sOAZ comeback? Veteran top laner announces return to competitive LoL
European top laner sOAZ, a name familiar to long-time League of Legends (LoL) fans, is coming back to professional play. The veteran hasn’t been in a competitive match for a whole year, but the community will be hoping to see some of his best should he return, remembering his time with Fnatic in EU. In a Twitter post, sOAZ revealed that he would be keen to hear offers from the LCS, LEC, and LFL.
During the 2021 season, he served as head coach for LDLC OL in France’s professional league. LDLC had a lackluster 2021 Spring Split, finishing ninth. They did pick it up for Summer, improving to the fifth spot in the league and qualifying for playoffs. However, the squad crashed out of the post-season right away, eliminated at the hands of Solary.
Now, sOAZ looks to return to his playing roots. The last time he was on the competitive stage was with Immortals (IMT) in North America, but did not last beyond a year with the organization. IMT had disappointing performances through 2020, struggling as a bottom-five team in the LCS.
The veteran top laner wasn’t necessarily to blame as the entire roster just didn’t gel, but it still might not be a convincing resume for teams in the off-season. Not to mention, just prior to his LCS stint, he also had a rough outing with a Misfits Gaming in Europe.
On the other hand, sOAZ might also prove to be the veteran voice that teams may need—and may be willing to take a risk on. After all, his experience spans wining the EU championship four times with Fnatic and booking a Worlds spot six times. He’s witnessed Fnatic’s ups and downs and rebuilds, and LoL’s ups and downs, too, for that matter.
As he seeks a return to the professional stage, sOAZ will hope to climb back among the top teams, whether in NA or EU. Fans will also hope he can recapture his form from those glory days, even though LoL has changed a fair bit since then.
sOAZ will be competing with quite a swamped free agency market, though. Roster shuffles could get very dicey this off-season, especially with recent poor showings from some top teams in 2021, like TSM and G2 missing local playoffs, and four of the six Western representatives heading home early from Worlds.