The Monday morning of August 31, after all the League Championship Series Worlds representatives had been decided, Immortals announced a departure of four of their players and one coach as part of the first major off-season move of the year outside of CLG's own staff release. Immortals finished just out of playoffs in the Spring Split and then last place this summer. This follows earlier changes to their roster they made just a few weeks into the Summer Split when they fired head coach, Thomas "Zaboutine" Si-Hassen, and GM, Keaton Cryer, and swapped in the entire Academy roster to the LCS for the rest of the season.
In their newest change, four pieces of the Academy roster were let go from the org, including Paul "sOAZ" Boyer, Jérémy "Eika" Valdenaire, Johnny "Altec" Ru, and Jiajun "Austin" "Gate" Yu, as well as their LCS coach, Adrien "GotoOne" Picard. The entire LCS roster remains for now, but with nearly three months left before the market opens for player transfer, there is a lot of time left for Immortals to explore their options and make further changes.
We spoke with Immortals' interim General Manager, Mike Schwartz, to get more context on the mass drop, the timing of the change, and what the org has planned moving forward, both with their current players and upcoming acquisitions:
"This is something we all knew was going to happen for a few weeks now internally. Once the season ended for us, we had our exit interviews. We figured out some players didn't want to be here and others we knew we wouldn't take into 2021 with us. So we announced this to give the community and fanbase the information that we are actively looking to make moves.
"My off-season started two months ago when I joined; I knew there was going to be a lot of work going into 2021. We've been working through things for the past two months, looking at players and coaches. It's been very behind the scenes, so this is just the first substantive thing we can talk about. And now that other teams have been eliminated from Worlds, that adds to the number of resources and people we can talk to about what their off-season plans look like. And we're hoping in the next few weeks to have some more information on who we will be working with on the staff side.
"Also, people are looking at the players we haven't moved on from and making assumptions, it's not our plan to simply stick with all of them as our roster. This was just the first step in making sure that our move into 2021 gives us the best roster possible. It wasn't just "cut the Academy team and keep the LCS roster for this year." We're always evaluating, this was just the first big step we could take."
Updated 8/31: soaZ has released a TwitLonger announcing that he will be taking a one year break (minimum) to coach after dealing with two stressful years and quarantining in a foreign country.
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