FlyQuest’s toplaner Eric ‘Licorice’ Ritchie has left the team to join Golden Guardians, in one of many big changes to the LCS roster. Licorice will be replaced by Colin ‘Kumo’ Zhao from FlyQuest’s Academy team in the toplaner position. The squad also announced it’ll be fielding their entire Academy squad for week six of the LCS Summer Split starting 10 July.
It’s a big shake-up albeit not entirely surprising. FlyQuest are near the bottom of the LCS standings tied in ninth position with Counter Logic Gaming after a disappointing year for the squad, with Licorice failing to replicate his huge success with Cloud9. Across 2021’s Spring and Summer Split so far, FlyQuest has accrued a 9-24 win/loss record.
Interestingly, Licorice is moving to the only team in the LCS with a worse record than FlyQuest. Golden Guardians are at the bottom of the table with a record of 8-25, so there’s possibly hope Licorice’s talents will bring out the best in both parties.
Addressing the roster change on Twitter, Licorice says: “It felt like something was missing on FlyQuest and I’m sad that I wasn’t able to find success for myself or my teammates. I still believe in all of them individually and I’m hopeful that this change will be a good change for both teams.”
It felt like something was missing on Flyquest and I'm sad that I wasnt able to find success for myself or my teammates. I still believe in all of them individually and I'm hopeful that this change will be a good change for both teams
— Licorice (@Licorice) July 6, 2021
Licorice’s Golden Guardians contract extends through to 2023, showing confidence in the roster change. “We believe he will be a player worth building around in the coming years,” the announcement post from the Guardians reads.
With Licorice in the top laner spot, Golden Guardians has knocked Colin ‘Solo’ Earnest to the bench as a substitute. “He will remain on salary and eligible as a substitute through November unless he elects to join another team,” Golden Guardians says.
Join us in welcoming the newest addition to Golden Guardians, @Licorice.
We’ve not only acquired Licorice, we’ve extended his contract through 2023, as we believe he will be a player worth building around in the coming years. pic.twitter.com/v498an4QWx
— Golden Guardians (@GoldenGuardians) July 6, 2021
It’s perhaps too late for either team to turn around their fortunes this year, but these changes will hopefully spell a promising new beginning for both rosters heading into 2022.