Dignitas have acquired former Team SoloMid jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett to compete on its starting League of Legends team in the League Championship Series 2020 Summer Split, the team announced Tuesday.
Dardoch will replace Jonathan "Grig" Armao, who parted ways with Dignitas early in the midseason period. Dardoch will reunite with close friend Samson "Lourlo" Jackson, with whom he competed previously on Team Liquid. Lourlo has played top lane for Dignitas Academy since January and is likely to start this summer for the team after it split with top laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon several weeks ago, league sources told ESPN.
On May 11, Team SoloMid president Leena Xu was overheard during a Twitch broadcast by her boyfriend, SoloMid AD carry Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, stating on a separate phone call that "no one wants to pick up" Dardoch.
That exchange immediately made headlines, with various industry figures stating they believed it would hurt Dardoch's value relative to other teams and bringing back discussions of conflict of interest between Doublelift and Leena to the forefront. Xu later apologized in a Twitlonger.
"No one wants their private information leaked and it's not fair to Dardoch that this happened," Xu said in her post. "At the end of the day, no one feels worse about this situation than I do, and it's already difficult enough to be a TSM fan in these trying times. On the back end, since the end of our Spring Split playoffs run, we've been working with Dardoch on the possibility of him splitting time/moving to academy however he expressed interest in joining another team for a full time starting spot. Over the last month, we put our best efforts forward to finding him a new team and he has been aware of all of the conversations that happened along the way with the other teams."
The change comes after Dignitas failed to qualify for the 2020 League Championship Series spring split playoffs in March. The team started its season off hot -- with rookie AD carry Johnson "Johnsun" Nguyen having a highlight-worthy performance -- but the team's momentum petered out as the split continued. Dignitas finished seventh in the split after losing a playoff-qualifying tiebreaker to Golden Guardians.
Dignitas is Dardoch's 14th team in his six-year career, which saw him rise as one of North America's most promising jungle talents and become a player often criticized for his behavior. In late 2016, Team Liquid released a documentary titled "Breaking Point," which followed the team through a tense season and highlighted significant issues between Dardoch, AD carry Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin and coach Choi "Locodoco" Yoon-seop.
Since his first stint on Liquid, Dardoch has played for Immortals, Counter Logic Gaming, Echo Fox, Liquid in a second stint, OpTic Gaming and SoloMid. During his short time on SoloMid, Dardoch & Co. achieved fourth place after losing a close playoff series to FlyQuest.