SK Gaming has been a part of some of the most memorable moments in esports throughout its history. They were one of the first teams to win a world championship in Counter-Strike, and have continued to be a dominant force in the game ever since. SK has also had success in games like League of Legends, DOTA, and Hearthstone. The next milestone on SK’s agenda? Fulfilling their teams’ performance needs with the help of Beyond NRG.
Who are SK Gaming?
SK Gaming’s history is long and storied. The team was formed back in 1997 as a Counter-Strike team but have branched out to play several other games since then. SK first made waves with their Counter-Strike squad on the international stage at Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) Intercontinental 2004, where they finished second place overall after losing the grand final to Finnish side hoorai.
Fresh off the loss, SK were able to turn things around by winning CPL Europe 2005 later that year! They would go on to be one of the most successful teams ever – amassing two world championships, twelve ESL Pro Series titles, five EPS German Open trophies; along with more than thirty premium domestic league victories across seven different countries/regions (Germany, Spain, Sweden, France, Poland and the USA). SK Gaming has also been a part of some of esports most epic matches, including SK vs Fnatic – The $250k BoB Grand Final.
Where is SK Gaming Now?
More recently – SK have turned their attention to new games such as LoL, DOTA & Hearthstone. With rosters bolstered by top players like Janik “JENAX” Bartels, SK is starting to re-establish themselves in these titles too! As one of the leading teams across multiple competitive gaming scenes, they actively establish industry standards that help move esports forward every day.
They continue to be at the forefront of game development through long term partnerships with key titles like LoL and DOTA. SK also has a strong commitment to growing the grassroots esports scene with their League of Legends amateur series, an initiative that started back in 2009 – before any other league had even considered it!
Why Beyond NRG?
Beyond NRG are a drinks company committed to improving human performance through energy drink innovation. Through this partnership, they provide SK players & staff with high-quality products, including their latest ‘Bloodberry‘ flavour, which launched in Autumn 2021.
In addition to providing beverages on-site, Beyond NRG also help support SK across all platforms from social media, influencer relations and commercial partnerships… just to name a few! SK Gaming and Beyond NRG are working together to create innovative initiatives that will raise standards in esports.
We sent your questions to the team, and here’s what they had to say…
What does SK Gaming look for when bringing new players to the roster?
“As competitors in various titles for over 24 years, we must remain at our best. Our strength comes from a roster of role models competing at the highest level. We look for credible brand ambassadors that communicate with their respective communities.”
What standout moment/s put SK Gaming on the map?
“It’s difficult to pick just one moment, having won over 70 titles in different games since 1997. If we had to name one, we’d have to go with the CS:GO Major ESL One Cologne 2016 and 2017. Winning such a prestigious tournament in our hometown of Cologne was an emotional and once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We also won the Clash Royale League West Fall Season in 2019 and the SMITE World Championship in 2020. Both teams showcased incredible skill and teamwork, adding more unforgettable moments to the legacy of SK Gaming.”
What makes SK Gaming such a revered team in the world of esports?
“SK Gaming is one of the most established esports organisations in the world. Over the years, we’ve bagged multiple trophies across various game titles. SK has adopted a more family-friendly approach in the last couple of years, focusing primarily on mobile games and the MOBA title League of Legends.”
What are you looking forward to most in 2022?
“There are plenty of competitions arriving in 2022 where SK Gaming looks to be unrivalled. Our rebuilt League of Legends rosters will participate in the LEC and the Strauss Prime League and carry excellent potential. They’re ones to watch! We also have our sights firmly set on becoming 2022 champions in mobile gaming divisions.
Our Brawl Stars team lost out on the title in 2021, but it’s been defined as a clear goal for 2022, and we believe this is the year we take home the trophy.”
Can you describe a typical day in the life of an SK player?
“Our players participate in a 360-degree program facilitated through SK’s infrastructure and a wide range of partners in essential areas. The program includes tailor-made nutrition and sports plans and focuses on maximising each player’s potential to be the best version of themselves.
The players have a set schedule with practice slots, meals, and sport sessions that help them reach the next step in their professional careers.”
Here’s what a typical schedule looks like:
• 09:30 – Arrival at the facility plus individual practice/sports sessions
• 10:30 – Breakfast
• 11:00 – Individual practice
• 13:00 – Lunch
• 13:30 – Individual practice
• 15:00 – Team practice, recap session
• 18:30 – Dinner
• 19:00 – Free time (e.g. streaming/team bonding)
How does the team prepare for an upcoming tournament?
“Intense boot camps take place a few weeks before the tournament begins, and they can be pretty challenging. Preparation is different for each team and game title, but it usually involves a boot camp lasting around two weeks!”
Why are SK Gaming excited to be partnering with Beyond NRG?
“We live in exciting times, and Beyond’s products cater to the needs of our athletes in many ways. They provide a long-lasting boost of energy, focus and endurance – the fundamental cornerstones to maximise game-related performance as a professional esports athlete.”
How important is mental performance when it comes to gaming?
“Mental performance is crucial and plays a central role in the life of every esports professional. SK Gaming’s athletes must retain focus and attentiveness over long periods while making split-second decisions in clutch situations. Players face higher stress levels and an insane amount of pressure; thus, a healthy body and especially a calm and collected mind are mandatory to perform at the highest level.”
SK’s partnership with Beyond NRG has already helped SK meet their objectives for the team, “With Beyond, we were looking for an energy drink brand which would help us improve our performance on stage”, says SK CEO – Alexander T. Müller. They continue, “We wanted something stronger than Red Bull but more sustainable than other brands such as Monster Energy.”
SK players also appreciate the new drinks on offer: “My favourite is definitely Space Rocks“, said SK LoL player Alois Nelissen, continuing, “It tastes amazing and gives you just the right amount of kick while playing League of Legends”. The Future Looks Bright! SK Gaming and Beyond NRG are just getting started.
Beyond NRG Marketing Manager Ashlea Turner adds her thoughts on this collaboration, too, saying, “Part of our mission statement at Beyond is all about human performance, so it’s great working with another organisation who believes in the same core values”. She continues, “The esports industry is growing rapidly, and SK Gaming is one of the most iconic teams out there.
We’re looking forward to working with them for years to come to help support their growth in every way possible.” SK Gaming has always been a benchmark organisation within esports – from their early days as a German clan all the way through to becoming one of the world’s most successful professional gaming teams. This new collaboration with Beyond NRG is set to continue this trend and help SK Gaming reach even greater heights in the years to come!
Summary: SK Gaming are off to a great start in this year’s League of Legends World Championship. The team is looking better than they ever have, and it will be exciting to see how far they go with Beyond NRG supporting them every step of the way!
Who would you like to partner with Beyond next? Let us know in the comments below or on social media. We can’t wait for what’s coming up next!
SK Gaming: A Milestone In The Evolution Of Esports – Written by: Jax Robertson (Creative Marketing Executive) – SK Gaming’s official drinks partner: Beyond NRG.