UPDATE Nov. 23: MAD Lions have confirmed their 2022 LEC roster. Top laner İrfan Berk "Armut" Tükek and jungler Javier "Elyoya" Prades Batalla will be retained alongside support Norman "Kaiser" Kaiser, the latter of whom signed a contract extension with MAD Lions earlier this year. Alongside the three players from MAD's 2021 roster, mid laner Reeker and AD carry UNF0RGIVEN will round out the team following reports.
Reeker played for Berlin International Gaming in 2021 and was one of the strongest mid laners in any European Regional League, while UNF0RGIVEN excelled throughout the season on SK Gaming Prime.
The signings were announced by MAD Lions shortly after the departure of Carzzy, who has reportedly signed a 3-year deal to be the new AD carry of Team Vitality. Reeker will be replacing Humanoid, who is reportedly being bought out from MAD Lions by Fnatic.
According to a report by Upcomer, MAD Lions plans to replace departing mid laner Marek “Humanoid” Brázda with Berlin International Gaming mid laner Steven "RKR" Chen. After competing in the European Regional League for the past two years, this would give RKR his first opportunity to compete in the LEC.
MAD Lions had a very strong performance domestically, winning back-to-back domestic titles in the LEC. Internationally, the team narrowly lost 3-2 to DWG KIA in the semifinals of the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational and lost again to them at Worlds 2021 in a clean sweep. Humanoid was the consistent standout for MAD Lions throughout the season, and was voted to the Spring 2021 EU All-Pro 3rd Team and the Summer 2021 EU All-Pro 2nd Team.
RKR has been competing in Europe for the past three years — competing with teams such as mousesports, SK Gaming Prime, and Berlin International Gaming. PLaying in the Prime League (the Swiss, German, and Austrian division of the European Regional League), he helped his team in 2021 win both the Spring and Summer playoffs of the league. He was awarded the Prime League Pro Division 2021 Summer MVP Award, as well as the Finals MVP Award for his efforts.
The news comes shortly after a report by Dot Esports that William "UNF0RGIVEN" Nieminen will be replacing Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság as the starting AD carry, after the latter reportedly opted to leave for Team Vitality on a three year contract as part of the reported superteam being formed VIT with the acquisitions of Cloud9 mid laner Luka "Perkz" Perković and Team Liquid top laner Barney "Alphari" Morris.
How MAD Lions will shape up the rest of the roster has yet to come out. The organization announced previously that they extended the contracts of their coaching staff throught 2022 for all four members, with three members of the staff extending through 2023.
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