Sources: Echo Fox tried to poach Adrian from Phoenix1

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Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / Echo Fox

Update: Echo Fox tweeted a public statement in response to this story late Wednesday night. It reads: "We have always followed the operating guidelines published by Riot relative to inquiring about any player, as such we consult the Riot Contract Database before making contact. No further comment on this matter will be forthcoming."

Echo Fox attempted to poach ex-Immortals support Adrian “Adrian” Ma after he had already signed a contract with Phoenix1 last week, theScore esports has learned.

Multiple independent sources close to the player have claimed that Echo Fox made Adrian an offer after it was publicly announced that he had joined Phoenix1 on Nov. 22, without the knowledge of Phoenix1’s management. One source confidentially provided documents that supported the claim that the offer was sent to Adrian after Nov. 22.

Making an offer to a player signed with an LCS team violates Riot Games’ rules against poaching and tampering. Riot’s 2016 LCS ruleset states that team members or affiliates may not “solicit, lure, or make an offer of employment to any official coach or player who is signed to any LCS team.” Penalties for violating the rule are at the discretion of LCS officials, but may include a verbal warning, fine, suspension or disqualification.

Echo Fox declined a request for comment on this story.

The sources claim that Riot has been made aware of Echo Fox’s attempt to poach Adrian, but have so far taken no action against the team or its owner. They claim that teams in the NA LCS plan to collectively refuse to scrim with Echo Fox next season in reaction to the team’s actions and the lack of punitive measures taken by Riot.

Riot did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Echo Fox entered the league ahead of the 2016 season when former Lakers small forward Rick Fox bought out Gravity’s spot in the NA LCS. Early on in 2016, the team struggled with visa issues and were unable to field mid laner Henrik “Froggen” Hansen for most of the spring season. However, even with their full roster, the team had a dismal summer season, finishing last in the region with a 1-17 match record.

Like other teams that performed poorly in 2016, Echo Fox was expected to make key roster moves in the offseason. The team was one of the first to acquire a new player, announcing even before the completion of the 2016 World Championship that they had brought on former Team Liquid jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett. However, because the trade was made outside of Riot’s approved transfer window, LCS officials did not approve it, and it is unlikely Dardoch will start for the team in 2017.

One source with ties to Phoenix1, Immortals and several other NA LCS teams claimed that Echo Fox’s attempt to poach Adrian was part of a larger effort to recruit a 2017 roster without regard to players’ contract status with other teams. theScore esports has not been able to confirm that other attempts at poaching took place, or identify which players (if any) were targeted.

As a member of Immortals since the team was founded in December 2015, Adrian has been a reliable element on the team as well as one of the region’s stronger support players. His signature Soraka helped Immortals conquer the NA LCS spring regular season, though the team were unable to make it to the finals in either the spring or summer playoffs. In early September, CEO Noah Whinston announced he was allowing all five of Immortals’ players to seek offers from other teams; Adrian was the first member to officially accept an offer from a new team.

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.

Jeff Fraser is a supervising editor at theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Dardoch on TL: 'I think Doublelift and Adrian will probably do well in LCS given that there’s only a few very good bottom lanes currently in NA LCS'

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Flickr

Immortals have posted mixed results in the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split, but their 5-7 record still puts them in sixth place and in line for a coveted playoff spot if they can hold that position.

With that said, Week 6 saw the team lose sets to Team EnVyUs and Team Liquid and their remaining schedule is the hardest of any sub-.500 team. Couple that with the fact that Team Liquid's newly-revamped Liquid roster is looking at making a surprise playoff run of their own and there's no doubt that Immortals have a tough few weeks ahead of them.

Ahead of Week 7, Immortals jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett weighed in on what the team can be doing better, what he expects from the new-look Team Liquid, and whether he believes relegation is a possibility for the team.

We’ve seen your old team go through some hard times and now some major roster changes. Watching Liquid to this point, did you have any flashbacks to your time with that organization? Are there any major lessons you’ve carried with you to Immortals?

I often find myself thinking about times on TL and the good memories I had with my old teammates. I learned a lot from my experience on TL and it’s helped me a lot on Immortals so far.

How do you think this new version of Liquid (with Doublelift and Adrian) will perform?

I think Doublelift and Adrian will probably do well in LCS given that there’s only a few very good bottom lanes currently in NA LCS.

