Astral Authority have released warrior Jerome "KilluZiioN" Tanguay and will bench melee/flex Jon "Equinox" Peterson for the remaining duration of his contract. The press release, penned by Astral COO John Kelly, confirmed the pair of roster moves.
In Equinox's case, Kelly claimed in the release that it was because their melee/flex player had told the team that he was suffering from burnout and asked to be released from the roster, while he was in fact planning to compete at the first North American Fall Regional with another team.
"Recently, the Astral management team became aware that instead of taking time off from the game to recuperate, Equinox intended to join the roster of another team and compete professionally starting with the North America Fall Regional #1 Qualifier 1 on the 10th of July. The Astral management team has decided to adhere to our Heroes of the Storm player contracts and ask for Equinox or his team to buy out his contract in order for him to compete."
Astral CEO Dean Tavarez confirmed to theScore esports that Equinox's contract runs until Sep. 1, 2016. If the contract is not bought out — the price for which has been reduced by 50 percent by the organization — he will be benched until that time. Tavarez said that it is "highly unlikely" that Equinox would play for Astral Authority again before the contract elapses or is bought out.
Speaking to theScore esports, Equinox claimed that he wasn't aware he would be playing with another team until after he had asked for (and received) Astral Authority's blessing to leave the roster.
"Not worried too much, they agreed to releasing me on [July] the 1st (from contract and the team) and then it became an issue when someone told them that I left to play for someone else. When that wasn't even the case, I didn't even know I'd be playing for someone else till 2-3 days after I quit the team. Again, which they agreed on," he said.
As for KilluZiioN, the press release said that he did not "function well with [Astral Authority's] coaching staff" and wanted to pursue other opportunities. As a result, his contract will end on July 1.
"KilluZiion spoke candidly with management and staff about the possibility of playing for another team. We appreciated his candor and wish him the best of luck. As such, we will be terminating his contract on the 1st of July in accordance with our “for cause” termination policy embedded within his contract.
The roster will continue on with Kevin “TalkingTrees” Marco, Christopher “Darkchimaera” Beery and Damian “FrozenX” Nagel, with efforts to fill the warrior and melee/flex vacancies already underway.
"It is unfortunate we had to join the rosterpocalypse, especially after top 4 at Burbank. The departure of KilluZiion was unfortunate but gives us more opportunities to grow and create a stronger team environment moving forward,” FrozenX said in the press release.
Astral Authority has had strong results and solid improvement in recent tournaments, reaching the Top 4 at the second NA Summer Regional in Burbank after defeating Panda Global and Tempo Storm during the group stage before falling to Gale Force eSports in the semifinals.
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.