Team Vitality will sub in academy support Pierre

21:23, 14 Feb 2020

After failing to win its first seven games of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) 2020 season, Team Vitality will sub in academy support Pierre "Steeelback" Medjaldi ahead of the organisations Week 4 match against Misfits.

Steelback debuted back in 2015 as an ADC when he took on the difficult task of replacing Martin “Rekkles” Larrson at Fnatic. When the Swedish bot-laner eventually returned, Steelback’s career stalled with fruitless spells across multiple European and North American organisations. Consequently, the Frenchman made the brave decision to role-swap to support last season.

It was a change that worked wonders as he dominated France’s regional league the LFL, helping Team LDLC dominate the league all year round though the squad couldn’t transition that success into an EU Masters trophy. Steelback will have no problem synergising with Vitality’s 18-year-old ADC Markos "Comp" Stamkopoulos as the duo played together all of last season.

The news was first announced on Twitter by Vitality’s first-choice support Jakub "Jactroll" Skurzyński who revealed the change not long after the team’s gutsy but unsuccessful performance against Fnatic. The Polish support explained that he had been sharing scrim time with his French counterpart since the start of the week and the pair will now play one game apiece every week from now on.

Jactroll says he understands the decision, stating: “I think it's fair to try different things when a split is obviously not going well.” He was a bit more graceful than Konstantinos-Napoleon 'FORG1VEN' Tzortziou who announced he was stepping down from Schalke’s starting line-up as the team has also failed to find a win so far this season.

With the Spring Split no-longer contributing towards World Championship qualification, teams are safer to experiment and try new things at the start of the year. Vitality will want a fresh start as soon as possible as the organisation still hasn’t been able to play with mid-laner Aljoša "Milica" Kovandžić due to visa issues. There is a lot of excitement around the young Serbian’s potential so his inability to compete has undoubtedly dealt a large blow to the team.

Whether Steelback will be the answer to the organisation’s woes remains to be seen but it will be fascinating to see if the Frenchman or Jactroll is picked to play against winless Schalke next week in what could very well be either organisation’s first win this year.

Image via Riot Games Flickr

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