SK Gaming

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the South Korean gaming team, see SK Telecom T1.
SK Gaming
SK Gaming Logo.svg
Location Germany
Founded 1997
Manager(s) Germany Alexander T. Müller-Rodic
Sponsors Medion
Intel
ASRock
Kingston
Bigben
SteelSeries
Divisions League of Legends
Quake
Smite
Sports
Website http://www.sk-gaming.com

SK Gaming is a professional German electronic sports organization founded in 1997 by a small group of Quake players living in Oberhausen. SK Gaming retains teams across different genres and are particularly known for their success in Counter-Strike tournaments. SK is one of the founding members of the G7 Teams.[1]

History

Beginnings

Schroet Kommando was founded in 1997 as a German Quake clan by four brothers and three accomplices in Oberhausen, Germany. The original line-up of Schroet Kommando consisted of Ralf "Griff" Reichert, Daniel "Godlike" Beames, Tim "Burke" Reichert, Benjamin "Kane" Reichert, Kristof "Speed" Salwiczek, Carsten "Storch" Kramer and Sven "Ramses" Tümmers.[2] According to Ralf Reichert, the original naming of the organization originated from one of the members repeatedly shouting "Schröt!" This was a common occurrence from whenever a double-barreled shotgun would be handled, due to the translation meaning "shrapnel". Eventually, the team adopted this into their name, thus becoming "Schroet Kommando". Since then, the organization began using their abbreviation more often, until it eventually became SK Gaming.[3]

Initially, the Beames family home operated as the Schroet Kommando headquarters, concentrating primarily upon the Quake series. Early on, Schroet Kommando became one of the first clans to feature an all-female team; the most notable of which was Annemarie "XS" Warnkross, who is a notable current television host on German TV. The organization expanded into Counter-Strike, where it became known as one of the most-successful squads in all of Germany. In September 2001, Andreas "bds" Thorstensson merged his Geekboys team and news syndicate with that of SK Gaming, with a long-term prospect of emphasizing the success of his own organization. Thorstensson revolutionized electronic sports by having SK act as the first organization to have payable premium services ("SK Insider", a virtual marketplace in which subscribers could download demos, mods and add-ons better and earlier than others, talk directly to SK gamers etc.).[3] The organization's international Counter-Strike success came when they signed on the players of the successful Swedish Counter-Strike clan Ninjas in Pyjamas. In 2003, SK Gaming became the first electronic sports organization to contract players, beginning with the SK Sweden Counter-Strike squad.[4]

Later Years

The 2006 season brought no successes to the Counter-Strike team, the most notable of which, the team failed to qualify for the Electronic Sports World Cup, in which Sweden was represented by rivals Ninjas in Pyjamas and the developing Fnatic team. Thereafter, the team managed to qualify for the KODE5 finals, where they won two matches and lost to the Brazilians from Made in Brazil during the group stages. They then lost to Wisdom Nerve Victory in the single elimination round, placing fifth to eighth overall. Success did come for the Quake 4 squad however, as the Swedish star player Johan "Toxic" Quick managed to win eight out of the ten major tournaments during that year, including four out of five World Championships. Meanwhile, the FIFA 06 squad had a successful year, as the team managed to win the prestigious Electronic Sports League Pro Series twice, and the German player Daniel "hero" Schellhase won the World Cyber Games championship.

In 2008, SK Gaming began to invest in World of Warcraft and shortly before the release of the Sunwell Plateau, the final and most challenging raid encounter of World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, the organization sponsored Curse, one of the highest-ranked guilds at the time.[5] SK Gaming's German competitor, Mousesports, had significantly commanded the recognition with maintaining Nihilum, the most-successful guild in the world, achieving a strong majority of world first raid kills. The newly recruited SK.PvE squad, however, had a strong winning streak during the Sunwell Plateau and completed most of the instance's boss kills first.[6] Due to differences in interests, the PvE team was dismissed, with a stronger emphasis upon the PvP aspect.[7] Near the end of 2008, SK Gaming entered the competitive console scene, with acquisition of a German Xbox team.[8]

