Last season’s European League Championship Series runners-up are making a change to their roster following a disappointing season that’s seen them slip to joint fifth in the table, boasting a record of just five wins and seven defeats. The team is dropping journeyman jungler Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek following some internal issues with the squad, sources close to the team tell the Daily Dot.
The team finished the last season in second place after losing the playoff final 3-2 to Fnatic, but haven’t enjoyed similar form this season. The team has been going through a transitional phase, both on and off Summoner’s Rift, as new manager Romain Bigeard tries to strike the balance between remaining a “fun team” and a team capable of winning.
Replacing him will be British player Daniel “Dan” Hockley, who is currently playing for Mousesports, and who had a spell with the Unicorns before leaving in August last year. Hockley has already said his farewells to Mousesports and should be in place to join Unicorns of Love for next week’s LCS fixtures, according to our sources.
The Unicorns of Love confirmed Szkudlarek’s departure in a statement to the Daily Dot.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the departure of our Jungler Mateusz ‘Kikis’ Szkudlarek,” coach Fabian “Sheepy” Mallant wrote. “Our first priority has been, is and will always be to feel comfortable and happy with each other.
“Lately Kikis had trouble to manage both living and working in the gaming house. Following this, we all sat down and discussed our future as a team. Although we worked out different solutions, we could not find a fitting arrangement. It then became apparent that even though we are chasing the same goal, it does not feel like we can accomplish it together.
Kikis is a great player with a lot of dedication to the game and has really grown close to us. He is one of our best friends. We’re genuinely wishing him the best and hope he will find what he is looking for.”
Szkudlarek also confirmed the move in a statement.
“The reasons for me to leave the team are mostly communication issues and the work ethic of some of my team members,” he wrote.
“I do not like the idea of not having a designated in-game shotcaller and our voice comms are pretty messy most of the time. Lately, our team mood was getting worse and practice wasn’t really fun or efficient. According to that, I expressed my desire to leave the team. All aside, we are still really good friends and I wish the guys the best.”
Update July 21, 10:20am CT: Hockley has turned down the offer from the Unicorns, citing a lack of practice and preparation time. “I didn’t think it would be the best choice due to me only having three days to practice with the team before going onto the stage,” he wrote, “it seemed almost unreasonable to put that much pressure on myself to preform in such a short period of time.”
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr
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