Pierre “Steeelback” Medjaldi certainly has a strong case to be considered one of the most unlucky players in the LCS. After saving Team ROCCAT from the death sentence that is the Challenger scene, Steeelback owed the team nothing and has announced his status as a free agent once again.
Steeelback is the player closest to achieving ‘journeyman’ status in the LCS, despite the relatively short history of League of Legends eSports. It won’t be a desirable label for the Frenchman who, for one reason or another, has frequently found himself contracted to the wrong team at the wrong time. Team ROCCAT was never the answer and for Steeelback’s sake, the next move needs to be the right one.
“Announcement of a change to our LCS roster today as our AD Carry, Steeelback, leaves the team. Thanks for the memories, Pierre, and best of luck to you in the future.”
Team ROCCAT Official Announcement
It wasn’t always such a tale of doom and gloom for the veteran AD Carry. Emerging from the Challenger scene, Steeelback’s talents earnt him a spot on one of the regions top teams, Fnatic. He held his own alongside the talents of Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten and Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon and tallied the highest KDA in the LCS in his first ever split. It must’ve felt like a kick in the teeth when Martin “Rekkles” Larsson swanned back into his spot after he learnt that the grass wasn’t always greener.
What followed was a series of bad decisions, of which moving to North America was certainly the worst. When he finally got his chance to return to EU, Steeelback ended up leaving the Unicorns of Love after the spring split, surely a mistake in hindsight. There’s certainly enough evidence to suggest that if he’d stayed with the Unicorns for the summer, the team could have made it to Worlds – UoL missed out very narrowly following a close five game series with Splyce.
It was inevitable that Steeelback would leave ROCCAT at the end of the season – he’s simply too good to not be competing at the top of the ladder. Despite the various poor career moves he’s made along the way, it doesn’t appear to have knocked the AD carry’s confidence, claiming in an in interview with French eSports channel O’gaming that he considers himself to be “the best laner in Europe”.
Of course, not everyone agrees:
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— FORG1VEN (@FORG1VENGRE) 15 September 2016
Having ruled out a move back to North America, Steeelback’s next destination seems likely to be Team Vitality. Vitality support Raymond “kaSing” Tsang is fast becoming the frenchman’s most frequent practice partner, fellow compatriot Lucas “Cabochard” Simon-Meslet has also recorded a number of games as Steeelback’s duo. With Steeelback on their roster, Vitality could realistically aim for a top three finish next Spring.
With Steeelback you’re guaranteed consistency, but his consistency for poor career moves is one aspect of his career that needs to be put behind him.