LEC 2023 Summer Split Preview: SK Gaming

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LEC 2023 Summer Split Preview: SK Gaming

Will the LEC 2023 Summer Split be another uphill battle for the underdogs in SK Gaming?

Ever since the LEC restructured its tournament format, we've seen underestimated teams like SK Gaming rise above in unprecedented fashion. Back in the Spring split, we saw the notably “weaker” KOI become the official dark horse following consecutive wins against super-teams like Team Vitality and G2 Esports. That said, teams who are on the up and up might be the ones you least expect. If you're betting on the LEC Summer Split, this SK Gaming team preview is for you!

SK Gaming Roster for the 2023 Summer Split

  • Top lane: Joel “Irrelevant” Scharoll
  • Jungle: Mark “Markoon” van Woensel
  • Mid lane: Daniel “Sertuss” Gamani
  • AD Carry: Thomas “Exakick” Foucou
  • Support: Mads “Doss” Schwartz

Featuring an impressive line-up of LCS veterans, SK Gaming has tons of overlooked potential to dominate this split. Back in February, they broke through the top 5 in the Winter split, placing 4th for the first time in 8 years. And regardless of their lackluster performance in Spring, Exakick and co. still have a lot to dish out, provided they don't repeat past mistakes.

SK Gaming

Unfortunately, they won't be heading into Summer with a lot of confidence. Back in Spring, the Germany-based org only secured a handful of wins from the Regular stage. Past that, SK Gaming wasn't able to eke out a single win in Groups, killing their hopes for a shot at MSI 2023.

LoL Devs Target Turrets to Curb Lane Swaps

Underutilized hero picks, oversteps and low vision control plagued SK Gaming's Spring Split, but many of their faults have clear-cut solutions. For instance, their last match saw Exakick and co. pick champs that had too much of a heavy focus on early-game advantages. In hindsight, the easily surmountable gold lead became more apparent in the midgame when they started losing skirmish after skirmish. All that being said, more consideration on high-impact champions with hard crowd control can and will help SK Gaming contest neutral objectives better.


Moreover, the team relies on Markoon in the early game to force a deficit in the first 13 minutes. In other words, if SK's Jungler does well, SK does well. Consequently, their enemies always get the upper hand in a slugfest whenever they remove the Nidalee main from the board. With that in mind, SK will need either Irrelevant or Doss to step up when they need someone to peel for their Jungler.

LEC 2023 Summer Split SK Gaming Team Preview Credit: Riot Games
Berlin, Germany – April 15 — during the 2023 League of Legends EMEA Championship Series Group Stage Spring Split at the LEC Studio on April 15 2023 in Berlin Germany (Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games)

While their form is in need of some fine-tuning, too much hesitation past the laning phase just serves to encourage their foes to make the first move and devastate SK's formation. Alternatively, more room should be made for Sertuss to carry, given that his Akali was a huge contributor to SK's success in Winter.

When it comes down to it, SK Gaming was cautious to a fault in the late Spring. But ultimately, they have all the necessary tools to outmaneuver the best in the LEC, like what we saw in their series against the MAD Lions. Avoiding off-meta picks and shifting towards champs they know how to win with will do well for them in the Summer. And with the meta focusing on the bottom lane, Sertuss and Markoon will have more responsibility in the future if they want to hoist a silver shield of their own in the Summer Split.

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LEC 2023 Summer Split Preview: SK Gaming
Paul Goño
Paul started writing for ESTNN in 2022, the same year he beat his first Souls game. An avid fan of RPGs, his all-time favorites include Baldur's Gate 3, Assassin’s Creed and Kingdom Hearts 2. Besides being a professional nerd, he still struggles to get over the broken PS2 memory card that stored years of his save files.