Stability Issues and Reorganization

Beginning in the fall of 2009, the Counter-Strike squad would encounter long-term stability issues, as long-time member Kristoffer "Tentpole" Nordlund and Marcus "zet" Sundström were removed from the roster for disagreements and misrepresentation issues.[9] The roster began refocusing with the acquisition of H2k Gaming players Johan "face" Klasson and Frej "kHRYSTAL" Sjöström, which gained its best respective victory two weeks after the change with a gold medal victory against Fnatic.[10] 2009 marked the conclusion of managing director and partial owner Andreas Thorstensson's tenure, as he stepped down from SK Gaming to further pursue his web development career, giving full executive authority to Alexander T. Müller-Rodic, thereby making SK Gaming a singular German organization.[11] Alongside Thorstensson's departure, the highly successful Warcraft III departed, as well, in order to make way for SK Gaming to operate as a more conservative business.[12][13] To accommodate for the Counter-Strike stability issues, SK Gaming announced the replacement of Frej "kHRYSTAL" Sjöström with the former Fnatic player Rasmus "GuX" Ståhl.[14] In one of the greatest controversies in electronic sports history, the organization Fnatic arranged for Rasmus "GuX" Ståhl to rejoin their Counter-Strike team, after a series of failed performances.[15][16] Ståhl did not technically sign his contract with SK after five months, while still receiving months of payment and was intended to attend Arbalet Dallas with his team, after his plane ticket was purchased. However, it was revealed through Ståhl's message logs that Fnatic had paid him not to use SK's ticket to Dallas[17] Despite the closure of SK's investment into the Action RTS scene with the departure of its Defense of the Ancients team in 2009,[18] SK Gaming took in a squad for the relatively unknown title Avalon Heroes in 2010, as well as an American Heroes of Newerth squad and a European League of Legends squad.[19] In August 2010, welcomed back Warcraft III veteran Fredrik "MaDFroG" Johansson, with the creation of the organization's StarCraft II division.[20] 2010 marked the final year in which SK Gaming would support World of Warcraft, with the removal of its European, American and Asian squads, as well as the unnannounced closure of its Sansibar squad.[21] On December 3, it was announced that the German FIFA duo of Daniel "hero" Schellhase and Dennis "styla" Schellhase would be retiring from eSports, following a joint brotherly career as the most-successful virtual sports players of all time.[22] In a massive Counter-Strike roster overhaul on December 7, SK Gaming signed on the departing Fnatic players Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg and Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund, (the latter of whom played for the organization previously), while also seeing the departure of Dennis "walle" Wallenberg.[23] On December 21, it was announced that SK Gaming would be closing its Counter-Strike female team, as well as its short-lived Counter-Strike: Source team, in order to retain a more conservative roster for 2011.[24]

The first development of 2011 constituted the trimming of the Xbox 360 sports roster and the addition of a competitive Call of Duty: Black Ops team,[25] as well as the addition of newcomers Hun "inuh" Park and Jimmy "jimpo" Wölfinger to the StarCraft II team.[26] These new StarCraft II players would, however, become the entirety of the division, as it was soon announced afterwords that Fredrik "MaDFroG" Johansson would not be given a contract for 2011.[27] On January 16, it was announced that SK Gaming would be adding an additional United States Counter-Strike division, which would include former SK Gaming female member Alice "ali" Lew.[28] On February 28, SK Gaming announced that Toshiba would be taking the reins of main sponsor from Acer Inc., which had served as the primary sponsor since 2009.[29] On March 12, SK Gaming announced the additions of the up and rising StarCraft II Dane Johannes Sabroe "Joe" Witt,[30] as well as a Bloodline Champions squad.[31] On April 4, five-year Counter-Strike player, Jimmy "allen" Allén, announced his inactivity, due to considerable health ailments, setting the stage for the trial replacement, Dennis "dennis" Edman.[32] However, on May 23, SK Gaming declared that Edman would no longer be playing for the organization and that Allén would participate in the WCG Swedish Qualifier the following weekend.[33] On May 29, however, a permanent replacement was made with the still-contracted Fnatic player and former SK stand-in, Marcus "Delpan" Larsson.[34] On June 23, following a disappointing Dreamhack appearance, SK Gaming's League of Legends team underwent a massive overhaul, removing the vast majority of the squad, but bringing in recently dismissed players from other professional organizations.[35] On July 1, it was announced that the SK Gaming's Heroes of Newerth team would be replaced by the former squad of Evil Geniuses.[36] On Independence Day of 2011, SK Gaming released its European StarCraft II roster consisting of Hun "inuh" Park, Jimmy "jimpo" Wölfinger and Johannes Sabroe "Joe" Witt, citing unsatisfactory performances.[37] The squad was remade, however, on July 15, with the partnership with the South Korean pro-gamer house Old Generations, for SK Gaming to sponsor Min Chul "MC" Jang and Yoon-Yeol "NaDa" Lee for international events.[38] Due to long-term prospective differences, the Heroes of Newerth once again parted ways with the organization, during SK's attendance at Gamescom.[39] SK Gaming would invest in a different sector of the action RTS scene, however, with the acquisition of an all-Danish Dota 2 squad previously known as Next Evolution ESC, in November 2011,[40] but dismissed the team for the unpredictability of the relatively young scene for the game.[41]

In early 2012, the partnership between SK Gaming and Old Generations ended, with Min Chul "MC" Jang joining the organization, while Yoon-Yeol "NaDa" Lee remained with oGs.[42] In a surprising move, SK Gaming announced that the Counter-Strike team would be removing the player with the shortest tenure, Marcus "Delpan" Larsson, in favor of their first permanent Danish member and former mTw ace, Martin Alexander "trace" Bang Heldt at the end of January.[43] On April 13, however, Larsson once more returned to the team, replacing Heldt.[44] On July 27, 2012, it was announced that SK Gaming's Counter-Strike division would lose Robert "RobbaN" Dahlström, Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg and Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund, as well as team captain Anton Budak, due to SK's decision to not send the team to GameGune 2012.[45] On July 30, SK Gaming announced the final closing of the Counter-Strike division.[46]

On January 15, 2013, it was determined that SteelSeries has ended their ten-year sponsorship of SK Gaming, in addition to Evil Geniuses.[47] In an annual wrap-up, SK's CEO Alexander T. Müller-Rodic announced the departures of League of Legends players Carlos "ocelote" Rodríguez Santiago, Patrick "Nyph" Funke, as well as the sole StarCraft II player Min Chul "MC" Jang and sports player Bruce "Spank" Grannec.[48]

Business model

SK Gaming is technically a Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, with the owners being Alexander Müller-Rodic, Andreas Thorstensson and Ralf Reichert, the former who still operates full-time as the managing director of the company. SK Gaming operates largely due to its sponsorships, most-notably by Toshiba, Kingston Technology and Bigben. The company also finances itself by the "SK Insider" subscription service. However, according to Rodic, the vast majority of the company's funds originates from sponsorships.[49]

Current roster

League of Legends

  • Germany Adrian "Candy Panda" Wübbelmann
  • United Kingdom Simon "fredy122" Payne
  • Denmark Jesse "Jesiz" Le
  • Germany Christoph "nRated" Seitz
  • Denmark Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen

League of Legends Prime

  • Poland Mateusz "Kikis" Szkudlarek
  • Germany Lennart "Smitty" Warkus
  • Sweden Hampus "watdefox" Myhre
  • Finland Niklas "Zytan" Lakaniemi
  • France Haïdar "Zyzz" Mezidi

Quake

Smite

  • Norway Bo "Badgah" Katzenmaier
  • United Kingdom Ben "CaptainTwig" Knight
  • Portugal João "maniaKK" Ferreira
  • United Kingdom Marcus "Realzx" Vining
  • Sweden Joakim "Zyrhoes" Verngren

Sports

  • Germany Patrick "Phayton" Maier

Notable alumni

Selected achievements

SK has placed in the top 3 at the following major tournaments:

Counter-Strike

1st CPL Winter 2005 – United States Dallas
1st CPL Summer 2005 – United States Dallas
2nd CPL Summer 2004 – United States Dallas
1st CPL Winter 2003 – United States Dallas
1st CPL Europe 2003 – Denmark Copenhagen
1st CPL Summer 2003 – United States Dallas
1st CPL Europe 2003 – France Cannes
3rd CPL Winter 2002 – United States Dallas
1st CPL Summer 2002 – United States Dallas
3rd CPL Europe 2002 – Germany Cologne
  • ESL
1st ESL Extreme Masters IV 09/10: Global Challenge New York  – United States New York
3rd ESL Extreme Masters IV 09/10: Global Finals  – Germany Germany
3rd ESL Extreme Masters IV 09/10: Global Challenge Dubai  – United Arab Emirates Dubai
1st ESL Extreme Masters IV 09/10: Global Challenge Chengdu – China Chengdu
2nd ESL Extreme Masters III 08/09: Global Challenge Montreal – Canada Montreal
1st ESL Extreme Masters III 08/09: Global Challenge Los Angeles – United States Los Angeles
2nd ESL Extreme Masters II 07/08: Global Challenge Los Angeles – United States Los Angeles
1st ESWC 2011 – France Paris
2nd ESWC Masters Cheonan 2009 – South Korea Cheonan
2nd ESWC 2005 – France Paris
3rd ESWC 2003 – France Poitiers
2nd KODE5 08/09 – Russia Moscow
3rd KODE5 07/08 – Russia Moscow
2nd WCG 2011 – South Korea Busan
2nd WCG 2008 – Germany Cologne
1st WCG Euro Championship 2007 – Germany Hannover
1st WCG 2003 – South Korea Seoul

Zonerank Rankings

  • Top Ranking: 2nd (March 2008)[50]
  • Current Ranking: 2nd[51]

Quake, Painkiller & Unreal Tournament

World Championships

Warcraft III

  • 1st WCG SEC 2007 – Ukraine Mykhaylo "HoT" Novopashyn
  • 2nd World Series of Videogames, Finals 2006 – South Korea Jung Hee "jamem" Chun
  • 3rd World Cyber Games 2006 – Ukraine Mykhaylo "HoT" Novopashyn
  • 1st KODE5 2006- Russia Andrey "Deadman" Sobolev
  • 1st World Series of Videogames, China 2006 – South Korea Jung Hee "Sweet" Chun
  • 1st World Series of Videogames, Sweden 2006 – Russia Andrey "Deadman" Sobolev

World Championships

World of Warcraft

  • World 1st kill of Felmyst
  • World 1st kill of M'uru
  • World 1st kill of Kil'jaeden – (final boss of The Burning Crusade).
  • SK.US 1st Place at MLG Columbus
  • SK.US 1st Place at the Blizzard Regional Finals
  • SK.US 4th Place – BlizzCon 3vs3 World Finals 2009

