Sources: Optic removes zig and LemonNation from starting lineup

Daerek “LemonNation” Hart has been removed from Optic Gaming's starting lineup, according to sources. Provided by Riot Games

Optic Gaming has removed top laner Derek "zig" Shao and support Daerek "LemonNation" Hart from its starting League of Legends lineup, sources close to the team and players told ESPN.

It's unclear if Optic will retain zig or LemonNation for its Academy lineup, which the organization intends to shake up in the next few months ahead of the summer split, according to sources. The team will retain jungler Matthew "Akaadian" Higginbotham, mid laner Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage and AD carry Noh "Arrow" Dong-hyeon. It intends to construct its new roster around those three players.

Optic will be eligible to sign new players, with league approval, beginning May 28th. The deadline to submit a completed roster for the summer split is May 31st.

Optic also wants to make changes to its Academy lineup, sources said, although specific moves have not been decided. It hopes to reconstruct the Academy team with rookies to potentially promote into its main lineup in the future, according to sources.

The initial roster was assembled by multiple staff members of Optic, including manager Romain Bigeard and head coach Thomas "Zaboutine" Si-Hassen, hired from the Unicorns of Love and O'Gaming respectively. The previous roster took ninth place, ahead of just the Golden Guardians, during the spring split, which concluded on Sunday.

Optic Gaming, which is best known for its teams in first-person shooter games like Call of Duty, was acquired by Infinite Esports & Entertainment -- a startup funded by an investment group led by Texas Rangers co-owner Neil Leibman -- last summer. With that acquisition, it entered the League of Legends space after it won a bid for a spot in the League Championship Series in October.

Optic did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.