Vitality’s 2023 LEC season will revolve around key import player

Vitality has one of the most unpredictable rosters this year.

A week ahead of the 2023 LEC Winter Season, Team Vitality’s founder Fabien “Neo” Devide explained how the staff revamped its LEC roster and opened up about last year’s struggles in L’Equipe’s broadcast.

He also emphasized how key one of their imports would be for the team. During the offseason, toplaner Aplhari was replaced by South-Korean rookie Photon, while former LPL jungler Bo filled the shoes of South-Korean player Haru.

Nurturing talent: two young imports joined the roster in 2023

The roster is going to revolve entirely around jungler Bo, according to Neo. He said the “promise he showed was so beautiful that [he] had to built the entire strategy around him.” He praised his perfect mechanics and even described him as an “anomaly.”

Team Vitality signed Bo as a substitute jungler last Summer, when they abruptly parted ways with Selfmade. Bo was returning from a break after he was banned from League of Legends competitive scene due to a match-fixing scandal.

In the 2023 LEC Winter Season, he’s going to be subject to much curiosity. LPL imports are rare in the LEC and Bo only has played in five LPL matches after he was promoted from the Challenger League.

He will compete alongside another Asian player. Team Vitality has taken up the challenge of nurturing two young imports this year: former T1 Challenger’s toplaner Photon will be stepping on a major league stage for the first time this year.

Photon had taken English lessons for months before the offseason and showed promise in the latest scrims, although he experienced “a tough start,” Neo explained.

This can be considered as a highly risky choice, but Neo said the team’s coach Carter strongly believed in his potential. They tried to sign veterans Bwipo and Odoamne, but Photon wasn’t a “last resort” choice nevertheless, he said.

Those decisions were also taken in the context of a “shrinking” budget compared to last year’s. The French organization initially eyed many veterans, such as support Mikyx, who ended up joining G2 Esports.

Kaiser was no less a priority choice, however.

“He was at the top of Carter’s list. He considered him as totally underrated,” Neo explained.

“Last year, we lacked identity”

Neo also opened up about last year’s struggles in the broadcast. He said the team “lacked identity,” which didn’t allow them to improve over the season.

He added botlaner Carzzy and support Labrov “didn’t want to play together anymore” at the end of the season, describing their duo as “dysfunctional.” It obligated them to part ways with at least one of those players. The high value of Carzzy on the esports market helped them build their 2023 roster, though.

Perkz and Selfmade are the only two players remaining from the 2022 season, and Neo praised Perkz a lot during the broadcast. He said he brought strong game sense, macro vision, and inspiration to his teammates.

“When we lost our last match to Excel [and missed playoffs], Perkz called me in tears. He was devastated and he then showed much proactivity, a will to pay his debt,” he told L’Equipe. “Because he felt he pressured himself too much, that he put way to much weight on his shoulders and he wanted to do so much more.”

Now, with two young imports we don’t know much about, Team Vitality might be one of the most unpredictable rosters of the 2023 LEC Winter Seasonand an exciting team to watch. They’ll play Fnatic for their first match of the season on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 3pm CT.

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