After much speculation in the offseason, Team Vitality have officially announced the signing of two new junglers to their 2022 LEC summer split lineup.
As reported by Jaxon in the offseason, Haru is the new starting jungler of the organization. Additionally, Team Vitality has signed Bo, who last played for FPX in the LPL.
Who are Haru and Bo
Haru will join Team Vitality from the 2022 NLC spring champions, X7 Esports. The organization had a stellar Spring split. They won the domestic title (NLC) and reached the quarterfinals of EU Masters, where they got eliminated by eventual winners Karmine Corp. Haru played a big part in their success and it took him only six months to make it into the LEC.
The player is known beyond his X7 days: he was a sub for the 2017 world champions, Samsung Galaxy. Despite playing only one game during Worlds 2017, the player has a skin in the game and that makes him the only active world champion in the LEC. That's some legitimate bragging rights right there.
Source: Riot Games
As for Bo, his issue is less about his talent than it is about his reputation.
Bo’s talent is insane, and he had an exciting start to his professional career. In Spring 2021, the player was brought to the LPL by FPX and the dominance he asserted was unmatched. FPX went on 10 games win streak with Bo and to this day, he is still undefeated professionally
Unfortunately, Bo participated in a match-fixing scheme during his days in the LDL. On April 4, 2021, Bo was found guilty and received a 4-month ban. His confession and help in the LPL and LDL’s investigation lessened the duration of his ban, but he never had the opportunity to play professionally in China since then.
Here is what the player said following the ban, according to a translation by iCrystalization:
FPX Bo’s apology for the LDL match-fixing controversy:— Linda Pro League 🦦 (@iCrystalization) April 22, 2021
“I’m sorry. I’ve spent this past period of time regretting and suffering, and not knowing how I should face everyone. But one should never under any circumstances violate the rules. What’s wrong is wrong (..)”
(video below) pic.twitter.com/2vbl1mWPPC
How they will contribute to the struggling Vitality
Haru was brought on the team with one goal in mind: help them during the midgame. During the spring split, Vitality struggled in the mid-to-late game, and the players were never on the same page. Then, as Selfmade’s vision of the game differed to that of his teammates, he was benched.
As Haru is a good initiator, all eyes will be on the mid-jungle synergy between him and Perkz. And as both players have plenty of experience at the highest level, he might be the piece that Vitality was missing all along.
Meanwhile, despite Bo’s substitute jungler status, he fits Vitality’s long-term vision. If handled correctly, Bo’s insane talent will dominate the LEC in no time. As the organization mentioned in their statement, the player has time to adapt to the European culture, as the goal is to grow a lethal Vitality player in the long run.
Jaxon’s prediction for Team Vitality
Team Vitality’s issues are way deeper than one player’s different view of the game: they will have to learn to play together and draft better. They struggled without Haru, and they likely will initially. Experimenting is fine, especially when you have an experienced player on your side; so, why not do it?
The team will have a hard time at the start, but with hard work and some (resource) sacrifices, they will fit as a team. Although they stand no chance of winning the LEC, they could eventually contend for a Worlds spot.