The esports arm of Munster Rugby will make its debut in the Northern League Championship of League of Legends next Wednesday and have announced details of their squad and coaching roster.

Nublar ‘Maxlore’ Sarafian has signed from the UK. The 23-year-old began his esports career in 2014, and boasts an impressive track record to include a second-place finish in the 2017 European League of Legends Championship Series (EULCS) and an eighth-place finish at the 2017 World Championships.

He is surrounded by an equally impressive supporting cast who are all considered to be amongst the top in the league in their respective positions. Aleksi ‘H1IVA’ Kaikkonen of Finland came second in the 2018 European Masters and at the 2019 French Spring Place-Offs, before going on to win the European Masters in 2019. Sebastian ‘Sebekx’ Smejkal of Poland was last year’s winner of the ESL Vodafone Championship (ESL EVC) in Italy.

The squad announcement was further boosted with the appointments of Josh ‘Furndog’ Furneaux and Jon ‘Just Jon’ Ellis as the head coach and performance director respectively.

“I’m really looking forward to getting the season underway next week,” said Furneaux, “and I’m thrilled that we have such a talented team of players to work with.”

“We are very lucky to be partnered with Munster Rugby and to have access to their High-Performance facilities and support when timings allow post Covid-19, which will be a big bonus for the entire squad.”

“We face a tough opening round game against MnM Gaming on June 17th, and though our training has been going extremely well over the past few weeks, we know that this clash will be our first true test to see where we stand.”

“Our aim is to put Ireland on the international esports map, and this team is a mixture of guys that have been to the top of the world – quite literally in Maxlore’s case – and now need to show that they have what it takes to get back to that point,” added CEO Ciaran Walsh.

“They are really excited to be involved with Ireland’s most successful esports team and we look forward to watching their journey over the coming months. We are delighted to partner with Munster Rugby for this journey and hope that the fans get involved in what is set to be a very exciting season.”

“We are really looking forward to seeing Munster Rugby Gaming perform this season and we are delighted to partner with them for this exciting new venture,” said Enda Lynch, Munster Rugby Head of Enterprise.

“We are constantly exploring ways in which we can innovate and bring our brand and high-performance knowhow to new opportunities, and we are proud to be part of Ireland’s first esports franchise team.”

Fans can get involved with all of the action by following Munster Rugby Gaming on Twitter, @MunsterRGaming, where links to live streams for the games hosted on Twitch each week will also be shared.

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