North American esports organization Rogue have announced they are partnering up with a Polish esports organization x-kom AGO to form a brand new League of Legends team. The partnership will see Rogue's academy team Rogue EC rebrand itself into AGO ROGUE and continue competing in Polish League of Legends' league - Ultraliga.
As revealed, Rogue will be taking over the selection and career development of the team members, while x-kom AGO will work on providing support for the team in Warsaw, Poland, as well as work on marketing approach for AGO Rogue.
The new team, AGO ROGUE will look to build on where Rogue EC left off and it's safe to say the new team will have huge shoes to fill. Rogue EC have had a very successful run in Ultraliga, where they claimed the title of Ultraliga Season 1 champions earlier in March 2019. Unfortunately, they failed to repeat their success in Season 2.
In Ultraliga Season 2, Rogue EC won the regular season but fell short against devils.one in the finals of the playoff stage, thus finishing Season 2 with a silver medal. Besides their impressive performance in the Polish league, Rogue EC also competed at European Masters with varying degrees of success.
At European Masters Spring, Rogue EC finished ninth-12th, while they managed to improve in the summer event, where Rogue EC finished fifth-eighth after losing to eventual finalists Vodafone Giants in the quarter-finals.
“In 2018, we have chosen the Ultraliga as one of the most excellent grounds for talent development in Europe and ever since we have pursued our unique high-performance approach for young League of Legends talent while furthering our clout in the market," stated Anna Baumann, Managing Director and General Counsel at Rogue Esports.
She went on to praise x-kom AGO, who have "demonstrated that they are a leader in both, the sports aspect and the commercialization of esports club assets," which she believes will play a pivotal role in the success story of their joint venture.
Jakub Szumielewicz, President of x-kom AGO added:
“I feel great pride joining our cooperation with Rogue. Since its beginnings, our organization has been focused on building competence in the fields of competitive knowledge, care for the comprehensive development of players, effectiveness in relations with business partners and consistency in building media."
Shortly after the announcement of the new team, Rogue unveiled Paweł “Woolite” Pruski as their first signing. Woolite is regarded as a highly experienced player, who has been competing in the professional LoL scene since September 2012. He previously played at Copenhagen Wolves as a substitute for one of LoL legends - Konstantinos "FORG1VEN" Tzortziou, who has just recently returned to the professional League of Legends scene.
Woolite also played for Rogue EC, before he got promoted to Rogue's main team where he helped Rogue reach fourth place in LEC Summer Playoffs. Unfortunately, he failed to impress during his stay at LEC, where he averaged 37.5% win rate over 16 games, making him one of the worst ADC’s of the season. Nonetheless, he will have a shot at a fresh start at AGO ROGUE, who will compete in a significantly weaker league as compared to LEC.
With this move, Rogue will look to further expand their presence in Polish Ultraliga, where they have already established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. While that should not come off as a surprise, seeing how they were the only academy team in the league, the decision of expanding into weaker leagues should inspire other major esports organizations to follow suit, thus helping with the growth and appeal of some lower leagues, which will benefit the industry as a whole.