Just days after parting ways with half of its starting lineup, Team ROCCAT has picked up former Unicorns of Love AD carry Pierre "Steeelback" Medjaldi, sources close to the organization and the player tell ESPN. For the past few weeks, Steeelback has sought out a new team in North America after wanting to leave the Unicorns, alongside mid laner Hampus "Fox" Myhre, but has now found a home in Europe instead.
Sources say that Steeelback has chosen the team due to its proposed lineup, but did not specify as to who the team has its eyes on at the moment. He will join the remaining members of the spring lineup - shall nothing else change before the season begins in June - which includes jungler Karim "Airwaks" Benghalia and mid laner Felix "Betsy" Edling.
Steeelback will take the spot was previously occupied by Erik "Tabzz" van Helvert, who ROCCAT said it chose not to renew its contract with that player for the upcoming summer split. Additionally, the team parted ways with supports Lewis "NoXiAK" Simon Felix and Edward "Edward" Abgaryan and benched top laner Simon "fredy122" Payne.
Originally, both Steeelback and Fox expressed interest in moving to North America to compete, as reported by ESPN on April 11. Both players received offers from the likes of Challenger squad Dream Team, as well as a potential Challenger lineup that would've been the sister to League Championship Series side Immortals.
A voice conversation between Immortals CEO Noah Whinston and now-NRG top laner Diego "Quas" Ruiz was leaked via a Twitch stream weeks ago. Whinston told Ruiz that the team would consist of jungler Lucas "Santorin" Larsen, Fox, Steeelback, and Team Liquid substitute support Andy "Smoothie" Ta.
However, that endeavor fell through when Cloud9 moved three of its LCS players to a lineup to compete in the Challenger Series qualifier. Immortals did not think that its new lineup would be able to take down Cloud9's new Challenger team and didn't believe the investment was worth risking.
Signing with ROCCAT will likely come as a major surprise to many given Steeelback's performance this spring. With the Unicorns, the player was one of the best AD carries in Europe, holding the second highest kill-death-assist (KDA) ratio among the role at 6.8; only former H2k Gaming AD carry Konstantinos "FORG1VEN" Tzortziou-Napoleon had a higher ratio. He also participated in 71.7% of his team's overall kills which made him fifth in the league in comparison to other marksmen.
But despite the impressive performance, Steeelback did not receive any offers in the North America outside of Dream Team. Most teams in the league will retain their AD carries, sources say, with the exception of NRG Esports and potentially Apex Gaming, who is looking for a replacement for Park "Police" Hyeong-gi.
Team ROCCAT declined to comment on this report.