While it did not seem as if SK Gaming had been planning the move well in advance, especially with BKN shedding light that his Evil Geniuses (EG) departure “came out of nowhere”, SK’s players have not wasted any time in strengthening their ranks.
BKN will be joining Alex “Ezley” Easley as part of the coaching staff, although there has been no statement or official information released as to how the relevant responsibilities will be delegated.
SK Gaming’s pick up of BKN comes at the halfway point of the eighth season of the Pro League, which sees them sit atop the standings in North America (NA) -- a feat they have not achieved since Season 4 last year. The team will also be participating in the DreamHack Montreal tournament, which will be their first LAN event since the Season 4 Pro League Finals. The signing of such an experienced coach will give them a much-needed guiding hand for the road ahead, and will also help reduce Ezley’s burden.
When asked about the move, team captain Mint had the following to say.
We're excited about bringing BKN onto the team as he brings a lot of experience and leadership that can really help us grow. We think it'll be a great fit as we run a very similar style of team as Ominious which he was apart of.
BKN’s previous exploits lead back to the very first season of the Pro League, where his team Recorded Reported finished 5th-6th in NA. He then played for Miner Esports, in Season 3, but finished 5th-6th domestically again. Season 4 saw him play for Ominous, who topped their group without a loss, with one of their wins having come against the 2017 Invitational champions Continuum (now EG). However, the playoffs would see them lose to both Flipsid3 Tactics (now SK Gaming) and Elevate to finish 4th in the season.
PENTA Sports (now G2 Esports) would then pick him up as a coach, but he would be let go after just a single season with them -- not long after the team’s victory at the Season 5 finals. BKN would then join EG as coach in a bid to improve their results. While he would see the team crash out in the quarter-finals in Season 6 and 7, he would guide them to second-place at both the Majors in 2018. However, with the team unable to beat G2 in both the Majors' Grand Finals, and at the Season 7 LAN, the EG players decided a coaching change was necessary.
Catch SK Gaming in action once the Pro League resumes next week to see how the addition of BKN will affect the team.
SK Gaming’s Roster is now:
Kyle “Mint” Lander
Owen “Pojoman” Mitura
Matthew “Hotancold” Stevens
Samuel “Jarvis” Jarvis
Zachary “Nyx” Thomas
Alex “Ezley” Easley (coach)
Jordan “BKN” Soojian (coach)