Kinguin has made its first foray into CS:GO territory by completing the signing of the rumoured new SK Gaming lineup.
For over a week now, the Counter-Strike community has been buzzing with excitement after it was revealed that a star-studded international line-up was in the making, featuring Swedish duo Mikail "Maikelele" Bill and Alexander "SKYTTEN" Carlsson, Norwegian talent Håvard "rain" Nygaard, Belgian hot-shot Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom and Portuguese veteran Ricardo "fox" Pacheco.
Adding to the excitement was the fact that SK Gaming, one of the most established organisations in the business, were in talks to sign the team as they looked to make their way back into the Counter-Strike scene after disappointing experiences with two all-Swedish rosters.
ScreaM & co will represent Team Kinguin
However, SK Gaming's proposed move for the team was hijacked by Kinguin, a Hong Kong-based digital game key company, which stepped in at the last minute and quickly reached an agreement with the players.
"For a long time Adil and I have been discussing a potential lineup with both of us wanting it badly," Bill said in a statement.
"Right after being released from NiP we picked up those talks and started looking over our possibilities to make it come true. We now have all the support and backup needed to go all the way in Team Kinguin and I know I speak for my team when I say that's exactly what we're going to do.
"Our goal is simple. We want to play against the top tier teams in the top tier tournaments. It won't be easy and we know that a lot of time and effort will be needed to honor what Adil and I once could only dream about.
"Trust me when I say we are ready though. Are you? Let's go!"
Maikelele will be hoping to take this chance to kick-start his career after watching his stint in Ninjas in Pyjamas come to a sudden end as the team concluded that he lacked top-flight experience, even though he had been their best player at ASUS ROG Winter. On this new team, the Swedish AWPer will reunite with SKYTTEN and rain after playing alongside them across two different spells in LGB.
Getting rain on board was the hardest part about putting this lineup together: the Norwegian talent had 22 months to run on his contract with LGB, but in the end the two organisations were able to agree an undisclosed fee for the player.
The remaining two players come from outside of the Nordic region but are well-known figures in the scene: ScreaM, who is by many regarded as one of the best aimers in the game, with previous spells in VeryGames, Titan and Epsilon, and fox, who is Portugal's most famous player, with an impressive career that goes back to the early days of the game.
With this team, Kinguin enters the Counter-Strike scene with a bang as they boast a lineup that, on paper, is capable of challenging the best teams in the continent. But questions remain about whether the players will be able to overcome the language barrier that comes from the fact that they will have to communicate in English.
Team Kinguin feature the following players: