Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett, Spring 2016’s rookie of the split, has signed a three year deal with Immortals, fully committing his future to the LCS title hopefuls. After a year of continuous conflict and unrest with Team Liquid, Dardoch – an enigma of the NA LCS and one of the region’s brightest talents – has found himself a team worthy of his talents.
Dardoch’s history of disciplinary issues within Team Liquid were well documented. The series of repercussions were logged and broadcast to the public through TL’s recent feature length film, Breaking Point. Hartnett’s performance certainly didn’t receive glowing reviews – the deterioration of his relationship with the team’s staff was rapid following the issue of his two-week suspension in May for ‘insubordinate behaviour’.
Dardoch’s history of Toxicity was an issue immediately addressed in Immortals’ official announcement:
“From a community point of view, they just think I’m an asshole – whereas in reality, I’m like a pretty relaxed guy.
“I don’t really enjoy being upset, nobody really enjoys being angry or arguing or anything – I’m not really confrontational.
“I want success for Immortals, not necessarily just for myself.”
Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett
It’s hardly surprising that the League of Legends community considers Dardoch to be one of the biggest egotistical narcissists to have ever played eSports competitively. Team Liquid did nothing to generate positive PR around their star man, notably spending the entirety of their movie portraying the Jungler in a negative light.
Playing under the Immortals banner will give fans the opportunity to see the real Dardoch. He’ll still have the arrogant streak, but what top competitor doesn’t believe himself to be amongst the best? Hartnett is at least honest about his confidence in his own abilities.
As a coach of Team Liquid’s scouting grounds team, Dardoch showed maturity beyond his years – driven to give every ounce of knowledge he has to push the amateurs to achieve their potential – hardly the actions of the egotistical child TL have spent the past year trying to portray him as.
Dardoch deal with Immortals certainly has an element of fortune. In August, Team Liquid attempted to sell Dardoch’s contract to Echo Fox, a deal later denied by Riot Games due to a lock on the trade period for the 2016 summer split. Instead, Hartnett was forced to renegotiate his future, saved from a dead-end move to Echo Fox by Immortals… and what a deal it is.
Dardoch joins Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg in the elite group of players who have secured multi-year contracts with top-tier teams. A great deal can change in three years of competitive League of Legends, to have a long-term assurance is a rare safety net. After a year of being mis-managed by an organisation out of touch with what it takes to succeed, it’s no less than he deserves.
“Three year contracts in eSports aren’t common, but in Dardoch we see a special kind of player.
“There are obvious areas of improvement for him, but Josh has the potential to be a generational North American talent.
“Few players have a better work ethic, more passion for the game, or a greater desire to win. With the support of the Immortals staff and organization, we look forward to helping Dardoch reach new heights.”
Noah Whinston, Immortals CEO
Given a Spring Split to prove his value to any sceptical Immortals fans, Dardoch will soon shake his toxic tag, instead meriting the praise he deserves for his undeniable talent.