The 2023 LEC Winter Split hasn’t rounded up yet, but the first official roster announcement has come through. Astralis has benched mid laner Oliver “Dajor” Ryppa effective immediately. The team allows him to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Astralis shared the news in a brief statement on Twitter. “We want to thank Dajor for his hard work and dedication,” the announcement continues. “His contributions will not be forgotten.”

In a Twitlonger, Dajor commented, “I understand the decision that was made and I think it was necessary to not only grow as a player but also as a friend and teammate. Despite that, I enjoyed my stay in the LEC, and [I’m] grateful that [I’ve] gotten the chance to play against and with the best players.”

Dajor joined the Danish team for the 2022 LEC season, to the surprise of many. At the time, the mid laner had only been playing professional League of Legends for one split. He was considered to be too inexperienced for the large LEC stage. In spite of this, Astralis signed him with a contract lasting until the end of 2023.

A rocky Winter Split

The change comes after a tumultuous Winter Split for Astralis. The squad struggled heavily at the start of the split. They went down 0-5 in the best-of-one stage of the revised LEC format and seemed to head to a swift elimination. However, in the final four games, Astralis started to improve. The team picked up three wins and managed to qualify for the Winter Split Group Stage, leaving Fnatic and Excel behind them. Astralis proceeded to win their best-of-three series against Team BDS, but lost to MAD Lions in the subsequent round.

Though Astralis hasn’t commented about the reasoning behind Dajor being benched, the team had a rough Winter Split internally. In an interview with Em Dash, top laner Finn “Finn” Wiestål commented, “We have days where we fight a lot, we have days where I think we’re gonna have a total breakdown. After the first five games, I thought the team could explode on any day.” The top laner added that he was proud of his team’s persistence in the face of these internal issues.

Dajor shared similar thoughts after his team was eliminated from the Group Stage. “Considering the start and all the stuff that happened in the [background] top 6 is not too [shabby],” he Tweeted.