MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minnesota ROKKR are bringing on a Call of Duty Challengers star, as the esports team makes a big roster change after a slow start to the season – and an underwhelming performance during its own major.
Colt "Havok" McLendon will join the ROKKR as a starter after roster trials last week, coach Brian "Saintt" Baroska announced Wednesday evening.
Michael "MajorManiak" Szymaniak will lose his starting role – a surprise move as many insiders and fans expected Preston "Priestahh" Greiner to be the first man out if the ROKKR made roster changes.
Both MajorManiak and Priestahh struggled to start the season, but MajorManiak showed signs of improvement during Major II. However, it was all for naught, as the ROKKR made an early exit in Major II in Minnesota.
With MajorManiak moving to the bench, the ROKKR are breaking up the core that completed the incredible reverse sweep during the Stage V championship last season. Saintt said it was an obviously difficult decision.
"It really hurts us to make this decision to move Mike to the inactive roster," said Saintt. "Mike has brought so much to our team in terms of leadership, cool, calm composure, and just his general vibe, his gun skill, his S+D smarts. There's so much about him that makes him an incredible player."
Havok was on the top Challengers team this season, Texas Nation, which had won seven events already this season before roster members got signed away to the Call of Duty League. Havok was named the MVP of Challengers Stage I MVP for North America.
Havok had been up for a roster spot with the New York Subliners, as the Subliners attempted to make their own roster changes during Major II qualifying. However, Havok declined a contract with doubts about the roster fit on the Subliners.
Before moving down to Challengers this year, Havok had played for the Florida Mutineers the previous two seasons.
Havok should have an immediate positive impact for the ROKKR on respawn maps, particularly Hardpoint – which the ROKKR have struggled to start matches during the first two Major stages.