Team Liquid jungler Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera has approached Team Imagine manager Rohit “CurryshotGG” Nathani in hopes to acquire jungler Galen “Moon” Holgate, sources close to the player tell the Daily Dot.
Holgate will decide on his future after his team plays Team 8 in this weekend’s 2016 Spring Promotion Tournament, where they will have a chance to qualify for the League Championship Series (LCS). It’s uncertain whether Rivera plans to retire to make room for the new addition, but he does plan to groom Holgate as a potential replacement.
Holgate is widely hailed as one of the best junglers in the North American Challenger scene. He made his name in the competitive scene under the handle “14a” while competing with Frank Fang Gaming. That team disbanded on June 1 after losing to Cloud9 Tempest in the Challenger Series qualifiers.
Holgate since had a brief stint with Winterfox, substituting in and out for Ryan “ShorterACE” Nget. But after Team Imagine suffered losses in the beginning of the Summer Challenger Series, it looked to replace all of its starting roster, with Holgate the crowning jewel of their new lineup. The team is now one best-of-five series away from the game’s top level after placing third in the Challenger Series by besting Cloud9 Tempest in the playoffs.
For Team Liquid, a player like Holgate could potentially signal the start of a new era. After a third-place finish in the LCS Summer Split, the squad looked primed to qualify for the Riot World Championships for the first time in franchise history. But Cloud9’s Cinderella run in the Regional Finals ended Liquid’s hopes when they were one series away from accomplishing that feat.
After another disappointing fourth-place finish, something that’s become a hallmark of Team Liquid’s history in League, it’s likely the team will be undergoing some sort of change. The team’s head coach, Peter Zhang, indicated he may step down after assuming blame for the team’s poor performance. Marksman Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin stated during a Twitch stream that he’s headed back to Korea to rest and will make a decision on his future at a later date.
Whether change happens in the jungle may hinge on Holgate’s decision, but Rivera and his team’s interest in the player is not a knee-jerk reaction, Rivera contacted Team Imagine even before the LCS finals on Aug. 23. Holgate would make the perfect understudy for Rivera, if he plans to eventually step down.
Photo by Jacob Wolf