Earlier this week the appearance of Phoenix1 on Riot's NA LCS page caused a stir in League circles after there had not been a formal announcement of who would take Team Impulse's spot following a ban from compeditive play -- now we have that confirmation. The new team announced its roster in a report by ESPN and it contains some familiar names, and a few surprises.
The new team marks the wild fluctuations there have been in the NA LCS over the last 12 months. As LoL Esportspedia points out, only four teams slated to compete in the Summer split were present one year ago. This is the new roster for Phoenix1:
|Derek "Zig" Shao
|Ram "Inori" Charagh
|Brandon "Mash" Phan
|Austin "Gate" Yu
|Brandon "Brandini" Chen
|Choi "Pirean" Jun-Sik
Brandon "Mash" Phan, Austin "Gate" Yu and Choi "Pirean" Jun-Sik are former Team Impulse players who will retain their spots on Phoenix1, but there are a lot of changes. Most notably the team's new jungler, Rami "Inori" Charagh, who is a top Challenger player making his debut as a full-time LCS starter.
Phoenix1's funding comes from an unlikely group of people with a history in the entertainment industry. The three owners are vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, Rob Moore -- his son Michael, and Jack Giarraputo, a film producer most notably known for working with Adam Sandler.
They believe their history in the entertainment industry brings unique opportunities to esports, telling ESPN:
"We have been playing, watching and advocating LoL for some time now. We want to bring our expertise in Hollywood to highlight these incredible athletes. I speak for everyone involved when I say that we're ecstatic to be part of this."
The group has tapped former Cloud9 coach Charlie Lipsie to fill the same role in Phoenix1. The team is set to play its first NA LCS series on June 4 against Echo Fox on the second day of competition.