Week 6 was only the second time this season that Immortals lost both of their sets. Where is the most immediate area that you think the team needs to improve?

At the moment we’re just struggling to convert our scrim performances to stage, but if we manage to do that I think we can get to playoffs.

You’ve said in past interviews that you felt this roster was Top 4. Do you still feel that way?

I think we have the potential to be Top 4, but blatantly at the moment we’re not even close to Top 4 in terms of what we show on stage.

What’s been the best part of this split for you so far?

I don’t have any specific good memories this split, it’s been pretty bad for me so far.

Immortals have arguably the toughest remaining schedule of the bottom five teams in the standings right now. How is the team’s morale, and what are you doing to stay positive? Are you worried about relegation?

The team morale is always pretty okay. No one thinks we’re showing as much as we can on stage so we’re all hopeful still to fix the issues and move forward, and it’s possible that we lose a lot and drop into relegations but I really doubt we’ll be relegated. I actually think we’ll make playoffs.

Your last three game wins have been on Elise. Where do you think this champion stacks up in terms of jungle picks right now?

I don’t really think Elise is very good but it’s just something that’s really fun to play and I think it works fine in competitive play so whenever the chance comes up for it normally I take it.

Would you cameo in Breaking Point 2 if given the chance?

No.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is the news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.

Phoenix1's Inori: 'I realize more as I was watching Meteos play that I can learn a lot from him'

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games

Rami "Inori" Charagh may be splitting time in the jungle with William "Meteos" Hartman now, but sharing the role that was once his alone has become a learning experience, he says.

Inori sat down with The Nexus Podcast and to talk about the situation with Phoenix1 and his personal journey during his break from the team.

On the subject of leaving and returning to a situation where he was no longer a guaranteed starter, he admitted he was a little distraught.

"Yeah I think it’s not so much the environment here, it’s mostly my situation. It’s like, it was hard for me to… I just really wanted to play, and I just didn’t see myself in a sub/starter jungle situation so it was just hard for me to accept it, but now I’ve come to terms with it, and accepted it as the way to go, and I should just make the best of what I have right now." he told The Nexus podcast.

"And I realize more as I was watching Meteos play that I can learn a lot from him so I’m happy that I get the opportunity to try and learn as much as I can from Meteos and improve as much as I can as a player."

When discussing his initial reaction to being benched for Meteos, Inori cut right to the point. "It’s definitely it’s a bittersweet feeling when you see your team succeed without you, and it was just hard for me to kind of accept it," he said.

"I felt like I wanted myself to be more important on the team and roster situation. I just wanted to feel an 'oh, they need me' kind of thing but then I realized they don’t need me and I was like… it wasn’t that I was bad, but they brought in someone who was so good at communication and whose skill was so good for how little he played, and they didn’t really need me in a sense."

Inori's break from the team came with a lot of free time for self-reflection. Aside from spending time with his mother, he said he binged on sports documentaries, taking to heart some hard lessons learned by pro athletes in traditional sports.

"I just watched some Netflix ones and I really liked them because they showed where they failed and I felt like I was going through similar situations that applied, because they're both competitions in a sense and you go through the same struggles, and I saw [Allen Iverson’s] struggles and how he coped through his struggles and how he got through it," he said.

"I learned a lot from watching them, and it sounds kind of silly, but I saw a lot of stuff that could apply to my situation. I learned especially being humble, no matter how good you are, is the most important thing, because you never know what could happen next and just staying humble can keep you on a good level of your mental state."

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.


The Nexus Podcast ep. 5: Inori on the new Phoenix1, reforming his behaviour and one-tricks

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1:00 - Phoenix1's schedule and lifestyle
5:07 - Inori on sharing duties and knowledge with Meteos
7:58 - The value of substitutes on NA LCS rosters
12:38 - Inori on the lows of last year and the highs of this year
14:13 - Inori on reforming his behavior and trying to become a role model
18:01 - Doublelift and Adrian move to Team Liquid
23:48 - Where does Inori feel he ranks among NA LCS junglers?
26:16 - The gap between teams in the NALCS, and NACS
28:23 - Inori on his personal issues and losing confidence in his play
30:13 - The lessons learned during his break
37:56 - Swapping roles to jungle and being called a "one-trick"
44:25 - The future of Phoenix1 and getting a Vancouver homecoming

Click or tap here to listen in on SoundCloud.

