SK Gaming had some highlights this year, and they could rise even higher with the changes they made before the start of the 2024 LEC Season.
The holiday season starts in a few days, which means only one thing (besides gifts): the 2024 LEC Winter Split is only a few weeks away! Teams are getting ready, with Team Heretics, Fnatic, G2 Esports, Rogue, GIANTX and Team Vitality already locking in their official lineup.
SK Gaming was one of the most surprising teams in the first ever LEC Winter Split this year, making it as far as the Playoffs for the first third of the Season. They made some changes to their roster, but the most important parts are still there – can they aim even higher with their new players?
SK Gaming in 2023
The roster of Irrelevant, Markoon, Sertuss, and the promoted pair of Exakick and Doss from LDLC OL was the team that was the hardest to rank by experts before the start of the 2023. With 5 very young players – out of which 3 were actual rookies – they could become a huge flop or a huge success.
In the Winter Split, they finished 3 during the Regular Season, then ended their run in 4th place after almost knocking MAD Lions out. After Winter, they couldn’t replicate their success, but they didn’t flunk out either, hovering around the middle of the pack, as well as making it to both the Spring and Summer Group Stages with a 7th and 6th place finish respectively.
The reason for this was that in Winter, Markoon found lightning in a bottle with his Elise, but afterwards, nobody could step up in the same way. Sertuss and Exakick had some good games, as well as the Dutch jungler, while Irrelevant was one of the most consistent toplaners in the LEC – but none of them had standout performances, with Doss sometimes being irrelevant (I couldn’t help myself) during entire matches. Still, the roster showed promise, so management could’ve kept them together – but they decided to sign two new players as a breath of fresh air.
SK Gaming 2024 Roster
- Top: Joel “Irrelevant” Miro Scharoll
- Jungle: Ismail “Isma” Boualem
- Mid: Yasin “Nisqy” Dincer
- ADC: Thomas “Exakick” Foucou
- Support: Mads “Doss” Schwartz
Another up-and-coming talent
With Markoon joining Rogue (which returned to the old brand after Infinite Reality left the LEC), SK Gaming placed their bets on a new player yet again. The young French jungler started his career in 2020, and played for teams such as Vanir, Schalke 04 and Movistar Riders since.
His first big victory was with FC Nantes Esports in 2021, when he won the Solary Cup 2021. While he never won the German Prime League, he made it to the finals with Schalke, then became an incredibly popular player in the Spanish LVP SuperLiga, where he won the 2023 Spring and Summer Playoffs with Movistar, then went on to play in the EMEA Masters 2023 Summer Grand Finals. Known for his aggressive playstyle and adaptability, Isma could be another “Yike” case – a young talent making a huge splash in their rookie year.
The glue that holds it all together
While the core of SK is still the young guns, they snatched a veteran to guide the newbies to success. Nisqy joined the squad after leaving MAD Lions bringing 8 years of experience to the table. Nisqy played for teams such as Splyce, Cloud9, Fnatic and the aforementioned MAD Lions, winning the LCS in 2020 and the LEC this year, while beating NA in the 2018 Rift Rivals.
The Twisted Fate connoisseur was one of the most consistent member of the 2023 MAD Lions squad, often carrying his teammates on his back – even in losing situations. While they had an abysmal Summer Season, they made it to the MSI after winning the LEC Spring Split (where they bounced back from 8th place), and finished 3rd in the Season Finals. Their Worlds showing had some things left to be desired, but Nisqy shone even on the international stage.
SK Gaming 2024 Predictions
The German team did a great job by keeping Irrelevant and Exakick. The toplaner was often the best part of the last roster, and while he’s not the flashiest player, you can put him on weak side each and every single game, and he will be useful when the midgame rolls around. Exakick had a limited champion pool and sometimes looked a bit weaker when he was not on Jinx, but showed promise towards the end of the season.
While Doss was the weakest of the trio, he expressed his desire to improve, so I believe SK Gaming made the right call by keeping him. The Dane could become a household name in the LEC, after all, he did win the LFL 2 times.
With Nisqy and Isma, I believe SK Gaming has a good chance of making it to the playoffs at least once next year, and while they seem like a middle team, nobody can write them off as weak.
Images: SK Gaming