With no third-party League of Legends tournaments left to cast in the UK, Ireland and Nordics, one caster has become a player instead.
UK color caster Marcus ‘Rhael’ Sampson has joined Pendragon Esports in Division 3 of the NLC (the European Regional League, or ERL, for the region), as a top-laner in their all-UK roster. He will play for them in the upcoming season.
The news comes following controversy around the closure of Leagues.gg’s League of Legends tournament, which said it had been halted by Riot Games and NLC tournament organizer Freaks 4U. This prompted several members of the community to direct their frustrations towards official NLC social channels, saying things like “stop choking out other national leagues”.
With many up and coming casters out of work, several turned to other leagues outside the UK. For example, some including Milky Cereal and Middlecott joined the VCS English broadcastand one source told Esports News UK that “being an amateur or semi-pro caster in EU is almost impossible now”, due to the shutting down of grassroots leagues like Leagues.gg and the UKEL.
For UK caster Rhael, however, he’s taken a different approach, opting to become a player instead.
He told Esports News UK: “I received an offer from Xica [Pendragon assistant coach/analyst], a good friend, and it spiked my interest, as with the NLC changes it affected a lot of casters – me included. I will 100% still be casting where I can.
“I really just want to see how far we can go. The org is great and surrounded by great people – I want to do my best to help with that.”
Top laner Rhael peaked at Diamond, and said he had previously played at a young age to casting where he could.
He now joins Pendragon’s all-UK roster, which consists of the following (each first team player has PDN in front of their in-game name):
- Top: Rael
- Jungle: Seal
- Mid: Insidious
- ADC: Hawkeye
- Support: Techy
- Sub support: Hycelot
- Sub mid/jungle: Dench Rabbit