The LCS trade deadline has come and gone, and the teams emerging with new starting rosters includes Team Liquid and Phoenix1.

So the fine folks at The Nexus have decided there's no better person to talk to than a member of one of the shaken up teams, Phoenix1 jungler Rami "Inori" Charagh.

In this 5th episode, hosts Lisa and Gabe quiz Inori on Phoenix1's new jungler rotation featuring William "Meteos" Hartman and himself, try to comb through the value of substitutes in the NA LCS, and talk about being a role model for fans of the game.

Next, we touch on Doublelift's return to the LCS, and his brand new union with former Phoenix1 support Adrian "Adrian" Ma. Inori then leans into that topic to discuss his own personal issues which caused him to take a break in Vancouver for two weeks, and how it helped him refine his mentality for the better.

Finally, Lisa, Gabe, and Inori have a frank discussion about the misconceptions surrounding one-tricks and why it's one of the flimsiest criticisms you can have for a pro player.

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.

Infographic: What if NA LCS and EU LCS were still best-of-one?

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Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports

While Riot Games abandoned the best-of-one format for the NA LCS and EU LCS back in 2015, theScore esports wanted to see how the current standings would stack up if the leagues still used the format.

Though Team SoloMid are currently leading the NA LCS with a 12-2 match record, counting only the first game of each match, TSM would actually be tied for third place with Echo Fox, Counter Logic Gaming and Immortals, each with 7-7 records. Interestingly, even with best-of-one, Cloud9 would have the same 11-3 record.

In Europe, across both Group A and Group B, league standings would actually remain largely the same counting either first game record or match record. The primary difference would be G2 and Misfits being tied for first in Group A with 7-2 records. G2 are undefeated in the official standings with a 9-0 match record.

Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.

Best Skin Concepts: Lee Sin, the Blind Monk

by 15h ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of no crowns for kings / Tumblr

Skins of the Week is a weekly series that highlights the best skins and skin concepts for a heroes, champions and characters across a variety of games.

This week, we're focusing on League of Legends' greatest martial artist, Lee Sin, the Blind Monk. With a new skin set to debut soon, we're taking a look at the best skins and concepts for LoL's ubiquitous jungler.

God Fist Lee Sin

Lee Sin's moniker is "The Blind Monk," so it seems a bit silly to create a skin that is defined by Lee Sin being able to see normally. That said, for every Lee Sin player who has ever gotten tired of the constant jokes about being blind, God Fist Lee Skin is the skin for you.

Beyond the inclusion of sight, God Fist Lee Sin has a great silhouette, which seems more than slightly similar to Marvel's Iron Fist. Personally, I can't wait until Riot releases Super Ultimate God Level Tier Lee Sin, which will likely feature gigantic hair for no real reason.

Red Demon Lee Sin

by mist XG

Taking Lee Sin in a completely new direction, this 'Red Demon Lee Sin' by mist XG turns the peaceful, meditative monk into a fighter bent on destruction. The greaves and gauntlets are the highlights of this concept, showcasing just how deadly Lee Sin can be. Twisted and dangerous, Red Demon Lee Sin is a solid concept for a darker, evil version of the well-loved champion.

Traditional Lee Sin

by no crowns for kings

Outside of his default appearance, Lee Sin's skins gradually move further and further away from his moniker. But no so with this skin, which is inspired by traditional clothes worn by Chinese monks.

While the beads are a nice touch, it's the sashes that flow outward from his back that are the highlight of this concept. They could provide some great animations were this concept to become reality. This twist on Lee Sin's title is colorful, exciting, and makes me wish it was available for use.

Dragon Priest Lee Sin

by Beastysakura

Dragon Priest Lee Sin is certainly more beastly than what one would expect the monk to be. Much like Red Demon Lee Sin, this concept features greaves to emphasize his deadlier aspects, though the primary draw this time are the monstrous face and hands. While Lee Sin is normally fierce yet retains an air of peace, this Dragon Priest variant is more animalistic, more tortured, yet undoubtedly just as cool to imagine as his other skins.

Galactic Pilgrim Lee Sin

by narm

Lee Sin in space is just a great image in and of itself, but this skin concept takes the idea and runs with it to a strange yet awesome conclusion. Galactic Pilgrim Lee Sin has a lot going on for him, with the color scheme and shock gauntlets being at the forefront, but it remains recognizably Lee Sin as its core.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

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