What is SK Gaming Avarosa?

Last week saw the iconic esports org SK Gaming announce the inaugural roster for their Avarosa initative. It’s latest... Benjamin Mock | 23. May 2022

Last week saw the iconic esports org SK Gaming announce the inaugural roster for their Avarosa initative. It’s latest step in an ambitious project that has been steeped in mystery ever since it was intially revealed.

SK Gaming Avarosa, also known as Team Avarosa, Avarosa.gg, and Project Avarosa, is something that has never quite been explained. It was announced via an unlisted YouTube video posted to the SK Gaming channel on September 15, 2021.

The two-minute video features SK Gaming-affiliated esports personality Georgina “Troubleinc” Paras walking the viewer through the SK Gaming facility in Köln, Germany and talking vaguely about the exciting opportunity being presented by “Project Avarosa”. However, Troubleinc never actually says what it is.

The official website shone a little more light on the project, revealing it to be an initative to create a team of female and non-binary League of Legends players. But even then, details were scarce, with the official press statement continuing the trend of infuriating vagueness.

“We are not making bold promises that we will change esports overnight, or that by next year we will have a mixed team play in the LEC, but we do want to contribute and be part of the change. We want to level the playing field as much as possible and give a diverse roster of people the chance to thrive in competitive gaming. In the meantime, we welcome the community’s feedback.”

A timeline was also released, showing a plan to hold five ‘bootcamps’ between October and December 2021. But once again, there was no indication of what the end result would be – was it a team that would be fielded in a league? A showcase of female and non-binary talent to encourage other teams to take a chance on the players? Or otherwise meaningless diversity project designed to make SK Gaming look good?

A jigsaw of evidence

Over the following months, bits and pieces were released about Project Avarosa. The official website was occasionally updated with select images from bootcamps designed to look like Instagram posts. The SK Gaming YouTube began publishing vlogs showing the progress of the team.

A roster of sorts, or at least a list of players involved, was posting to the website of Equal Esports, an equal initiative sponsored by Duetsche Telekom. The webpage listing the players was published on May 5, 2022 but none of the players listed would end up being a part of the recent announcement on May 17.

It was still unclear what the project actually wanted to achieve. Beyond the vlogs, there had been no announcement from either the project of SK Gaming about Avarosa’s endgame. The timeline on the website had been updated for 2022, showing a plan to run eight bootcamps during the year.

But once again, what were these bootcamps actually for? Were they tryouts for a team? Or merely giving underrepresented groups access to high-level coaching and facilities, as well as the chance to meet a few big names from the esports industry?

Timeline showing the bootcamps in 2022 for Project Avarosa

Image Credit: SK Gaming

The plan revealed

Then came May 17, 2022. SK Gaming’s Twitter account revealed the first official statement and announced roster for SK Gaming Avarosa.

The roster was comprised of Bosnian top laner Dino “FengDere” Hrnjadović; Danish jungler Ida “Emprez” Pedersen; Austrian mid laner Tanja “Escapex3” Reither; German bot laner Johanna “Mercia”; and Norwegian support Anette “Pjush” Holm. The team would be coached by Fuat “Fuat” Dilek.

All of the players are long-time League veterans, with some boasting impressive résumés that include well-known women’s teams like Galaxy Racers.

What’s more, the purpose of the team was revealed by SK Gaming, who spoke to Fragster via Twitter DMs.

“They will be playing the calibration phase of the German Prime League which will determine in which division of it they will be playing. Besides that, the plan is for them to participate in as many female tournaments as possible.”

Avarosa would be an actual team that played competitive games somewhere in the Germany’s nine-tier regional competition, the Prime League.

After nine months, the purpose of SK Gaming Avarosa has been revealed. Now, as they prepare for their competitive debut, only time will tell on whether it has been worth the wait.

Header: SK Gaming