The LEC’s FC Schalke 04 continues to add to their roster by picking up Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun. He is returning to Europe after spending a year back in South Korea.
— Schalke 04 Esports (@S04Esports) December 11, 2018
This announcement comes a few days after the team would pick up David “DLim” Lim as an assistant coach. DLim was formerly a head coach back in North America, where he would lead Team Liquid, their Academy team, and Clutch Gaming. This will also be DLim’s first foray outside of North America, and he will be working alongside head coach Dylan “Dylan Falco” Falco. Falco was the head coach of Fnatic from the summer of 2017 to the end of 2018.
IgNar will be joining FC Schalke 04 after one of the organization’s most successful splits. The team would struggle at the beginning of 2018, finishing in eighth place during the Spring Split. However, after bringing in Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider to replace Milo “Pride” Wehnes, the team would improve tremendously. They would actually become one of the best teams in the league, finishing in third place. Schalke 04 would end up taking second place in the summer, after losing to Fnatic in the EU LCS’ Summer Finals.
However, with franchising changing the landscape of the league, players would end up leaving the team. Now, the 2018 Summer Split runner-ups have an almost completely different roster. The only remaining player from that 2018 roster is Elias “Upset” Lipp, who is also IgNar’s lane partner and ADC. Upset would have a pretty good Summer Split, being the second carry behind Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm. Together, they could be a formidable bottom lane to face against come next year.
This should be a welcome change for IgNar, who is coming from relegation from the LCK. He would play with the BBQ Olivers for 2018, where they would place in eighth during the Spring Split. They would end in last place for the following split, sending them to the 2019 Spring Promotion tournament. There, they would lose to both DAMWON Gaming and MVP, eliminating them from the LCK. As a result, IgNar and the rest of the lineup would leave the organization.
A New Beginning with Schalke 04
Along with Upset and IgNar, Schalke 04 is boasting an entirely new roster for 2019. Jonas “Memento” Elmarghichi will be starting for the team in the top lane. From 2016 to 2018, Memento would join multiple teams, like Team ROCCAT, Giants Gaming, and Nerv. Schalke is also introducing a rookie to the LEC next year, in the form of Felix “Abbedagge” Braun. Abbedagge would last play for Royal Youth/Royal Bandits, where he would play alongside Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik, who is the new TSM top laner.
At first glance, this new Schalke 04 roster doesn’t impress many people. Even still, there is plenty of potential waiting to be unlocked. Memento hasn’t been too impressive in the EU LCS, sitting on subpar teams for most of his career. However, Abbedagge is young and has plenty of room to grow on a team without a true carry. Upset and IgNar could be a pretty strong duo, as Upset now has more room to operate with Nukeduck out of the picture. On the other hand, this does mean that teams will focus on his lane that much harder.
Schalke 04 still needs a jungler as well, seeing as Amazing is now the coach for Schalke 04’s Academy team. This will be a pretty important role to fill, as their lanes will probably need help this coming year.
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