UPDATE May. 7: After Astralis confirmed the signing of Xerxe as their new starting jungler, reports by Upcomer have linked Zanzarah to a deal with Misfits Premier in the LFL.
Some teams are already making some major changes going into the LEC 2022 Summer Split. One of these moves was that jungler Nikolay "Zanzarah" Akatov has been released from Astralis. The news was announced on Astralis and Zanzarah's social media accounts. First reported by Alejandro "Anonimotum" Gomis, the expected replacement for Zanzarah is Immortals jungler Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir.
Zanzarah has been competing with CIS and European teams since 2014. Though he found strong success with teams in competitions such as the Ultraliga and Trinity Force Puchar Polski, it wasn't enough to bring good results to Astralis in the LEC. By many he was considered one of the most promising junglers in the European Masters — some of his past accomplishments including winning the EM 2020 Summer Main Event with AGO ROGUE. During his three splits with the team, he failed to make playoffs on any occasion — placing ninth in Spring 2021, tying for 7th in Summer 2021, and 10th in Spring 2022.
Since their most recent last place result, the team has made many changes in addition to Zanzarah's release — letting go of Matti "WhiteKnight" Sormunen and Hampus Mikael "promisq" Abrahamsson.
Xerxe is a player of strong experience with previously great results. While in the LEC, some of his past accomplishments include making the quarterfinals at Worlds 2019 with Splyce, as well as placing fourth in the LEC 2020 Spring Playoffs with Origen. On an individual level, he has made three All Pro Teams while in Europe, including a EU 1st All Pro Team Spring of 2018.
However, he has been absent from the European scene for almost a year and half — competing in the LCS with Immortals. His strongest result with the team was a 5-6th placement, and team's most recent result was placing tenth in the LCS 2022 Spring Split.
All images by: Michal Konkol/Riot Games
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