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Immortals to start Academy team lineup in LCS

Jake "Xmithie" Puchero, second from right, and Nickolas "Hakuho" Surgent, right, will be back in the LCS this weekend as part of Immortals' move to start their Academy roster in LCS games. Provided by Riot Games

Immortals will start their current North American Academy lineup for both of their League of Legends Championship Series matches this weekend.

The lineup consists of top laner Kieran "Allorim" Logue, jungler Jake "Xmithie" Puchero, mid laner David "Insanity" Challe, bot laner Apollo "Apollo" Price, and support Nickolas "Hakuho" Surgent. The same starting five also started in both of Immortals Academy's games this past week, finishing 1-1 with a win over Golden Guardians Academy and a loss to Cloud9 Academy.

"The plan coming into this week was that we're always evaluating, and the next person up on that list is really Insanity," interim Immortals general manager Mike Schwartz said. "I know a lot of people have been wanting to see him out there, and he's been performing well in Academy thus far."

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Schwartz added that he sat down with the roster to ensure that the players were prepared and said that if they weren't it would be on the Immortals organization, not the team.

"When we had that discussion with them they were all pretty gung-ho about it," Schwartz said. "I said, 'Listen, it's going to be a long week for you guys.' It's a bit of a gauntlet, but they were more than willing to get back in LCS. I'm definitely happy to put them out there and see what they can do."

This roster decision follows a major managerial shake-up in the Immortals organization following an 0-4 start to the season. On Wednesday, the team released LCS head coach Thomas "Zaboutine" Si-Hassen and general manager Keaton Cryer. Schwartz is acting general manager, and Immortals assistant head coach Adrien "GotoOne" Picard and Immortals Academy head coach Paul "Malaclypse" Decsi have stepped up to help coach the LCS team.

"We obviously came out of spring split and it was a disappointment for us," Schwartz said of the timing. "Coming back into the LCS we had missed out on making the playoffs, and coming into this split, you look at that length of time and the results were unacceptable for an organization with a history like ours, and we knew that we really couldn't go on, and we had those changes coming in as soon as possible."

Immortals have been under heavy scrutiny from the North American League of Legends community for their decision to sit Xmithie in favor of former Academy jungler Nicholas "Potluck" Pollock as well using a starting bottom lane of Johnny "Altec" Ru and Austin "Gate" Yu over Apollo and Hakuho respectively. Schwartz said that Potluck showed strong synergy with Immortals' LCS mid laner Jérémy "Eika" Valdenaire, while Xmithie had good synergy with Insanity.

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"I know it's kind of been a sticking point for NA fans in general, but we did run some internal practices before the summer split started and Potluck came out of that and we wanted to make it clear that he earned the spot to start, and we have seen some really good things from him especially coming through in the first couple of weeks," Schwartz said. "Our performance overall is unacceptable. 0-4 is not what we wanted as a company or an organization, but within that, looking towards some of those younger pieces we have is a plus for us and something we had planned for."

This includes Potluck, who started in Immortals' first four games of the split, and now Insanity, who will start in the mid lane for Immortals this weekend and will make his LCS debut.

Immortals will face Golden Guardians on Saturday and first-place Cloud9 on Sunday.