Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett has never beaten Immortals, the team he left acrimoniously during the mid-season break. For IMT mid laner, Eugene “Pobelter” Park, the third Summer Split victory over his former teammate will have provided a personal sense of satisfaction.
Pobelter is the antithesis of Dardoch. The Immortals mid laner’s well-mannered and humble approach to professional League of Legends has provided the foundations for a long and stabile career at the top of the North American scene; his newfound rival’s volatile tendencies have led him into a last-chance saloon.
The two polar-opposite personalities first clashed when brought under one roof in the 2017 Spring Split, as part of Immortals’ rebuild.
An aftermath of passive aggressive comments continues to add fuel to the fire, but it is Pobelter who is currently enjoying the last laugh on stage.
The synergy required for a jungler and mid laner combination to become a potent force never blossomed during the Dardoch iteration of the Immortals roster. Instead, Dardoch’s toxicity and lack of empathy once again reared its ugly head, a trait that Immortals’ longest serving player was not willing to accept:
“I think there’s a big difference between how you treat your best friends and how you’d treat someone who’s a new teammate or someone who you don’t know that well yet.
“I was really put off a lot of the time by the way you talked to other people – listening to you really break people down and the way you treat them, it felt like maybe I shouldn’t even bother, I don’t even want to reach out to [you].”
Eugene “Pobelter” Park
Dardoch’s inability to gel with Pobelter and his other Immortals teammates resulted in the organisation trading the jungler to Counter Logic Gaming in exchange for Jake “Xmithie” Puchero.
The arrival of the veteran jungle talent appeared to immediately heal the wounds gouged into the Immortals roster by Dardoch, with Pobelter notably rediscovering his form as Immortals quickly climbed towards the NA LCS summit.
Dardoch’s new CLG roster made a similarly early case for being the best team in the region, challenging IMT at the top of the standings. Boosted by a rejuvenated confidence in reaching his first World Championship, Dardoch wasted no time in digging out Pobelter, heavily implying a weakness in his former teammate:
“Immortals players did not take criticism well and it was very hard working with them from my POV, because to me, it only felt like Cody and Olleh were giving 100% effort.
“It was very hard for me to work with a few members of the team… Pobelter had a very rough split.”
Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett
Yet when the two title hopefuls clashed in head to heads, it was Immortals who triumphed on both occasions, causing many to suggest that it was Pobelter’s squad who had ‘won’ out of the trade with CLG.
Pobelter had secured the moral victory over his former teammate, validating Immortals World Championship ambitions and demonstrating the collective strength of the squad in his absence.
But the rivalry wouldn’t end there, as Counter Logic Gaming soon parted ways with Dardoch for the very same reasons that saw the jungler removed from IMT. Team Liquid acquired the tainted talent, framing yet another showdown between the two feuding rivals.
With Immortals flying high and Team Liquid flatlining, there was only ever going to be one victor. Trying to hide any hint of smugness, Pobelter coldly shook Dardoch’s hand where the other members of the IMT roster embraced their former teammate.
After a Spring Split of abuse and a toxic team environment, Pobelter has now enjoyed the last laugh at Dardoch’s expense on three separate occasions.
The trajectories of the two players are now heading in opposite directions, with Pobelter now the more likely of the two to reach the 2017 World Championships.