Schalke 04 said their final farewell to the LEC with the release of their ‘NULLFEAR’ documentary. The film serves as a review of their fateful 2021 season, as well as a farewell to the league they were a part of for four years.
Schalke 04 Esports’ YouTube channel released NULLFEAR, a documentary about the team’s 2021 season on September 10.
The 95-minute film not only documents the team’s 2021 season, but also serves as their farewell to Europe’s top League of Legends league following the sale of their slot in June.
Schalke say goodbye
Schalke 04’s 2021 season began with hope and optimism. The NULLFEAR documentary opens with various figures at the team talking about the high expectations for the org’s League of Legends team.
The first half of the film focuses on the 2021 LEC Spring split. Schalke 04 finished fourth in the regular-season standings with a 9-9 record. That meant a first-round playoff series against G2. Schalke came back from 0-2 down to tie the series, but lost the deciding Game 5. They were able to overcome Fnatic in their next series but were eliminated from the playoffs by eventual runners-up Rogue in the following round.
But there is a darker undercurrent running throughout the documentary’s first 45 minutes – FC Schalke 04. The soccer club, playing in the Bundesliga, was having a historically terrible season. The film contains scenes of the coaching staff joking about when the soccer team would next win.
FC Schalke 04 won just three matches during the 2020/21 Bundesliga season and were officially relegated on April 20, nine days after the LEC Spring split ended. A combination of the ongoing pandemic and the financial realities of being relegated to the 2. Bundesliga meant that Schalke were teetering on the precipice of bankruptcy.
To offset some of these financial woes, they sold their spot in the LEC to Swiss organisation Team BDS for $30.5 million. The announcement of the sale came on June 14, just three days into the LEC Summer split.
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The documentary jumps back to Summer 2020 and Schalke’s 1-10 to 8-10 “miracle run”, but history didn’t repeat itself. With players being sold off and the end in sight, a demoralized Schalke went 3-15 in the 2021 Summer split.
But as the documentary shows, it wasn’t a quiet death. The final minutes of the film focus on the viewing party for Schalke’s final LEC match. Fans and former players were invited to the soccer team’s Veltins-Arena to watch the match. There was also a special guest in attendance – former Schalke star Tamás ‘Vizicsacsi’ Kiss, who was part of the team that finished second to Fnatic in the 2018 EU LCS Summer playoffs.
“I had people coming up to me, telling me how much they love the team and how much they loved it when I played for Schalke,” Vizicscasi says in the documentary. “It really meant a lot to hear that.”
While Schalke lost their final match as an LEC side to Fnatic, the fans were able to say goodbye to the team they loved.
The documentary closes with a tribute of statements from casters, players, and finally, a message to the fans from Tim Reichert, the team’s managing director, as he and fellow managing director Dr. Claudio Kasper look up at the Veltins-Arena one last time.
Schalke’s League of Legends journey will continue in 2022 in The Prime League, Germany’s regional league for the game.