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SK Gaming returns from irrelevance

SK Gaming has refused to age poorly after many setbacks. The last time the organization fought for a title in the League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC) was in 2015. With a packed Palacio de Vistalegre, a navy blue kit as serious as the stereotypical German character, and a Greek in the bot lane as the cause of both his rise and his failure. At that time the competition was still known as the European LCS, having less popularity than its North American sister. Eight years later, SK has once again placed itself at the top of Europe, just like in the old days.

Eight years is a long time. So much so that SK Gaming had time to do everything within the European League of Legends: descend, reappear in the elite through a franchise system, sneak into the playoffs after returning and play inglorious seasons. For the ‘newcomers’ to the Riot Games MOBA, in recent years SK was ‘someone else’ within the elite due to its results. But for the veterans of the sector, those who saw the birth and lived the legacy of the club, a nightmare. They couldn’t believe that those German pioneers had let their wine go out of date. However, the club has not radically broken schemes to revive. It has simply modernized formulas from the past, specifically those that work through talent.

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Understanding SK Gaming today is impossible without its transfer market. Rumors indicated that in the last transfer window the German organization intended to increase their budgets. The buzz allowed LEC fans to dream up amazing moves, mostly through the signing of legends. SK won the lottery, because it got the alleged Thomas Foucou “Exakick”, but did not close any ‘big’ name. All his incorporations revolved around the individual talent of young people who had not yet finished exploding in the elite. Like the nickname of his top, irrelevance was installed in the reaction of the followers of the region.

The irrelevance protected the SK Gaming project from the criticism of the viewer, who has more influence in electronic sports than he appears

Beyond the expectations generated by the shooter, SK Gaming created an ideal context for its young players within the new LEC format. As much as Joel looked”irrelevant»had a good level in the last dance of Misfits Gaming, the German was not a reflection of the popularity within Europe. mads schwartzDoss»he returned to the elite after being banished by Misfits and Mark van Woensel«Markoon» came after being part of both Excel’s disappointments and its only ‘successes’. Not even the only member with continuity in the squad, Daniel Gabani «sertuss«, He had stood out in 2022 with SK. An ideal setting to work without pressure.

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The irrelevance protected the SK Gaming project from the criticism of the viewer, who has more influence in electronic sports than he appears. Or at least, this is how figures like Paul Boyer value it «SOAZ«. Not being in the spotlight offered players a long way to vindicate themselves. To show that they are ready for the LEC, in the case of Doss and Sertuss; to justify expectations, in the case of Exakick; to shout ‘I’m worth more than the narrative says, in the case of Irrelevant; to teach you to take the leap rookies A veteran is possible, in Markoon’s case. The youth of the group fit perfectly into the new format. They could fight to surprise without having to despair thanks to the existence of more quality games and an added season. A foundation on which to build.

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As the club had a young group, the coaching staff began to build. not so much since gameplay, because talent existed to a greater or lesser extent, but from an emotional level. «Here in SK, already after the second game we realized what the problems were and we started talking about them. Everyone opened up and we solved them fast“Markoon revealed in an interview with Tom Matthiesen. The jungler went from having no leadership figure in Excel to a totally different dynamic in the German organization. Before, SK Gaming was championed by the leadership of Erik Wéssen «Treatz«, now offers the tools to its players so that they assume it. Small key details to increase the distance from the roof of the players.

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SK Gaming’s privilege: not having to fool anyone

exakick
Exakick competed for the first time at just 15 years old at the end of 2018 on a monthly edition of the Oserv LOL Tour | Photo by Michal Konkol via Riot Games

Within Summoner’s Rift, SK Gaming is showing itself as it did in the last transfer market. Instead of wanting to revolutionize the ecosystem, it has modernized -or rather, adapted to its opinion- styles that have worked in the past. «In it midgame we are a very constant team“, he explained in an interview with esportmaniacs SK assistant coach David Rodríguez”OWN3R«. Said and done: the German team mainly seeks to prevail in the games through the stage of the games that has elevated Europe the most in the past.

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The last time SK Gaming made it to the top four positions, the what, how and why had the same name: Konstantinos-Napoleon Tzortziou”FORG1VEN«. SK is currently nodding to the past by being one of the few teams in the LEC not afraid to play through the bot lane.. As corroborated by data from Games of Legends, Exakick receives 26.2% of the team’s total gold. 4.5% more than Sertuss, the second most received. Beyond the resources, the Greek and the French share an attribute: the star aura that the organization needed in both contexts. From being the differential factor at the moment of truth. FORG1VEN, yes, reaching a squad that had much more filming as a group.

In the words of Alejandro Fernández Flores in esportmaniacs, the German team still has pending tasks in what refers to the initial bars of the games. But as the analyst has stated, knowing that the new format rewards the adaptability of the teams, SK has tried compositions focused on that phase. He has also sought to take advantage of Sertuss’s range of champions, the player who has played the most different characters this season. SK Gaming has built from irrelevance, staying consistent with the project and now enjoying the short-term results.

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