League Of Legends Fans Mourn The Loss Of Yet Another Iconic Casting Duo

The League of Legends community was just coming to terms with the departure of Leigh “Deman” Smith and Joe “Just call me Joe” Miller, but has now suffered the compounded loss of yet another iconic casting duo. Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and Erik “DoA” Lonnquist have announced they will no longer be a part of the 2017 season of League Champions Korea, the end of an 10 season era popularised by a unique combination of strong analysis and complementing humour.

Though saddening for many fans of the Korean League of Legends scene, the news is hardly unexpected. The pair’s tenure as Riot Games employees had been terminal for some time, with a number of negative developments throughout 2016 seemingly signalling their imminent exit.

Their vacancy on the Korean league broadcast will now be filled by Chris “Papasmithy” Smith, Seth “Achillios” King, and a currently unannounced third commentator.

Source: OGN
Source: OGN

Though adored by the majority of the League of Legends community, neither MonteCristo nor DoA were shy to air their grievances with the game’s developer Riot Games – 2016 seemed to spring from one dispute to another. Ahead of May’s 2016 Mid-Season Invitational in Shanghai, the pair (in addition to Papasmithy) released a collaborative statement criticising a sub-standard pay rate for the freelance casters at the event, declining the tournament with a middle finger, as opposed to a polite ‘no thank you’.

The relationship between Riot Games and MonteCristo deteriorated further in the summer month, as the developer forced the caster to sell his stake in his eSports team, Renegades. Riot ruled that Mykles had arranged to return part of the organisation to his former partner and team co-owner, Chris Badawi, an outlawed figured who’d been previously banned from owning his own team.

In what became a blurred case, Riot additionally accused Renegades of “endangering player welfare” on top of harbouring a business relationship with Challenger side Team Dragon Knights. If there was ever a case of Riot throwing it up against the wall to see what stuck, MonteCristo’s Renegades ruling was it.

Source: Renegades
Source: OpenDomain

MonteCristo naturally denied all of the allegations, supporting his claims with an extensive YouTube video of evidence. By this point the relationship had been irreversibly spoiled. Monte later embroiled himself in the team owner campaign against developer overreach, whilst simultaneously vocalising his lack of desire to cast at the forthcoming League of Legends World Championship, of which neither he nor DoA attended.

After a turbulent year, both MonteCristo and DoA maintain that they depart the League of Legends scene at peace with the game, seemingly set to move onto greener pastures with the blossoming Overwatch eSports scene. The casting duo recently casted the game at Blizzard’s 2016 World Championship, also turning their commentating talents to the South Korean Apex league, conveniently also broadcast on their previous League of Legends broadcasting network, OGN.

Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles and Erik “DoA” Lonnquist broke the mould of the western caster. Where the majority of casters would be hesitant to speak ill of players and teams that were underperforming, pandering to the ‘fragile’ egos of the eSports pros, Monte and DoA weren’t afraid to be honest with their audience. Their humour and sharp analysis successfully highlighted pivotal game mistakes and bad play, without coming across as condescending.

The professional League of Legends scene will be a poorer place without the charisma of these two enigmatic personalities. The Korean hype train has left the station for the last time…

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