References

  1. ^ "G7 Teams Announced". G7 Teams. 2006-08-08. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  2. ^ Röseler, Dieter (2002-11-21). "Die Killer aus dem Kinderzimmer". Focus. 
  3. ^ a b Lexx (2002-10-03). "Andreas "bds" Thorstensson @ Cyberfight.ru". Cyberfight. 
  4. ^ Sharp, George (2009-03-09). "brunk leaves SK.Swe, SpawN joins for WCG". UKTerrorist. 
  5. ^ Selin, Sebastian (2008-03-24). "SK goes World of Warcraft PvE". SK Gaming. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  6. ^ Davey, Jamie (2008-05-28). "Kil'jaeden brutally slain, authorities suspect SK-Gaming mobsters". Strategy Informer. 
  7. ^ Thorstensson, Andreas (2008-10-01). "SK shifts focus to esports only". SK Gaming. 
  8. ^ Phillips, Lawrence (2008-12-28). "SK Gaming welcomes XBOX360 squad". SK Gaming. 
  9. ^ Lewis, Richard (2009-09-17). "Zneel And Zet Leave SK Gaming". Cadred. 
  10. ^ "SK Gaming wins Global Challenge Chengdu". MeetYourMakers. 10-03-2009. 
  11. ^ "BDS Retires from SK-Gaming". Insider eSports. 12-07-2009. 
  12. ^ Ellersiek, Timothy (01-05-2010). "Your SK in 2010 – CS fe, WoW, FIFA & Racing". SK Gaming. 
  13. ^ Ellersiek, Timothy (01-18-2010). "Your SK Gaming in 2010 – CS, QUAKE and XBOX". SK Gaming. 
  14. ^ Hancu, Andrei (02-12-2010). "GuX joins SK, kHRYSTAL out". Fnatic. 
  15. ^ "MODDII stands-in, Gux to rejoin fnatic". 
  16. ^ "FnaticMSI welcomes back Gux & our side of the SK situation". 
  17. ^ "The facts and figures behind Gux's departure". 
  18. ^ Hellstrand, Patrik (03-10-2009). "SK-Gaming parts with DotA team". GosuGamers. 
  19. ^ Horton, Samuel (2011-01-05). "2010: A Year in Review". SK Gaming. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  20. ^ "SK.MaDFroG returns for StarCraft 2". 
  21. ^ "SK EU shuts down, Sansibar picks up two". 
  22. ^ "SK's FIFA twins, Hero and Styla, retire". 
  23. ^ "SK Gaming announces new CS lineup for 2011". 
  24. ^ "SK closes CS female and CS:S". 
  25. ^ "SK Gaming adds Call of Duty: Black Ops side". 
  26. ^ Held, Fabian (2011-01-10). "SK adds inuh and jimpo". MeetYourMakers. 
  27. ^ Horton, Samuel (2011-01-12). "MaDFroG departs from SK Gaming". SK Gaming. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  28. ^ Mira, Luis (2011-01-16). "SK open US team". HLTV.org. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  29. ^ Dorner, Tobias (2011-02-28). "SK Gaming and Toshiba to cooperate". SK Gaming. 
  30. ^ Kolev, Radoslav (2011-03-12). "SK Gaming welcomes "Joe" to the SC2 roster". SK Gaming. 
  31. ^ Shields, Duncan (2011-03-12). "SK Gaming adds BLC squad". SK Gaming. 
  32. ^ Shields, Duncan (2011-04-04). "allen goes inactive from SK Gaming". SK Gaming. 
  33. ^ Baldvinsson, Birkir (2011-05-23). "allen returns to SK Gaming". HLTV.org. 
  34. ^ Mira, Luis (2011-05-29). "Official: SK sign Delpan". HLTV.org. 
  35. ^ Parkin, Scott (2011-06-23). "SK.LoL announce new line-up". SK Gaming. 
  36. ^ Ong, Wei Shen (2011-07-01). "The American HoN Reshuffle". GosuGamers. 
  37. ^ Begic, Nedim (2011-07-04). "SK removes SC2 team". MeetYourMakers. 
  38. ^ Begic, Nedim (2011-07-15). "NaDa and MC to SK". MeetYourMakers. 
  39. ^ Mađer, Mario (2011-08-16). "HoN team parts ways with SK Gaming". SK Gaming. 
  40. ^ Horton, Samuel (2011-07-15). "SK Gaming signs ex-monkeybusiness". SK Gaming. 
  41. ^ Shields, Duncan (2012-01-30). "SK's DotA2 team has been released". SK Gaming. 
  42. ^ Shields, Duncan (2012-01-13). "MC leaves oGs and joins SK full-time". SK Gaming. 
  43. ^ Milovanovic, Petar (2012-01-31). "trace joins SK Gaming, Delpan out". HLTV.org. 
  44. ^ Baldvinsson, Birkir (2012-04-13). "Delpan returns to SK; trace removed". HLTV.org. 
  45. ^ Kovanen, Tomi (2012-07-26). "SK Gaming's CS division in shambles". HLTV.org. 
  46. ^ Winther Kristensen, Marc (2012-07-30). "SK confirm CS division release". HLTV.org. 
  47. ^ Hermansson, Tomas (2013-01-15). "Efter 10 år spricker samarbetet". Rakaka. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  48. ^ Khaw, Cassandra (December 30, 2013). "SK Gaming streamlines player rosters". onGamers. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  49. ^ Spieler-Firma gründen: Das Unternehmen Clan, tomshardware.com
  50. ^ ZoneRank
  51. ^ ZoneRank
  52. ^ "DigitalLife 2006 Final Standings" – GGL
  53. ^ "WCG 2006 Invitational Quake4 All Stars – Final Results" – WCG

External links