Minnesota ROKKR to bench star player after dreadful Major III for team
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minnesota ROKKR's biggest star will be riding the bench as the team heads into its first home series.
Tuesday, the team announced it is shifting its starting lineup, moving Dillon "Attach" Price to the bench.
Attach, a Call of Duty League legend, has consistently been Minnesota's best player over the past three seasons, making the All-Star Second team last year and guiding the ROKKR to the fantastic Major V comeback win in 2021. Stats show Attach still ranks well in kill-death ratio in all three game modes.
The team's new lineup will replace Attach with Kevin "Fame" Bonanno, the team's substitute and a former ROKKR Academy member.
Speaking in a video posted to Twitter, the coaches explained they gave Fame, who played a flex role with ROKKR Academy, the opportunity to try out at both positions, submachine gun (SMG) and assault rifle (AR), ultimately finding "he looked a lot more comfortable on the AR."
The ROKKR went 0-5 in Stage 3 qualifying and lost 0-3 in their only Elimination Bracket match for the major championship.
With the roster shuffle, the team also announced a coaching change, giving assistant coach Daniel "Loony" Loza a bigger role, saying he will be more "forward facing." While Brian "Saintt" Baroska, the head coach and general manager, will focus on game plan and overall scheme.
"First things first," said Loony. "Phase 3 was obviously unacceptable. I think every one of us, coaches included, tweeted out after our loss against LAT that it was just an embarrassment. Unacceptable…. All our coaching staff and players hold ourselves accountable and hold ourselves to a higher standard."
"It just felt like there's a lot of instances where I was stepping out of my comfort zone way too much to try and be like one of those sports coaches that you see in the movies," explained Saintt. "With the inspirational speeches, trying to get everyone back in line because obviously there is some team issues throughout the stage and I feel like I was getting way too uncomfortable trying to be something that I wasn't."
Loony says the change isn't necessarily permanent. "The first step is bringing in Fame. We're going to continue to evaluate the team throughout this stage after the home series and if further changes are needed, we will be making it. Because we want to compete for championships."
The ROKKR are set to host its first home series this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. Those matches will be the ROKKR's first for Major IV qualifiers.
In May, the ROKKR will also host another home series in St. Paul.