League of Legends: Fans left confused after OpTic Gaming sign another star jungler for upcoming season - Dexerto
League of Legends

League of Legends: Fans left confused after OpTic Gaming sign another star jungler for upcoming season

Published: 5/Dec/2018 4:16 Updated: 5/Dec/2018 4:20

by Albert Petrosyan


OpTic Gaming have acquired another top-tier jungler for their League of Legends pro team, and it has left many fans in a state of confusion.

Joshua ‘Dardoch’ Hartnett was officially unveiled as the newest OpTic player on December 4, joining a roster that already includes the newly acquired ‘Meteos’ as jungler.

The active roster now features Dardoch and Meteos as junglers, ‘Dhokla’ as the top laner, ‘Crown’ as the mid laner, ‘Arrow’ as the ADC, and ‘Big’ as the support.

The announcement was made via a post on OpTic’s official Twitter page, which read: “The jungle is a dangerous place, even more now that the former Rookie of the Split and 2nd NA LCS All-Pro Team Joshua ‘Dardoch’ Hartnett has joined our roster.”

One look at the comments section of the tweet above reveals that a majority of fans have not taken the news too well, since it means that Dardoch and Meteos will be splitting time in the jungler role. 

Many are even more confused at the fact that Dardoch has been acquired barely a week after Meteos was signed, which is certainly odd since both are starting-caliber level players. 

After leaving 100 Thieves in contentious circumstances, Meteos will now have to share his time as a jungler with another star player.

It’s not clear how the team plans on utilizing their two new junglers, both of whom have not yet commented about the fact that they have to share that role.

As some fans have mentioned in their comments, OpTic seem to be trying to emulate the strategy that Cloud9 used in their surprising run to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Championships.

Cloud9’s current roster currently features eight active players, which were rotated in and out throughout the previous season based on performances and matchups.

It remains to be seen whether OpTic can successfully use that strategy, and if so, does this mean that they plan on adding even more players to their already stacked roster?

As a member of Echo Fox, Dardoch established himself as a top talent, making two All-Pro teams in 2018.

Either way, Dardoch remains one of the premier talents in the North American League Championship Series, and acquiring him from Echo Fox can only increase the collective talent of OpTic’s roster. 

As a member of Team Liquid in 2016, he won Rookie of the Split for his strong play during the Spring. Since then, he’s followed that up with four All-Pro placings, including making the 2018 1st and 2nd All-Pro Teams for the Spring and Summer Splits.

With so many organizations, teams, and players making moves in the NA LCS, it may sometimes be hard to keep up. You can track all roster moves and changes via our dedicated tracker HERE.

League of Legends

Ablazeolive on his LCS call-up: “You have to take risks on younger talent”

Published: 19/Jan/2021 12:39 Updated: 19/Jan/2021 13:33

by Andrew Amos


Golden Guardians’ new Mid Laner Nicholas ‘Ablazeolive’ Abbott isn’t a household name yet. While LCS 2021 expectations are low for the rookie squad, he has high hopes of proving pundits wrong.

Worlds 2020 ended on a sour note for North America, more so than any year previously. The region’s failures were being exposed on a platform like never before, and changes were needed.

As it was all going down in Shanghai, Ablazeolive was sitting back home, patiently waiting for a potential call-up to the LCS. Five years after he made his competitive debut in NACS with Zenith Esports, it finally came.

Abbott is one of three rookies Golden Guardians put faith in for LCS 2021. They didn’t take long to impress, beating CLG in their first game at Lock In. Despite the experience gap between the two squads, the youngsters looked like the veterans.

“I actually wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I was a lot more nervous in my Academy debut. I’m not sure why, I’m still trying to figure that one out, but I felt really comfortable,” he told Dexerto.

Ablazeolive playing for Golden Guardians Academy in LCS 2020
Paul de Leon for Riot Games
It took five years and hundreds of Academy games to get his LCS call-up, but Ablazeolive is hungry to make up lost time.

The 22-year-old has been on the cusp of LCS stardom since 2016, but never actually got the go-ahead. It was taxing at times, but Ablazeolive never lost sight of that dream.

“I had a very positive outlook after 2019. I thought from when I was talking to people and their opinions of me, and my own interpretations of my own strength, I thought I was pretty likely to get into the LCS in 2020, and when that didn’t happen, I was pretty disappointed.

“Golden Guardians as an organization showed faith in me and saw the potential and took a chance on me — and I’m very glad that I’m able to show them they were right in choosing me as their Mid Laner.”

Shaped by Bjergsen

Although he never was on stage against the best, behind closed doors, he had the best mentor you could ask for ⁠— Soren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg. Two years on TSM Academy with the star Dane taught Ablazeolive not just invaluable lessons in-game, but off the Rift too.

“Naturally, he was really good in-game, and nobody would be surprised to know I learned a lot from him. However, the most important thing he taught me was to not be as nervous on stage. He showed me how to get over it, talked to me, and helped me work it out. I was very grateful for that,” he explained.

While he won’t get the chance to play against Bjerg on stage after his retirement, Abbott isn’t concerned about not giving his tutor a send-off. Instead, he’s trying to build the same reputation himself.

“I like to think he retired because of me. He started out as this unreachable goal and I didn’t know how I could improve and get better than him. While it’s sad I won’t be able to play him, I’m not upset. I’d still feel confident against him, like I’d be confident against any other Mid Laner.”

Ablazeolive playing for TSM Academy in LCS 2019
Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Ablazeolive won LCS Academy Spring 2019 on TSM Academy while under Bjergsen’s wing.

LCS 2021: Year of the rookies?

Ablazeolive is trying to turn around the perception of NA Mid Laners as a whole too. There’s been a distinct shift in the NA mindset this off-season — away from importing every half-decent European player. Instead, the focus has become on local, homegrown talent.

Golden Guardians is the epitome of that, but they’re far from the exception. Immortals, Dignitas, and FlyQuest have all done the same. This is especially true in the Mid Lane, with six North Americans finally outnumbering their European counterparts for the first time in years. This investment in Academy players, in Ablazeolive’s eyes, is the only way NA can redeem themselves internationally.

“That’s the only way NA can rebuild itself. Relying on imports and other regions to supply our good players isn’t going to be a realistic strategy to become dominant or even competitive at Worlds. You have to be able to take these risks on these younger talent, and I think this year, a lot of teams have done that which is very surprising,” he said.

“It’s great that we have so many [Academy Mids] coming up, because it’s always been a meme that NA Mids are really bad, but it’s also because no one tries to play them. Maybe if we play and get the exposure and practice, then we can show our improvement.”

Ablazeolive playing for Golden Guardians Academy in LCS 2020
Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Worlds isn’t on the horizon yet for Ablazeolive. However, LCS playoffs are.

All eyes on LCS 2021 Playoffs

It’s a long-term plan, but it’s one that ultimately could shift where NA ends up in the global power rankings. Worlds might seem like a distant dream for Ablazeolive for now, but he’s at least confident Golden Guardians can defy expectations and really show what homegrown talent can do.

“A lot of people aren’t expecting us to make Playoffs, but personally from scrims and how we’ve been playing, I’d actually be quite surprised if we didn’t make Playoffs. A lot of the teams, at least starting off, don’t look like they’re fully together yet.

“This isn’t going to be the same Golden Guardians in five months, or three months. We’re going to get better ⁠— the difference between us at the beginning of scrims and now is mind-blowing, and that’s very directly attributed to our coaching staff helping us out individually and as a team.”

Golden Guardians next play against the top-of-the-table 100 Thieves on Friday, January 22 at 4PM PT.