FURIA have officially announced the signings of Ryan "ImMadness" Schlieve and Keon "Keon" Berghout. The established duo will be joined by Jacob "HisWattson" McMillin who is coming out of retirement from competitive Apex.
This signing, as first reported by esports.gg, seems like a big gamble by both the players and the organisation themselves. ImMadness and Keon dropped teammate Vaxlon to make way for HisWattson, despite recent success. FURIA are signing an Apex team that has not competed in Pro League together, and does not have much competitive chemistry under their belt.
However, it is undoubtedly a risk that could pay off. ImMadness is an established IGL. He has found a new lease of life and refocused his efforts this off season. HisWattson and Keon are incredibly close friends, and chemistry will not be hard to build.
ImMadness and Keon join FURIA Apex roster
ImMadness and Keon have both had difficulty keeping the security of an organisation one way or another. Madness was a long term mainstay of CLG, but since leaving has not found himself at any one place for very long. Mostly down to organisations leaving Apex, rather than bad results.
As a player, he found huge success in the COVID era of the ALGS. Madness is a 2020 Summer Circuit Playoff Champion, and won multiple events across several circuits.
Keon is also a long time Apex competitor. However, his success has come much more recently. His best results came with The Guard, who finished third in the 2022 Split 1 Pro League. At the subsequent ALGS Playoffs, they finished 17th.
Great off season form
As a duo, alongside Vaxlon, they have been one of the stand out teams in off season scrims. Obviously, these results now have an asterix. After all, they are playing with a new third player and this success continuing is not guaranteed. But, it is undoubted that they are joining this new FURIA Apex team in fine form and with confidence sky high.
HisWattson returns to competition
As recently as last weekend, it seemed unfathomable that HisWattson would return to competition. He was firm and reasoned when he announced his departure from FURIA after the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs.
Yet, when rumours circulated of a return, it made sense as to why he would want to come back now.
Firstly, ranked is not in a strong place at the moment. Many top level players are struggling to exclusively focus on the mode. Secondly, HisWattson and Keon have one of the strongest relationships in the game. The opportunity to play alongside Keon was probably too good to refuse.
This team has been playing plenty of ranked together, and has a good mix of experience and flair.
Can this FURIA Apex roster return results?
FURIA chose to drop their old roster in search of consistency and results. The organisation probably cannot expect the highs of the 2022 ALGS Championship anytime soon. HisWattson, with Pxnderz and Xeratricky founded a new meta. Taking the world by storm is a hard thing to do, and is almost impossible to repeat.
What FURIA Apex fans can expect is consistency. All three of these players have shown what they can do at various points in their career. This team starts from a strong baseline of friendship and chemistry. If they can get the ball rolling in the Pro League, you wouldn't count them out from making a LAN event.
However, North America is a very competitive region and competition will be fierce. HisWattson will need to stay motivated, a challenge he has admitted in the past. But, with experienced coach Jmxo (PVPX), this roster has every ingredient it needs to find the success FURIA so fiercely desires.
The ALGS Pro League returns in late January. In the meantime, track all roster changes ahead of ALGS returning with our handy roster tracker. Then, for more coverage of the ALGS, stick with esports.gg.