The LEC offseason roster announcements keep on rolling as 2022 draws to a close. This time, it was Rogue who shared the news of a change coming to its lineup. Veteran player Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu won’t represent the team—which will rebrand to KOI—in 2023 anymore.
On Twitter, Rogue stated, “A pillar of our LEC team for two years. From every heartbreak to the final victory, it’s been an honor to play with the Weakside King.” Odoamne replied shortly after, saying, “It was an incredible journey. All of the boys I played with will have a special place in my heart and I am very humbled to call all of them my teammates. They have granted me something I thought was unattainable at times.”
Missing the trophy by a hair
Odoamne donned the Rogue jersey for the first time in the 2021 LEC Spring Split as the veteran on the team. The top laner had a dream debut on the roster; Rogue dominated the regular split. Odoamne put on such a stellar performance that he was in the running for the MVP of the Split trophy. In the grand final of the Spring Split, Rogue came incredibly close to lifting the trophy. They were up 2-0 against MAD Lions but failed to close out the series and were reverse-swept.
Rogue quickly found its footing again in the subsequent Summer Split. They climbed to the top of the standings and headed into the playoffs as the first seed. But in the playoffs, cracks started to form within Rogue. The team narrowly beat Misfits Gaming 3-2 to qualify for Worlds, yet lost 0-3 to both MAD Lions and Fnatic afterward. At Worlds 2021, Rogue almost escaped the Group Stage by beating FunPlus Phoenix but bit the dust in a tiebreaker match against Cloud9.
The long-desired gold medal
Though Rogue changed its roster ahead of the 2022 season by adding Kim “Malrang” Geun-seong and Markos “Comp” Stamkoupolos, Odoamne’s job would remain the same. Ever the weak side king, he had to keep his lane stable throughout the early game while the carries farmed up. Rogue once again dominated the regular split. The team battled its way to yet another Spring Split final but bowed to a dominant G2 Esports in the end.
The Summer Split seemed to be steering toward another disappointing end as well. For the first time since Odoamne joined Rogue, the team did not finish the regular split in the first place. In the playoffs upper bracket, Rogue once again had to bow to G2 Esports who beat them 3-0. But this time, Rogue bounced back. After they conceded one game to Fnatic in the lower bracket semifinal, the team unshackled itself and wreaked havoc on its opponents. In the grand final, Rogue faced its long-time nemesis G2 once again. It was Rogue who showed no mercy this time and grabbed the trophy with a convincing 3-0 victory. For the first time in his eight-year-long career, Odoamne had won Europe’s highest attainable honor.
Rogue kicked of Worlds 2022 in a surprisingly strong fashion. They beat VCS champion GAM Esports, LPL second seed Top Esports, and eventual champion DRX in the first half of the Group Stage. The second half of the Group Stage was more of a struggle, but Rogue advanced to the Knockout Stage as the only non-Korean and non-Chinese team. That’s where the glory came to a halt, though. Rogue stood no chance against LPL champion JD Gaming and returned home with an 0-3 loss.