Golden Guardians to use majority of Academy team in 2022 LCS Lock In tournament

Golden Guardians has joined a growing list of League of Legends teams opting to use its Academy roster for the LCS Lock In tournament starting on Jan. 14, the organization announced today.

Golden Guardians’ LCS Lock In lineup will consist of top laner Tony Top, jungler Iconic, mid laner ry0ma, AD carry Stixxay, and support Chime.

The majority of the team’s Lock In lineup features players who will compete in the Academy Spring Split, with former Golden Guardians bot laner and current positional coach Stixxay making a temporary return to the team for the preseason event.

Stixxay, a former LCS bot laner, will be filling in for Academy bot laner Violet, who joined Golden Guardians following his Worlds 2021 run with Oceanic team Peace and is experiencing visa issues.

In Golden Guardians’ video announcement, general manager Danan Flander noted that visa issues were to be expected due to making a number of international roster changes. But Flander did mention that these issues will be resolved by the start of the LCS regular season.

“While, of course, the Academy team is competing in Lock In, our LCS team will continue practicing with substitutes,” Flander said in the video announcement. “You can fully expect that you’ll see the entirety of our roster come week one.”

Golden Guardians isn’t the only LCS team experiencing visa issues before the Lock In. Recently, TSM announced that it will be playing with the entirety of its Academy team, while both Cloud9 and Dignitas will be using a hybrid roster of their LCS and Academy squads for the Lock In tournament.

Photo via Riot Games

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its most recent Omicron variant have created complications with international travel and on-stage play for LCS players and personnel alike. As a result, the first portion of the LCS Lock In tournament will be played remotely as cases in Los Angeles county continue to skyrocket in positive testing. It’s unclear if this will continue for the knockout stage of the preseason event or the LCS Spring Split. 

The LCS Lock In tournament starts on Jan. 14 and concludes on Jan. 30. At the very least, the group stage of the event will be played remotely from each team’s practice facilities. 

Shortly after, the 2022 LCS Spring Split will begin on Feb. 5 with 10 LCS teams competing for the title of Spring Split champion. Golden Guardians will look to improve upon its eighth-place finish in the 2021 LCS Summer Split.

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