MAD Lions bench SPELLAN
The Bulgarian in-game leader is free to explore offers from other organizations ahead of the second half of the year.
Teodor "SPELLAN" Nikolov will no longer be calling the shots in MAD Lions after being moved to the bench in the off-season. The Bulgarian player had been plying his trade in the international squad since April, when he joined the team to take the reins following the dismissal of Kristers "keen" Dārznieks.
During SPELLAN's tenure, MAD Lions often fell short in the tough qualifier circuit in Europe, although they managed victories at some of the smaller events they played, namely GameGune 23 and Esports Pro Tour Summer. They nonetheless failed to impress at bigger tournaments for emerging teams like Spring Sweet Spring 1, finishing in 16-18th place, and at BLAST Rising, where their playoff run was cut short by Spirit Academy in the quarterfinals.
"I never really felt comfortable in the team in-game and didn't really have the chance to lead the game the way I'm used to, so it affected my confidence and performance during my stay here," the Bulgarian in-game leader wrote in a statement after being moved to the bench, voicing a sentiment that helps explain his dip in personal form in the statistical department, as he went from a 1.01 average rating during his year in SKADE prior to joining MAD Lions to a 0.93 at the time of his benching.
"On the positive side I can say I learned and improved a lot on some aspects inside and outside of the game thanks to the people in MAD Lions," he added, "I can say I really had fun with the boys, so I know I can bring more to my next team with the experience I got. I am very thankful for the professionalism and the time we spent together."
The 23-year-old will take the last days of the off-season to rest but hopes to return to activity after the player break, be it back as an in-game leader or in another role, albeit under a new banner.
MAD Lions's are now down to five players in the active roster:
Jakub "kuben" Gurczynski (coach)
Teodor "SPELLAN" Nikolov (benched)