snek returns to the rift with a team of GRLCS veterans alongside a rookie support, Killering, to compete once more. The beloved JackLovesLamp returns to play this split with a rekindled competitive fire, but we have to wonder if he still has what it takes to duke it out with the best of the best in the top lane. Pbdoughboii has also roleswapped into the jungle from the support role, and we will have to see if he can impact the game in the same way that he did last split. Land Snek looks to Rito Torchic to carry them to victory as the new ADC item changes move the meta into his favor. Their sixth man, Himana, may have a large influence on Land Snek’s place in the standings, but it may be unlikely that he sees much play this split.

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7. Team Fish Taco

Team Fish Taco barely missed out on LAN in the 2018 Fall Split, but they look to bring it back this season with some roster changes in the jungle, mid, and support roles. Returning players Azûki and Demon Repent look to repeat some of the success that they had last split with three rookies: Heimerdoodles, Puffles MIA, and Brother Baer. But will their newfound synergy make them or break them? We’ll look to see if these roster changes are what they needed to rise in the standings alongside a new practice regimen. 

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6. Unlucky Retribution

Unlucky Retribution made it to LAN last split after beating a hodgepodge version of Propulsion Esports in their quarterfinals match. At the LAN, however, they were unsuccessful in their quest for the gold and ultimately placed fourth after two long best of three series. Now, they return with a rookie support, kirbstompp, after their past support, Gavii, has roleswapped to the jungle. Kirbstompp is my player to watch. With a wide champion pool and a team of veterans by his side, he might just become one of the best supports in the league in his debut split. Unlucky Retribution will need to use their teamfighting prowess if they have any chance of repeating the success they had last split.

5. Return of the Middlesticks

Return of the Middlesticks placed second last split after a tough loss to KSU. Now, they look to contend for the top of the standings after bringing in a rookie for their support role, maximus127. Strong players return, such as liposuctionlane and ÐemonPrint, who will need to prove that they are still among the best in the league. With a new support, FotC 4thShot may have difficulty finding synergy and carrying the game through strong laning as he did before. Much like last split, the team will need to rely on Tendies2 in the jungle and smart mid to late-game macro decision-making in order to carry their team to victory.

4. SKY | ZERO

After taking a split off, SKY | Zero returns to the GRLCS scene in an effort to reclaim their crown. The two-time winners of the GRLCS will be led by veterans dudeperfect2006 and AllMighty, one of the best mid-jungle duos in previous splits. The returning team brings three rookies as well in the form of Pïco de Galio, brandopham, and Mark Hames. SKY will look to bring back their unbridled aggression and smart macro decision-making, honed by Coach Steelfan. Is SKY | ZERO going to show that they can compete with the successful returning teams from last split, or is the SKY falling?

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3. Those Thumb Guys from Spy Kids

Chris “Chriscantmiss” Mosher is back! As one of the best mechanical mid laners in the league, he brings strong leadership and decision-making to any team he puts together, and this team is no exception. Joined by veterans such as Weenie and Saint Elo, THUMB will quickly become a favorite to win the split after a few games with their exceptional laning and unorthodox draft. Critics of this team may look to Hastega, a returning veteran of the GRLCS, who is a big question mark on this team. Will his jungling enable his strong laners to carry the game, or will he hold his team back from superstardom?

2. The Iron 5

It may look foolish to place The Iron 5 so high in the power rankings in their debut split, but don’t let their team name fool you. This team has some of the best players in the league. Led by superstar jungler and veteran Aikado, this team will take the GRLCS by storm. The team boasts two former GRLCS champions in RandyNewman and General Vici, who made the switch from ADC to top lane for the upcoming split. The remaining two roles, mid and ADC, are filled by two rookies: Sãber and itskrisnotchris, an up-and-coming ADC who will most definitely stand out in his first split. The team will look to topple the opposition with a strong early game, courtesy of Aikado, and strong teamfights with superstars in every role.

1. Good Game Losers

The 2018 GRLCS Fall Split Champions return to dominate the league under a new name, Good Game Losers. With no roster changes, this roster will look to build upon the preexisting synergy, an advantage unique to them in a league of roster changes and rookie teams. UKP xKoala will lead the team of champions through the jungle role, honed by playing in soloq against LCS and LACS caliber players. In the mid lane, Mortally Divine will support his team with high-impact champions such as Karma and Zilean. The returning champions boast strong mechanics and outstanding teamfights, but will they be able to repeat the success in their playoffs run? Or will teams be able to figure out the champions and take them down?

Don’t forget to tune in to the GetRECt stream to see your favorite GRLCS teams play in each of the divisions. The pressure is high and the stakes are even higher! Who will stand victorious at the end of the GRLCS 2019 Spring Split?