Image source: LoL Esports
Schalke 04 Esports have announced on social media and on their YouTube channel that they have signed their League of Legends European Championship team’s starting mid laner, Felix “Abbedagge” Braun, for the 2021 season. Before the signing, Abbedagge’s contract was set to expire in Nov. 2020.
The move asserts Schalke 04’s willingness to build upon the #S04MiracleRun success they have experienced during the second part of the 2020 LEC summer split. Indeed, Abbedagge’s stage performance experienced a significant improvement when Berk “Gilius” Demir returned to the starting lineup, eventually earning him the nickname “Fakerdagge” from G2 Esports’ bot laner, Luka “PerkZ” Perkovic.
Upon Gilius’s return, Abbedagge and Schalke 04 Esports surged from last place at 1W-10L to sixth place at 8W-10L, narrowly missing the World Championship after they fell to MAD Lions 3-1 in the battle for fourth seed. Despite their fall, Schalke 04 would be remembered as the strongest overall team of the second half of the summer split, and many in the community still feel their absence from the World Championship to this day.
With their mid laner secured, and with Gilius under contract for 2021, Schalke 04 can switch their attention to their upcoming vacancies in the top lane, bot lane and support roles, as the contracts of Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, Matúš “Neon” Jakubčík and Han “Dreams” Min-kook expire on Nov. 16. The offseason battle for Odoamne will be fierce as the top laner shined even when S04 were at their lowest point in the standings, and losing his stabilizing presence would negatively alter their prospects in 2021.