Excel Esports have reportedly signed Unicorns of Love Sexy Edition top laner Felix “Kryze” Hellström and promoted BT Excel mid laner Jordan “Special” Scheffe to their main LoL roster, ahead of the 2020 League of Legends European Championship (LEC) Summer Split.
Excel Esports ventured off into the 2020 LEC Spring Split with high ambitions, hoping to make a breakthrough and secure a spot in the league's playoffs for the first time in the organisation's history. Not many people expected much from Excel, however, seeing how they struggled to leave an impact in their maiden season in LEC, where they finished ninth in LEC 2019 Spring and 10th in LEC 2019 Summer, however, the UK esports organisation opted for some massive roster changes in the offseason.
In December, Excel signed ex-Origen ADC Patrik "Patrik" Jírů, ex-Splyce support Tore "Tore" Hoel Eilertsen (previously known as Norskeren) and made perhaps the biggest roster move of the offseason, when they acquired the former Fnatic coach Joey "YoungBuck" Steltenpool, who is also known as the most successful coaches in LEC history, which earned him the nickname of the Six-star General for his six LEC titles.
With a fresh roster and a new coach, Excel was ready for their most successful season to date and from the start, it seemed like Excel just might achieve their goal and secure a playoffs berth. Unfortunately, YoungBuck and his crew failed to do so, as they finished the season with a 7-11 record, two wins short of reaching a top-six placement.
Although Excel's final placement was somewhat bittersweet, it was still a very solid result given the organisation's performances in 2019. Now Excel have announced additional roster changes ahead of 2020 Summer Split, which they hope will help them achieve the needed results to finally have a breakthrough year.
As announced last week, Excel parted ways with their mid laner Son "Mickey" Young-min and top laner Ki "Expect" Dae-han, both of whom put up underwhelming performances throughout the split. Expect and Mickey had the third-lowest KDA (2.09 and 2.69) out of all players in their respective roles, while their other statistics did not inspire much optimism either.
Replacing the duo for the Summer Split will be Kryze in the top lane and Special in the mid lane as reported by reliable sources.
“Our LEC team finished in 7th place during the Spring Split 2020, which was an improvement on both splits last year, but ultimately we fell short of reaching our goal to make playoffs,” said YoungBuck
“We have reviewed the situation internally and feel that to be confident in reaching that goal in the Summer Split 2020, a change is necessary.”
Kryze is a Swedish up-and-coming top laner, who began his professional LoL career in November 2018 with Östersunds FK. He later played for FALKN, Hybrid Esports, G2 Heretics and in January 2020 teamed up with UOL Sexy Edition, which is an Academy team of Unicorns of Love.
With UOL Sexy Edition, Kryze finished third in Prime League Pro Division 2020 Spring with an impressive 12-6 record, one win behind mousesports and two behind the league's frontrunners FC Schalke 04 Evolution. In the Prime League Pro Division 2020 Spring Playoffs, UOL Sexy Edition went on to defeat ad hoc gaming in round one, but fell flat in round two against Gamer Legion, thus ended the season at fourth place, which was still a huge achievement.
Kryze played a huge role in his team's success putting up 4.07 KDA, 8.81 CSPM, 61.3% KPAR, 31.5% KS and 24.7% GS, with the latter two stats being the highest out of all top laners in the league. It remains to be seen how will Kryze stack up against some of the best top laners in the LEC, however, his numbers suggest he will be an upgrade from Expect.
Joining Kryze as the newest addition to Excel Esports is Dutch mid laner Special, who has begun his professional LoL career in December 2015 and ha since played for Giants Gaming, Misfits Academy and even spent most of 2017 as a substitute player for Fnatic. Special spent the last four months as a member of BT Excel, an Academy team of Excel Esports. With BT Excel, Special won UKLC 2020 Spring with a perfect 14-0 record and later helped his team finish runners-up at UKLC 2020 Spring Playoffs after they suffered a close 2-3 defeat against Fnatic Rising in the grand finals.
Although Special failed to hoist the UKLC 2020 Spring trophy, he was still one of the most consistent and best-performing players in the league. The Dutch mid laner ended the regular split with the second-highest KDA out of all mid laners (5.36), had the highest SCPM (8.99) and fifth-highest KS (23.6). He also averaged the third-lowest deaths per game (1.93) and had the third-highest kill count per game (4.5).
The young duo will now join Marc Robert "Caedrel" Lamont, Tore and Patrick in what promises to be the strongest iteration of Excel Esports to date. Additionally, with the departure of two Korean players, this team is bound to have better communication since all current members are from Europe, all of whom speak English fluently.
Excel Esports' first match of LEC 2020 Summer Split is scheduled for Friday, June 12, when they will face off against Rogue. They're later slated to meet with Vitality and Fnatic on Saturday and Sunday respectively.