Steeelback joins Team Vitality

by Daniel Rosen Sep 21 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot esports Flickr

Pierre "Steeelback" Medjaldi is set to sign with Team Vitality, the organization announced Wednesday.

"I'm both happy and excited to join Team Vitality," Steeelback stated in the press release. "Following a disappointing season, I want more than ever to be part of 2017 World Championship and I feel it's something that I might be able to do here. Also, even if it didn't really impacted my choice, it would be fantastic to offer to french supporters the first participation of an organization from our country in World Championship since creation of LCS."

Steeelback comes to Vitality from Team ROCCAT, who he joined in May. At the beginning of the 2016 season, he was playing for the Unicorns of Love, but switched teams after UoL placed 5th-6th in the 2016 EU LCS Spring Playoffs. While he was with ROCCAT, the team placed last in the 2016 EU LCS Summer Split with a 2-6-10 record, finding their only two wins of the season against FC Schalke 04 and Vitality. The team requalified for the 2017 Spring Split with a 3-1 win over Schalke in the second round of the Promotion Tournament.

"Steeelback showed great interest in our project and we're really happy to be working with him from now on. Even if the 2016 season isn't over yet, we're already working on 2017 season and we really want to have the best chance of success," Vitality owner Fabien "Neo" Devide stated in a press release.

"After the Summer Split failure, we're more than ever driven by the desire of attending World Championship next year. Pierre shares our vision and objectives and we're sure that he will do everything he can to help the team achieve that performance. I would also like to warmly thanks Police who's been very professional despite having to deal with [tough] conditions. His involvement to adapt to the team and learn english has been exemplary and I wish him the best for the future."

During the summer split, Vitality benched their AD carry, Petter "Hjarnan" Fresychuss and jungler Ilyas “Shook" Hartsema, replacing them with Park "Police" Heyong-gi and Kim "Mightybear" Min-Su, then benched Mightybear in favour of Shook. The team placed seventh in the summer split, locking them out of playoffs.

In the press release, Vitality noted that the signing is pending Riot approval, thought it is unclear exactly when Riot will begin approving new player signings.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.