Having earned only two wins in the first three weeks of the 2021 LEC Summer Split, Excel is promoting jungler Mark “Markoon” van Woensel and Henk “Advienne” Reijenga to its starting roster for week 4.
Excel announced the changes in a video led by coach Joey “YoungBuck” Steltenpool in which he began by explaining the team’s thought process behind the roster changes after a similar move was rumored earlier in the off-season. He started by outlining that Excel always looks to make sure that “the 5 players that give us the best chance at winning games on-stage are fielded for the LEC team” and that when both Markoon and Advienne were signed heading into the 2021 season that “it wasn’t a matter of if they would play [in the] LEC, but when”.
Excel already made changes to its starting roster after a disappointing spring by signing mid-laner Erlend “nukeduck” Våtevik Holm and support Petr “denyk” Haramach in the off-season. While doing so, their academy side, BT Excel, exceeded expectations by reaching the finals of European Masters.
Announcement regarding our #LEC roster heading into week 4.@MarkoonLoL & @Advienne1 will join the LEC team ahead of this week’s matches with Dan & Denyk moving to the BTXL roster.#ThePowerOfBetter #XLWIN pic.twitter.com/sMWzDhym1i
— EXCEL (@EXCEL) June 28, 2021
YoungBuck detailed how, after making the signings, the starting roster went on to have a bad run of scrim results that negatively affected the team dynamics and atmosphere. However, they decided against making changes immediately as they wanted to give their more experienced members time to improve their form. As their form plateaued, the team held internal tryouts by mixing their starting and academy rosters and found that “multiple players in the BT Excel roster are on par with their LEC counterparts”. This ultimately led to Markoon and Advienne’s promotion to the starting roster ahead of their upcoming matches against G2 Esports and Team Vitality.
To make way for Markoon and Advienne’s promotion, previous starting jungler Daniel “Dan” Hockley and support Petr “denyk” Haramach will move down to the BT Excel lineup to compete in week 5 of the NLC Summer split. Their reintegration into the LEC roster has still not been ruled out, with YoungBuck finishing off by stating that Excel “will continue to hold internal scrims to monitor the current form of all of the players as we continuously look to improve the starting roster”.