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Immortals: 2017 in review

We take a look back at Immortals' 2017, ending just short in the World Championship Group Stage.


If you only saw this teams Summer and first week at Worlds, you’d have thought it had secured a Split victory and fairly deep run at the World Championship. 

Instead, it fell just short to TSM in the Summer Split Playoffs, and fell just short of moving on from the World Championship Group Stage. 

Let’s take a look at how Immortals got here in 2017.

New faces

Coming into the Summer Split Immortals had something to prove.

With such powerful seasons in its past like a 16-2 Summer and a 17-1 Spring, the team failed in reaching its goals in 2017's Spring Split, and needed to see some progress. With two new additions just before the Summer, they got exactly that.

Immortals had a high potential jungler in Dardoch, but they made a move that shocked many in trading him for CLG's longtime LCS veteran Xmithie. While Xmithie had proven he could hang in his time competing in the NA LCS, it seemed Dardoch was the more explosive and impactful player in the jungle. 

But Xmithie, never budging from his team-play oriented style of sharing his advantage and fighting the vision war over farming himself ahead, stepped right up to the plate for Immortals, and shattered expectations.

Xmithie's jungle consistency eventually earned himself a fair amount of MVP votes in a Split featuring obscenely high stats for players like Jensen and Bjergsen in the mid lane. More importantly, it earned his team plenty of wins as the glue that bound the pieces together.

But even another addition to Immortals has seemed to play a large role in that. 

SSong, the veteran coach involved with top teams like NaJin Black Sword, ROX, and Longzhu, also made his way to Immortals for their Summer Split. 

With the tested new pieces in place, it was time to push for results.´╗┐

A strong start

Immortals kicked off the Summer Split in the best possible way. 

After dispatching Phoenix1 in their first matchup, they found themselves opposite TSM, the favorites for yet another Split banner. 

But Immortals won in convincing fashion, closing out a 2-0 week 1, and proving any doubters wrong from the very beginning.

Closing out Summer

Immortals fought to a 14-4 finish in the 2017 Summer Split, dropping matches to TSM, Team Envy, Phoenix1, and Team Dignitas. 

Across the regular split, Immortals had standout performances across the map, as Flame returned to form and Xmithie continued to push MVP level play out of the jungle. With Pobelter firmly representing himself as a bit more than a "top 10" mid laner, alongside a very consistent bot lane in Cody Sun and a player with plenty of his own MVP support (as an MVP support,) Olleh, this Immortals lineup looked very dangerous. 

With this, they tied TSM as first heading into the Summer Split Playoffs. And after splitting matches with the NA juggernaut across the season, Immortals had revenge in their eyes and a number one NA LCS seed on their minds.

It was time to fight for it.

Road to Worlds

For most teams, even a weakened CLG featuring new jungler OmarGod would've been a challenge. After all, CLG featured two of the best solo laners in the NA LCS in Darshan and Huhi, both of which with the ability to run away with a game at a moment's notice.

For Immortals however, it was a minor nuisance, and a quick 3-0 to warmup for TSM in the Playoff Finals.

And then they met their rivals for one final Summer Split showdown. 

This time, for all the marbles.

A banner in the balance

Coming off of a very clean sweep of one of the longest reigning orgs in North American history, Immortals faced off against the other side of that coin in TSM.

Immortals was a newer team, but a proven one. With experience at the top of the table, things were looking bright, which is a rarity for anyone staring down this matchup in North America.

But Immortals felt the familiar pain in the region of falling short to Team SoloMid in the end, and worse, in 3-1 fashion. 

Immortals may have proven they were firmly a top 2 team in Summer, but just that, top 2. 

And there's not exactly a silver banner.

2017 World Championship Group B

Immortals drew into Group B for the Group Stage of the World Championship, joining LCK champions Longzhu Gaming, GPL wildcard GIGABYTE Marines, and European giant Fnatic.

With a fairly stacked group, it was clear that for Immortals to survive and move on, it would be a battle every step of the way.

That only became more and more clear as the days went on.

In week 1, Immortals (along with the rest of North America) went on a tear, representing the NA LCS highly by starting 2-1. This momentum wouldn't last long.

In week 2, everything fell apart.

Immortals entered week 2 likely to take a top 2 seed in one of the most competitive groups at Worlds, and then, after dropping 3 straight matches in heartbreaking fashion one after another, Immortals finished it's 2017 season at 2-4, falling  short in Group B to Longzhu Gaming, and Fnatic's miracle run from an 0-3 week 1 to a 3-3 finish.

Reflection

While it's hard to say falling just short at the World Championship is a disappointing season, the fashion in which Immortals fell will leave fans desiring much more.

After such powerful displays against CLG, only to fall short against TSM, and after such powerful displays in week 1, only to fall short in week 2, it's really put a damper on what was otherwise a very successful 2017 Summer Split. 

The Summer was a humongous improvement from the Spring, but with the talented roster Immortals has together right now, fans will want more coming in 2018. 

They'll want equal or better Split finishes, they'll want an equal or better Worlds appearance, but perhaps most of all, they'll want TSM's head on a platter.

And it's hard to argue with that when you have the best NA LCS jungler and support, alongside top 3 players in every other role on the squad. 

What do you think of Immortals' 2017 performances? What do you expect for 2018? Let us know in the comments below!

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Brandon Ridgely

I'm the League of Legends Editor for Realsport, and a longtime competitive League of Legends fan. I focus most on the LCS but watch a bit of everything. I'm probably the only person that misses Team Vulcun. Well met.

Immortals: 2017 in review

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