In an official blog post, Astralis formally announced jungler Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir’s return to the organization.
Xerxe previously had a short-lived stint as a member of Astralis, only playing for the org from September to November 2020. After this, Xerxe was imported into the North American LCS team Immortals. The Romanian jungler played in NA soil for three splits. Most recently, Immortals were tied for last place with TSM, both teams having a 5 win 13 loss count.
Our new jungler is here. Glad to have you back in the #LEC, @XerxeLoL.
Read the full announcement here: https://t.co/RXWIFsvSn1 pic.twitter.com/HZd7mCFm7P
— Astralis League of Legends (@AstralisLoL) May 3, 2022
Astralis League of Legends Head Coach Baltat “AoD” Alin-Ciprian shared a few words regarding the jungler’s re-signing.
“I worked with Xerxe previously, and part of the coaching staff knows him from before, which swayed our decision towards him when the opportunity arose. Xerxe made his debut in 2016, and here, six years later, he is still playing at the highest level, which speaks volumes about his quality as a player. You simply can’t deny his raw skill,” he said. AoD described Xerxe as “a very creative player with a lot of curveballs he can throw, starting from draft, which opens up many possibilities in our team’s playstyle and our approach to the game.”
This signing also reunites the jungler with his bot laner Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup, as the two had played together under the banner of Splyce in 2019. This iteration of Splyce qualified for the 2019 World Championship, but ultimately got kicked out in the Quarterfinals after losing 1-3 against SKT T1. They also won a group stage game against FunPlus Phoenix, who ended up claiming the Championship title that year.
AoD also quelled some fans’ concerns, considering that Xerxe’s track record in the LCS went poorly. “While talking to him during our interviews, it was also clear that Andrei is super motivated to write a new page and prove that he is much more than the previous splits have shown. We can’t wait to see him perform in the LEC again,” says Coach AoD.
The news of Xerxe’s re-signing comes after the news of Astralis’ now ex-jungler Nikolay “Zanzarah” Akatov. Zanzarah played under the org’s banner for more than a year, and has surprised the whole league with his odd picks. His bright and cheery personality also quickly became part of the Zanzarah brand, easily garnering him fans.
Endless Trundle and Skarner bans
Today, one chapter ends, and another begins. Thank you for everything, @Zanzarahlol. pic.twitter.com/UknpylBH2F
— Astralis League of Legends (@AstralisLoL) April 28, 2022
Regarding Zanzarah’s departure, Astralis had a few words to say. “We wish Nikolay the best in his future endeavors and thank him for his time, efforts and always positive attitude towards team mates, colleagues, partners and fans,” written on their blog post.
As of the time of writing, Zanzarah’s next destination is unknown.
Astralis had a weak presence in the previous LEC splits, finishing 8th at the highest. In the most recent LEC Spring 2022 Split, Astralis placed dead last. Before rebranding, the LEC roster was known as Origen, and has multiple achievements on its own. After rebranding as Astralis, fans were left baffled as to the reason of the team’s poor performance.
Astralis has added that the changes to their League of Legends team “aligns with our goal to progress and improve our game constantly.”
Hopefully these changes do end up becoming a net positive for what will end up as the AST starting roster for LEC Summer 2022. As of now, there is no announced schedule for the LEC Summer 2022 Split.
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