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Fox is Free Agent, Freeze is open to offers, Caster Machine Now Freelancer

November 2, 2016 - Esports

It’s time to round up some smaller news, which don’t really deserve their own articles once again. The League of Legends offseason is starting, one staffer in CS:GO broadcasting scene is moving into the freelance market. Let’s see what that’s about, shall we?

The former Mid for Schalke 04, one of the first traditional sports organizations to move into the eSports universe, which did not meet success, getting relegated after a single split in the EU LCS, Hampus “Fox” Myhre, just announced that he’s a free agent. Over the 37 games he played in the Summer Split, Fox had a KDA of 3.76 in 15 losses and 22 wins.

With Schalke 04 competing in the Challenger Series with the hope of getting back their LCS spot for the Summer Split, Fox didn’t keep his job. While that could certainly be because of subpar performance, it’s probably more likely that the LCS level Mid Laner is too expensive to keep on the roster for the limited exposure Challenger Series provides. This theory is a little bit shaky, however, because the Schalke 04 pre-season team, announced recently, does have Etienne “Steve” Michels, who represented the org in the disastrous 2016 Summer Split. Could it be that the organisation is simply not satisfied with Fox’s performance?

Whatever the case may be, Steve, Rudy “Rudy” Beltran, Jørgen “Hatrixx” Elgåen, Ian “NightSniper” De Schepper, and Benjamin “Visdom” Ruberg Larsen is the new Schalke 04 roster. It remains to be seen whether this is the squad that is going to compete in the 2017 Spring Challenger Series. There’s a lot of time left until the time the decision needs to be made.

The second piece of news reached us from the camp of H2K, the Semifinalists of LoL World Championship, and their AD Carry, Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek. The Marksman position on that team is in a very weird spot at the moment. When Freeze started having wrist problems, he was replaced by Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou. With FORG1VEN at the helm, the team went deep at Worlds. Now, assuming that Freeze’s issues are fixed, the team has some decisions to make.

Both AD Carries can be counted among the best in Europe. Most teams in the region would consider themselves lucky to have one of them. But. FORG1VEN still has issues with military deferment. What happens when the Greek Military comes calling and Freeze is not there to pick up the slack? On the other hand, Freeze is way too good to sit on the bench, waiting for the FORG1VEN situation to play out. With that in mind, Freeze asked the org for the chance to field offers from other teams for two weeks, after which the decision would have to be made.

Lastly, Alex “Machine” Richardson, a CS:GO caster, who, for years, has worked on the staff of ESL, announced that he left the company, electing to continue his career in a freelance capacity. In a recent YouTube show, Duncan “Thorin” Shields, Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykkles, Auguste “Semmler” Massonnat, and Austin “Capitalist” Walsh talked about the life of casters in eSports. In between bashing Riot Games, the four agreed that exclusive staff caster positions are a great way to get some experience and exposure in the scene, having guaranteed high visibility events to work on, however, once the profile of the caster reaches a certain point, it becomes financially advantageous to start working freelance.

It seems as if Machine believes himself to be on the cusp of such status. Working for ESL, Machine hosted the desk at ESL One Katowice 2015, cast ESL One Cologne 2015, had a hand in all seasons of ESL Pro League. He seems to have accrued enough experience to lead a freelance career, however, the fact of the matter is that he does not have the profile of CS:GO legends like Richard Lewis. Going freelance might help Machine fix that, however, as he won’t be tied to working on ESL-hosted events anymore. Foregoing the safety of a staff position is always dangerous, however, the benefits when it goes well can be worth the risk in spades. Let’s hope that it goes well for Machine.