FC Schalke 04, the German football club, has officially entered the world of League of Legends by buying a slot in the EU LCS.
Rumours first circulated a few weeks ago, with speculation that the Bundesliga side would buy its way into the league through Elements, a team that had had been looking to sell its slot in the LCS for some months. Today the move was confirmed, with all but one of the Elements squad moving over to the new organisation.
Etienne "Steve" Michels, Berk "Gilius" Demir, Rasmus "MrRalleZ" Skinneholm and Hampus "sprattel" Abrahamsson are all transferring from Elements to Schalke. Joining them will be new recruit Hampus "Fox" Myhre, who will take control of the mid lane, as he did for Unicorns of Love before looking for a new team.
Elements owner Jacob "Maelk" Toft-Andersen will now be involved with the eSports department at Schalke, while team coach Patrick "Nyph" Funke will also continue to work with the team when the Summer Split kicks off on June 2nd.
We acted quickly in order to be able to participate in the upcoming summer split. Our players are hungry for success, talented and passionate about every match they play”, says Tim Reichert, Head of Esports at Schalke. By completely integrating a team of professional Esports contestants into our club structures we are aiming to set new standards for the scene.”
Esports has drastically increased in terms of professionalism within the last years”, says Moritz Beckers-Schwarz, Chairman of the board, Schalke 04 Arena Management GmbH. We want to speed up this process by making sure our players experience the best training conditions possible and assisting them in their development as professionals. We will fully commit to this and integrate them into the club.”
A press conference is scheduled to take place on May 19th that will offer more information on Schalke's eSports plans. However Maelk teased in a Reddit post that the organisation may venture further than just League of Legends.
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