IgNar Returning to Europe with Excel Esports

IgNar looks to make his European return next year with Excel Esports. Will he be able to help the struggling team?

The LEC Offseason is on in full force despite the League of Legends World Championships not ending until this weekend. One of the larger roster rumors that started swirling this week is that well-known Support player IgNar will be making his return to the EMEA region and with the LEC team Excel Esports, first reported by Sheep Esports on Sunday. The team hopes that the presence of a seasoned veteran like IgNar will help the team find success. Will IgNar be able to help Excel not be a bottom-tier team, or will Excel be doomed for abysmal results for another year?

IgNar’s Rise 

Lee “IgNar” Dong-Geun started playing League of Legends in his home country of South Korea, coming up surrounded by the best talent the sport had to offer at the time. He has been on 11 teams in his time in the competitive scene. He started out as a sub for the North American team Winterfox for 4 short months in 2015 before joining the LCK team Incredible Miracle for the Summer Split. The team would struggle and end the split as the 2nd worst team in the league, and IgNar and Incredible Miracle would part ways in the offseason. 

IgNar would spend the 2016 Spring Split as a backup for the LCK powerhouse kt Rolster, who would ultimately go on to finish 3rd that split. In the Summer of 2016, IgNar would move to Europe to play with the EU Challenger Series team Misfits Gaming, and his life would change forever. 

Misfits would end the Split at the top of the EU Challenger Series and earn the chance to play in the promotion tournament. It started out shaky, but Misfits Gaming would ultimately win a spot in the EU LCS for the 2017 Spring Split. In their debut season, they’d shock the League, taking 4th Place in the Spring Split and following it up with a 2nd place performance in the Summer Split. The team had qualified for Worlds, and they performed much better than any fans’ expectations of them. They made it out of the group stage, a feat for any Western team at the time, and lost an incredibly close match to SKT T1 in a 2-3 thriller. Though Misfits Gaming lost, they won the hearts of fans, especially IgNar, who pulled out a Blitzcrank pick in a 26-minute win. 

IgNar would return to Korea the following season to compete with bbq Olivers, a team that would find no success in the 2018 season and would ultimately be relegated at the end of the year. Following the disappointing 2018 campaign, IgNar returned to Europe to join the LEC’s  FC Schalke 04, who struggled in the Spring before getting 3rd in the Summer. 

Never to be one to stay with one team for too long, he would travel to North America, where he played with the 2019 FlyQuest squad and would make a Worlds appearance. He then had stints with Evil Geniuses, Immortals, and Dignitas, and most recently, was part of the NRG team that made an incredible run at the 2023 League of Legends World Championships. 

Excel’s Expectations

Excel Esports has been consistently one of the worst teams in the LEC since its inception. The team’s 2nd place finish this past Summer was the team’s first time finishing a split in the top half of the standings. They hope that IgNar helps continue the newfound success and help another European team make a miracle run.