In a live press conference on Twitch yesterday evening Schalke 04 Esports committed to its involvement with League of Legends.
There had been rumours flying around that the Bundesliga club was set to get rid of its team after a less than satisfactory season in which it failed to return to the EU LCS.
After a strong regular season Schalke went down to Misfits Academy in the EU Challenger Series semifinals. Despite this the club will be sticking with League of Legends and aiming for greater success next season and achieve its initial goal of returning to the LCS.
Moritz Beckers-Schwarz, Board Chairman of FC Schalke 04 Arena Management GmbH commented: “Both the players and the organization have drawn lessons from this split, and both parties are aware of what needs be done differently next split. We want to be successful in esports and preparations have begun for the next split, so that we can celebrate LCS promotion together with our fans as soon as possible.”
As far as who will make up the roster for the next campaign that remains up in the air but the Royal Blues announced their intention to keep top laner Lennart ‘Smittyj’ Warkus on the books.
In a fairly lengthy conference, Schalke also denied rumours claiming that the club has focused its scouting on the Korean region. Tim Reichert, Head of Esports at Schalke 04 noted: “We are seeking talent all over the globe, not explicitly Korea. The same approach also applies to star players. We don’t focus on these types of players, but will seal the deal if the right person becomes available.”
It was also revealed that for the rest of 2017, the Royal Blues plan to extensively cooperate with universities and the Medicos health center, with the goal of creating individually tailored training plans and daily routines for their esports professionals.
Beckers-Schwartz stated: “As a sports club, we have a general interest in knowing the circumstances that allow the players to perform at their maximum level. This also requires ongoing evaluation and adjustment of established training methods.”
If you happen to be a German speaker then the full conference is available for you to enjoy here.
Esports Insider says: Something of a surprise from this conference as we’d also heard the rumours that the club was set to drop its League of Legends team. This is more respectable commitment to esports from the German club which is one of those that is leading by example when it comes to how football clubs should enter and behave in the space.