Houston Rockets-owned Clutch Gaming is looking to add Team Envy AD carry Apollo "Apollo" Price after coming to an agreement to acquire Apollo's contract rights, according to sources. Additionally the team is pursuing free agents Nam "LirA" Tae-yoo and Nickolas "Hakuho" Surgent, sources close to the players and team told ESPN.
Envy's contracts with LirA and Hakuho expired on Monday evening. The players are free to sign starting Tuesday, the opening of the global free agency period in League of Legends.
The team will now look for mid and top laners. Teams are allowed to have up to two players from outside their home region, with South Korea-born LirA occupying one of those slots for Clutch Gaming.
Envy was not accepted back into the North American League of Legends Championship Series; the Houston Rockets were. The team was obligated to sell or terminate the contracts of Apollo, Yasin "Nisqy" Dincer and Alexey "Alex Ich" Ichetovkin -- the three players it had contracted until the end of 2018 or 2019 -- in order to be entitled to its exit payment from Riot Games. That due is estimated to be worth approximately $2.57 million.
Overseeing the team will be a support staff lead by Rockets director of esports development Sebastian Park, who has worked with the team over the last year and led the application process for the North American League of Legends Championship Series.
The team has hired former Team Liquid coach David "DLim" Lim as their head coach, sources said. Clutch worked with game analyst and content creator Renato "Shakarez" Perdigão and former Immortals data analyst Ryan Friedman, as well as numerous staff from the Houston Rockets, to assess its options for talent in the last two months.
The Houston Rockets declined to comment.