SK Gaming 2020 Summer Split Roster Announced
SK Gaming didn’t look that good in the 2020 Spring Split. That might be an understatement. They were consistently one of the worst teams in the LEC, and their roster failed to grow much throughout the nine weeks of regular season play. Things needed to change. They needed to change fast for SK Gaming to stand even the slightest chance of making something happen in the Summer Split.
For a team of their caliber, no one’s expecting a triumphant run en route to becoming the LEC champions. No one is even expecting them to make much of a splash and upset the long-established LEC status quo. Frankly, they just need to be okay. A team that’s neither too good nor bad, but rather a polygon for up-and-coming LEC talent to shine and grow. Reaching the playoffs is a concrete goal, but even that — in a region that’s as stacked as the LEC — isn’t nearly as easy as some might think.
Still, it’s possible, as evidenced by MAD Lions and Rogue. What SK Gaming needed the most, are a couple of roster changes and a bolstered coaching staff. They had fairly solid players, but they lacked guidance and a long-term plan for growth and development. Even if they had one in place, it certainly didn’t look like it.
What Has Changed for the 2020 Summer Split?
First of all, their former mid laner Janik “Jenax” Bartels has decided to swap to top lane. This is a perplexing decision, but we’ll reserve judgment until we see Jenax in action. Dirk “ZaZee” Mallner, a young German mid laner who last played for BIG, will be taking his place. Not exactly a seismic change, but at least we’ll be seeing a brand-new face in the LEC.
Jesse “Jesiz” Le, a veteran in his own right, will lead the team as the head coach. Most fans know him as a support player, but Jesiz rose through the ranks as a coach as well. He has low-key been one of the best and most successful coaches in the “little leagues.” He molded SK Gaming Prime and Team LDLC into layered, highly capable rosters and won two EU Masters in a row. Heck, Jesiz even hoisted the trophy as a player years ago when he dominated in the inaugural EU Masters alongside legendary names like inSec, Froggen, and FORG1VEN.
He’s a proven quantity and should be able to elevate and improve this SK Gaming 2020 roster in record time. Still, a coach can only do so much with the players at his disposal, and this line-up doesn’t scream “potential.” Kangyun “Trick” Kim will remain their jungler but even though he’s a household name and a legend (two-time LEC MVP), his play certainly didn’t look the part. He was consistently getting outjungled and was often a complete non-factor, despite his vast experience.
Juš “Crownshot” Marušič and Dino “Limit” Tot will also make a reappearance in the Summer Split. Depending on your allegiance, may or may not be a good thing. Crownshot has definitely been a stand-out performer, but Limit didn’t look nearly as good. His predecessor, Han “Dreams” Min-kook, was by no means a supporting behemoth, but he certainly had moments of brilliance. Even if we view Limit’s play in a vacuum, he failed to impress much throughout the regular season. Still, it’s unfair to judge his potential after a split in which his team imploded as a whole.
These SK Gaming 2020 roster changes are by no means upgrades. A less experienced mid laner and a first-time top laner won’t make this team into a playoff contender — barring any mind-blowing twist or unexpected development. Instead, they’re probably going to hover near the very bottom of the standings, much like they did last split.
Still, they probably tried their hardest during the off-season. The fact that they failed to sign anyone better (or presumably better) should in no way diminish their valiant efforts. It feels like SK Gaming will need to go for a complete roster overhaul if they want to stand a chance of leaving a mark — the LEC is simply too strong as a region at this point.