Support Lee "IgNar" Dong-geun has reached a verbal agreement with Excel Esports to re-join the LoL EMEA Championship (LEC), according to Sheep Esports sources. The South Korean player most recently achieved his most successful split in a major league yet by winning the LCS 2023 Championship and reaching Worlds Quarterfinals with NRG.
According to information shared with Sheep Esports, the team also expressed interest for support players Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov and Adrian "Trymbi" Trybus prior to setting with IgNar. This move will mean one less available spot for the many players currently on the market.
Top Lane: Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu
Mid Lane: Adam "Jackies" Jeřábek
AD Carry: Patrik "Patrik" Jírů
Support: Lee "IgNar" Dong-geun
After competing in the LCS since 2020, IgNar has returned to Europe. The last time he participated in the region, IgNar was a member of Schalke 04 Esports, with whom he achieved a 3rd place in the LEC. European fans fondly remember IgNar for his time with former LEC organization Misfits Gaming, where he played a crucial role in taking SKT T1 to a 5-game series at the Worlds Quarterfinals in 2017, despite eventually losing to the South Korean representatives.
Since then, the South Korean player has been through several ups and downs in the LCS. Initially joining FlyQuest in 2020, IgNar contributed to one of the most positively surprising rosters of that year, securing back-to-back LCS finals appearances and a spot at Worlds. However, despite this initial success, IgNar faced challenges in recent years. Since then, he played for various organizations in the LCS, including Evil Geniuses, Immortals, Dignitas, and NRG, often taking on short tenures and rarely finding stability.
In summer of 2023, the support player successfully turned his career around, overcoming past obstacles as he led NRG to a championship title in its inaugural split. At Worlds, NRG notably became the sole Western representative in the tournament's quarterfinals, achieving this feat by defeating G2 Esports along the way.
Now, after a four-year absence, IgNar returns to the EMEA region, joining a fresh squad aiming to make waves in the LEC. This move marks a reunion with his former teammate Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu, with whom he played in 2019 under S04.
Last month, Excel Esports confirmed the extension of its agreements with bot laner Patrik "Patrik" Jírů, locking-in the first piece of its bot lane. With IgNar now joining the squad, XL looks to form an entirely new duo as it enters 2024. Although the two players have not previously teamed up, are considered to be serviceable in their respective roles, and are now expected to at least be a decent pair as they head into the next competitive season.
Joining the two players, reports suggest that the British organization is making a surprising addition to its roster, aiming to replace mid laner Felix "Abbedagge" Braun with 19-year-old Czech rookie Adam "Jackies" Jeřábek. Despite being an unknown factor, the team's new mid laner is poised to be a player to watch in 2024, as sources indicate that several LEC staff members see him as having immense potential to become one of the league's staples in the coming years.
With Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu now established as XL's starting top laner for the next year, the team is now focused on securing a jungler to finalize its squad and prepare for the 2024 season. The future of the former jungler, Lee "Peach" Min-gyu, remains uncertain despite being under contract through the end of next year.