Prior to the start of the global League of Legends free agency period, there were massive rumors swirling around the Excel 2023 plans. After it was announced that their 2022 starting Jungler and Support players, Mark “Markoon” van Woensel and Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle would be leaving for SK Gaming and G2 Esports, respectively, Excel were quick to initiate a complete rebuild around one of their remaining three 2022 starters.
The starting lineup heading into the offseason this year was as follows:
- Top: Finn “Finn” Wiestål
- Jungle: Mark “Markoon” van Woensel
- Mid: Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm
- ADC: Patrik “Patrik” Jírů
- Support: Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle
What Remains of Excel 2022
With both Mikyx and Markoon leaving for more competitive contract offers, Excel were left with mostly mediocre players. While Patrik had a standout performance alongside Mikyx in the bottom lane, both Finn and Nukeduck were rather average players by the end of the year.
Originally, Excel fully intended to keep Finn; however, KOI’s (formerly) Rogue decision to release star top laner Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu, left Excel with an opportunity they could not pass up. With eyes set on someone else, Finn was given the opportunity to explore his options in the LEC.
It was not long before Astralis found a spot for him after releasing their veteran top laner Vivicsacsi. Not long after, Nukeduck was released from Excel and opted to join 100 Thieves as their new Assistant Coach. It is unclear as of now if Nukeduck intends to retire completely from competitive play or if he will make a return in the future.
With only one starter left on their roster, Excel put into motion their rebuild for 2023. Centered around ADC Patrik, who showed significant promise in the 2022 Summer Split, Excel have invested entirely in players who played in the LEC in 2022.
Retaining Patrik for 2023, Excel dipped into the rosters of their opponents to find players that could facilitate his playstyle. Looking at the Support position, there was one clear option available. Although he is only entering his second year in the LEC in 2023, former G2 Esports support player Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé was the best available active player in the free agency market.
Ironically, his availability was only brought about by G2 Esports interest in Mikyx, who had previously played for them for three years starting in 2019. Although this has not been confirmed, the rumors surrounding their interest in Mikyx suggest that their latest ADC pickup, former Rogue star Steven “Hans sama” Liv, specifically requested to play alongside him. Eager to make an upgrade in their own bottom lane, G2 obliged and released Targamas.
With their bottom lane now complete, Excel looked to strengthen their mid lane, a position that quickly became a liability to them headed into the 2022 Summer Playoffs. With Nukeduck taking a position in the LCS on 100 Thieves, Excel opted to spend big on a player who had proven himself to be one of the best in the league. Joining Patrik and Targamas for 2023 is none other than Spring Split MVP Vincent “Vetheo” Berrié.
Although he had been with Misfits Gaming (now Team Heretics) since 2020, Vetheo made a name for himself this year after carrying Misfits to the playoffs, not once, but twice. Although he had many terrific plays this year, his standout performances include a comeback from a 10,000 gold deficit against Spring Split Champions G2 Esports.
With the sudden arrival of Odoamne to replace Finn, Excel only needed to fill one position. Although Markoon had been their best performer across the year, SK Gaming left Excel in a difficult position after they acquired him for 2023. Opting to get the best bang for their buck, Excel finalized their roster with the best “under the radar” jungler of the 2022 Summer Split: Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir.
Although they finished bottom two in both the Spring and Summer Splits last year, Xerxe’s emergence in the Summer had a drastic impact on their win rate. As opposed to their 3-15 finish in the Spring, Xerxe managed to single-handedly carry the bottom-tier team to a 7-11 finish in Summer. At the same time, he consistently maintained a top three spot in the jungle behind established names like Jankos and Elyoya.
With five strong and proven players on their roster for 2023, Excel could look to make a huge splash this coming split. To catch them in action, be sure to tune in to the LEC when it kicks off in early January 2023.
Read more esports news.
Join our Discord to leave a question or comment regarding this article. We have sports fans talking betting all day — every day! JOIN THE DISCORD NOW AND QUALIFY FOR PRIZES & BETTING SWAG!