UK esports organisation Excel Esports have confirmed the signing of Norwegian mid-laner Erlend ‘nukeduck’ Våtevik Holm (pictured, centre) and Czech support player Petr ‘denyk’ Haramach (furthest right).
The pair have been rumoured to join the organisation in recent weeks and now the moves are official. Excel says this ‘completes Excel’s starting roster for the LEC Summer Split’, suggesting no other players will be signed to their League of Legends first team.
Nukeduck and Denyk replace Czekolad and Tore respectively, whose departures were announced by Excel on social media last week and were met with some vocal comments from fans of the two outgoing players.
Nukeduck has played for Team Vitality, Schalke 04 and most recently Astralis, who replaced him with UK League of Legends champion MagiFelix earlier this year after Nukeduck took a break for personal reasons.
Denyk has been playing competitively since 2013 and has played for the likes of eXtatus, Fraternitas and most recently Misfits Gaming, where he was the team’s substitute support. He has also played with his fellow countryman, Excel ADC Patrik, on teams in the past at Czech LAN events.
Both players will make their official debut with Excel Esports starting in the 2021 LEC Summer Split.
Excel will obviously hope both players will make a big impact – the organisation has come close on a couple of occasions but ultimately fallen short of reaching LEC playoff positions. Excel missed out to Schalke again in the Spring 2021 LEC standings.
“What drew me to signing with Excel was knowing that they have a team environment where I can thrive,” Nukeduck said. “I feel like the values of Excel’s ‘Power of Better’ manifesto can really help me, as well as being in a group of people who have this mindset. I am looking forward to the Summer Split.”
Denyk added: “I am really excited to be joining the Excel team and have the opportunity to play in the LEC again. I have seen how much Patrick has improved over the last couple of splits, and I am excited to join him in the bottom lane and see what we can achieve together.”
Denyk and Nukeduck join Patrik, Kryze and Dan to complete Excel’s starting roster for the LEC Summer Split. Excel says the change ‘marks the team’s commitment to improving and fielding a roster that can compete for a coveted playoffs spot’.
Excel head coach Joey ‘YoungBuck’ Steltenpool commented: “It’s great to be able to welcome both Nukeduck and Denyk to the roster. We did extensive trials during the off season and found that both players synergised well with the current roster and aligned with our goals.
“Denyk has such a positive and team-lead approach whereas Nukeduck is calm and collected with a lot of experience. The spring split was such a learning experience for us and I am confident going forward that we are prepared to perform at the highest level.”
At the start of this month, Excel’s academy team, BT Excel, made it to the final of the European Masters, falling short to France’s Karmine Corp.
Excel’s announcement confirms none of the academy players will be moving up to the first team at this time.
Further reading: Interview with BT Excel’s UK bot-laner Deadly
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.