Echo Fox announced its surprising new NA Challenger Series lineup Friday, featuring five former LCS players who have all gone on to have lucrative streaming careers.
The roster will include former Team SoloMid toplaner Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, former Team Dignitas AD Carry Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana, two former Team Dignitas midlaners William “Scarra” Li and Danny “Shiphtur” Le as well as former Team Curse midlaner Joedat “Voyboy” Esfahani. The team will be coached by former Team Liquid analyst and Riot on-air analyst Mark “MarkZ” Zimmerman.
For many of these players, a return to pro play is a pretty big surprise. Li and Hill have been retired since 2014 and 2015, respectively, and Santana’s stream brings in more than $2 million a year, he says.
Hill spoke briefly about this in the Echo Fox statement.
“A bunch of washed up former pros are going to come in and win the Challenger series for Echo Fox,” he said. “We’re going to play hard but we’re going to have more fun than anyone else.”
The statement does not mention the roles that the players will play, even with the significant overlap (three midlaners!). Because of this, it is likely that one or more players will be in roles they have not played competitively before, however it is possible that the team could change roles as they play.
Echo Fox is apparently planning to only scrimmage its Challenger roster this split, going against conventional practice of scrimming against other LCS teams, according to a heated tweet by Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne. It’s unclear if that means this new roster, or former Challenger Series roster Delta Fox (whose players are still employed as Echo Fox substitutes), or whether Echo Fox’s scrim plans have changed.