Update (Dec. 31, 2016): Since the time of publication, Max "Satorius" Günther has backed out of his verbal agreement with FC Schalke 04 and decided to sign with EU League Championship Series team Origen, according to sources. He will likely be replaced by Lennart "Smittyj" Warkus, sources tell ESPN, while the remaining part of the Schalke 04 lineup stays as reported.
Soccer club FC Schalke 04 has finalized its European League of Legends roster for the 2017 season, sources close to the organization and players tell ESPN.
The team has come to agreements with top laner Max "Satorius" Günther, jungler Jean-Victor "loulex" Burgevin, mid laner Marcin "SELFIE" Wolski, AD carry Elias "Upset" Lipp and support Oskar "VandeR" Bogdan, sources say. This team will begin competing in the European Challenger Series in the coming months.
Prior to being relegated to the European Challenger Series, FC Schalke 04 competed in the European League Championship Series following the purchase of Elements' spot in May. The team was, however, relegated in August by Misfits.
The roster formation comes after Schalke parted ways with all of its 2016 roster after relegation. Those players have since joined other teams, including Paris Saint-Germain Esports, eUnited and Fnatic Academy.
During the offseason, Schalke ran a scouting event and picked up several players -- Rudy "Rudy" Beltran, Jørgen "Hatrixx" Elgåen, Ian "NightSniper" de Schepper and Benjamin "Visdom" Larsen -- tentatively. It did not choose to sign any of these players for the Challenger Series, however.
During 2016, Satorius competed on Challenger Series team Epsilon Esports, but left that team after it allegedly failed to pay its players. loulex joins the squad after taking a competitive hiatus for the majority of 2016 after a stint with the Unicorns of Love. SELFIE and VandeR recently parted ways with their teams, Misfits and H2K Gaming respectively, during the offseason.
On Monday, Giants Gaming released a statement claiming that Upset had left the team -- a team he competed with at the Intel Extreme Masters Gyeonggi -- but the statement did not indicate any void of contract. Sources say that his departure came as a result of joining the Schalke lineup.
FC Schalke 04 did not respond to a request for comment.