Astralis have announced another addition to their LEC lineup: jungler Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir is donning the red-starred jersey. As reported by Alejandro "Anonimotum" Gomis last week, Xerxe is replacing Nikolay "Zanzarah" Akatov.
Xerxe returns to European soil after a year-and-a-half adventure in North America, where he played for Immortals. Interestingly, it was Astralis who sent him across the Atlantic. Xerxe played for Origen in 2020 but, when the team finished dead last in the Summer Split and Origen rebranded to Astralis, was released in a team-wide rebuild.
Reuniting with familiar faces
Despite not finding competitive success in recent years, Xerxe still qualifies as one of Europe's most-storied junglers. He entered Europe's highest stage in 2016, back when the competition was still named the EU LCS, on Unicorns of Love. With the team, Xerxe reached the 2017 Spring Split finals and made it to the finals of the subsequent Rift Rivals tournament. Xerxe joined Splyce from the 2018 season onward and helped make the team a consistent force in the playoffs. In 2019, he and his Splyce teammates surprised many and made it to the World Championship quarterfinals in Berlin.
On Astralis, Xerxe will play alongside some familiar faces. He played with top laner Kiss "Vizicsacsi" Tamás, who was signed to Astralis yesterday, during his Unicorns of Love days. The two were reunited on Splyce two years later. On that Splyce roster, Xerxe also played alongside Astralis' current bot laner Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup. Astralis head coach Baltat "AoD" Alin-Ciprian and Xerxe know each other from the 2020 Origen lineup.
Astralis have now announced two of the three new players they're signing. If they're continuing with the same pace, the organization should announce their new support player tomorrow, May 4.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.