Former MAD Lions top laner Andrei “Orome” Popa will reportedly take a step back for the 2021 season by joining BT Excel, according to Esportmaniacos.
Orome was promoted to the MAD Lions starting top lane position for 2020 and overall had a good first year on the big stage. MAD Lions went against all expectations and became a threat to the top teams in both the spring and summer splits. The great performance of the young squad resulted in a spot at the 2020 World Championship, sending Orome and his teammates to the biggest test of them all in Shanghai.
Sadly for Orome, he fell through completely at the Worlds play-in stage, which is undoubtedly one of the reasons why he won’t continue in the LEC for 2021 if the rumors stay true. MAD Lions became the first team from a major region to fail to advance through play-ins, and the first to lose a best-of-five series to a team from a wild card region.
Orome goes from playing with MAD Lions at 2020 Worlds to the NLC
Joining the Excel Esports academy team for 2021 would be a big step back for Orome, but not necessarily a bad one. Orome started out his career in the European leagues and will now come back to prove himself once again. Many fans are already sure that Orome is a LEC-caliber top laner, but the competition in the league is simply too high for everyone to get a starting spot.
BT Excel will be a team where Orome can refine his play style and aim to perform well enough to once again return to the LEC. Excel Esports is expected to play with Felix “Kryze” Hellström as its LEC top laner, but a poor performance from him could very well put Orome on the stage instead.
Until there is room for him in the LEC, Orome would be competing with BT Excel in the best Nordic league, the NLC. BT Excel managed to finish third in the first NLC split ever, but will look to drastically improve that in 2021.
The goal for BT Excel is without a doubt winning the NLC and making a deep run at the European Masters, where all the best European teams outside of the LEC are playing.
The complete BT Excel squad isn’t known yet, but Orome will likely be playing alongside mid laner Jørgen “Hatrixx” Elgåen, bot laner Matthew “Deadly” Smith, and jungler Mark “Markoon” Woensel if he ends up on the team.
Who is BT Excel?
BT Excel is the academy team of LEC’s Excel Esports. BT Excel is competing in the Nordic European league NLC, where the best teams from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Ireland, and Iceland are fighting to qualify for the EU Masters.
The NLC is a part of the European Regional Leagues (ERL), which is composed of all the leagues leading up to the European Masters. Each LEC team has an academy team that is participating in some of these leagues, where young players are fighting to prove themselves worthy of a spot in the LEC.
Before Orome went to play at MAD Lions, he was playing on the MAD Lions academy team in the Spanish LVP SLO.