SK Gaming’s 2015 year didn’t go the way it planned. After topping the Spring split of the League Championship Series (LCS) during the regular season, the team wasrelegated out of the league as internal problems sank their veteran roster.
Heading into 2016, they will compete in the Challenger Series with a completely rebuilt team. In December, SK Gaming announced the addition of two Korean imports, veteran globetrotting mid laner Sun-ho “SuNo” Ahn, who has previously competed in Korea, Brazil, and North America, and rookie jungler Kyeong-tak “Dokgo” Kim. Today, the team revealed the other three players it’ll field, including two LCS veterans.
In the bottom lane, SK Gaming will feature former Unicorns of Love man Pontus “Vardags” Dahlblom at AD carry, with former Copenhagen Wolves support Petar “Unlimited” Georgiev beside him. Joining them in the top lane will be Challenger Series veteran Bram “Morsu” Knol, who played for LowLandLions and most recently Ex Nihilo.
Georgiev noted in the announcement that the team hasn’t had much chance to play together yet, but he’s excited about the prospect of playing with Korean players and learning from them. His bottom lane partner is also excited about the prospect.
“I found the SK organization very friendly and I also liked the roster that they provided, that’s why I chose to sign with them for the upcoming season,” Dahlblom said. “I expect that we will do good as a team under SK with some good practice and infrastructure to help us out in the beginning.”
The team will get to practice at the SK Gaming facility in Germany, which could be an advantage over some of their Challenger Series competition. They’ll need any advantage they can get to return to the LCS against a field of strong opponents including Copenhagen Wolves, Inspire Esports, and Mousesports—and two more teams who have yet to qualify.
SK Gaming was one of the first esports franchises to house a League of Legends teams, and has been a big part of the scene before the LCS era and even after it. This year they’re in new territory, outside of the LCS, but they’ve put together a roster capable of getting back.