The newest team to the European League Championship Series, owned and operated by the German soccer club Schalke 04, has finalized its roster and support staff for the upcoming summer split, sources close to the club and its team tell ESPN. Additionally, the team will rename from Elements to Schalke 04 and represent the club's logo on its jersey this summer.
The club originally purchased Elements at the end of April, as reported by Esports Observer on May 7. With the purchase, Schalke 04 will compete in the European leg of the League of Legends Championship Series.
The team will replace mid laner Jeremy "Eika" Valdenaire with former Unicorns of Love mid laner Hampus "Fox" Myhre, who has been looking for a new team since April, as reported by ESPN. The rest of the roster will stay the same as the team retains top laner Etienne "Steve" Michels, jungler Berk "Gilius" Demir, AD carry Rasmus "MrRalleZ" Skinneholm, and support Hampus "sprattel" Abrahamsson, who was previously known as PromisQ.
Former professional League of Legends player Patrick "Nyph" Funke will remain as the team's head coach, while Elements owner Jacob "Maelk" Toft-Andersen has sold his interest in the club and will now serve as the club's head of esports.
A leaked picture given to ESPN by a source close to the club shows Nyph in the Schalke 04 stadium watching a game following meetings between the club's ownership and management.
It's not the first soccer club to invest in esports, with English club West Ham United recently picking up a FIFA 16 player and VfL Wolfsburg partnered with agency Stark eSports. But no investment has been this big with only Beşiktaş J.K. investing in Turkish League of Legends, which competes in a significantly smaller league.
The pickup of Fox comes as no surprise, as he's searched for a new team since the beginning of April, alongside former teammate Pierre "Steeelback" Medjaldi. Both originally intended to move to North America and compete with a new Challenger squad sponsored by NA LCS team Immortals. That deal fell through, however, following the formation of Cloud9's Challenger squad, which presented a decreased chance of qualifying.
The news also confirms Eika's Twitter post from April 22, which claimed there was a high likelihood he would no longer be competing with Elements. Now he'll need to find a new home after being replaced by Fox.