Nien joins Team 8 but won't debut until week 2
The team wanted Malhas for the upcoming Summer Split but did not submit the required paperwork to Riot Games before rosters locked for the first week on May 11.
Malhas had actually inadvertently leaked the move on his Twitch stream. In an image shared on Reddit, Team 8 owner Eric “LovePentakills8” Ma can be seen offering the player the main AD carry role as a replacement for Ainslie “Maplestreet” Wyllie.
In a comment on the Reddit thread, Team 8 top laner Steven “CaliTrlolz” Kim explained the team's reason for cutting Wyllie.
“Maple sometimes became too emotional about the game," Kim wrote, "which in turn made Dodo and Maple unwilling to duo. They only practiced handful duo queue entire year we've been on a team despite our request to do so. It was "unfortunate to bench Maple," he added, "but it was not an easy decision for the team. It was our first proactive roster change ever since our Challenger days.”
Malhas has often been praised as one of the best non-LCS marksmen since returning to the position in November 2014 on Team Fusion. He'd previously been known for his time in Counter Logic Gaming's top lane, but left the team in April 2014 amid a turbulent team atmosphere and widespread criticism from the community for lackluster performance. Shortly after, he joined Challenger Series team Frank Fang Gaming for a small amount of time, but ultimately took a break from competitive play late last summer.
His return to competitive with Team Fusion is potentially one of the better storylines in western League of Legends. Malhas showed he can play at an extremely high level of competition and his move back to his original position of AD carry demonstrated his strengths.
Despite his fantastic individual performance, Fusion failed to qualify for the LCS twice in the form of the 2015 Expansion Tournament and the 2015 Summer Promotion Tournament. Both times, however, Malhas demonstrated that he deserves a team in the pro league.
With this new addition, Team 8 looks to turn over a new leaf from the previous season, where they finished seventh. Malhas's addition is the team's first roster change since March 2014.
Team 8 did not respond to a request to comment on this article.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr