LCK Off-Season Changes

The LCS leagues in North America and Europe are full of question marks and rumors these days, but the off-season for the LCK is moving much more rapidly. Organizations are clearing rosters to bring up young and upcoming talent, players are leaving the LCK for other regions, and even the OGN broadcasting team in Korea is changing. The LCK seems to have a much quicker off-season developing than the rest of the World, which should come as no surprise since the Koreans are always ahead of everybody when it comes to League of Legends these days. I do not follow the LCK as closely as the NA LCS or the EU LCS, so I will only be focusing on a couple of the teams from the LCK. Here are some of the most important changes going on with the LCK so far this off-season.


 

Najin

NaJin e-mFire

NaJin e-mFire have been a long standing team in Korea since 2012 and founded teams such as NaJin Sword and NaJin Shield. They have had talented teams in the past that attended the World Championship and always competed with the best in Korea. NaJin took roster changes to a whole new level last week by terminating nine of their player contracts as well as two of their coaches. With a roster change this large, NaJin will be looking to acquire young and unproven talent and hope to mold these players into the superstars they can potentially become. There have been reports of NaJin actually disbanding as a whole, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet. Their LCK spot may be up for sale, similar to many LCS teams. NaJin fans will just have to wait patiently to see if this team will still be around for 2016.


 

Jin Air Green Wings

Jin Air Green Wings recently competed in the Intel Extreme Masters in San Jose. Just ten days after the tournament ended and the team placed 3rd-4th, three members of Jin Air’s line up left the team. TrAce, Chaser, and Cpt Jack have not signed with any other team since their departures either. Jin Air could not be happy with their performance at IEM San Jose, but they are sticking with their young lineup and are going to hope that they can grow together as a team and excel in the toughest League of Legends league in the world. Pilot and Chei will need to perform at a higher level in 2016 to set an example for the rest of their teammates, who are not as experienced as them in the professional scene. Jin Air will still be looking to make an impact in 2016 in Korea.


 

KT_Rolster_logo

KT Rolster

After a decent performance at the World Championship, KT Rolster has changed 2 members of their team for the upcoming 2016 season. KT Rolster recently decided to let go of their star support player Piccaboo and their mid laner Nagne from season 5. Replacing Nagne in the mid lane is Fly, who coached the NA LCS team, Team Impulse, last season and was with the Jin Air Green Wings the year before. For the support role, KT decided to go with IgNar as Piccaboo’s replacement. He spent last season on Incredible Miracle and has shown plenty of potential. KT have an aggressive looking lineup and they will look to represent Korea at the World Championship once again next year.


 

Samsung Galaxy

Samsung Galaxy are looking to revive their League of Legends pro team and hopefully become World Championship contenders once again. This organization founded the legendary sister teams, Samsung White and Samsung Blue. However, to start 2015, the Korean eSports Association (KeSPA) announced that organizations will not be allowed to have multiple teams and the Samsung organization subsequently released all of their players. As the team settled and found players, they failed to perform as well as the previous season due to thier inexperience and lack of talent. This off-season, Samsung has brought on a new Top laner, an ADC, and a new jungler. A couple days ago, the players Eve, Luna, Fury, Ace, and Bliss were all let go as Samsung begun to rebuild their team with a veteran group of players. They brought in former Dignitas ADC, Core JJ as well as former CJ Entus jungler, Ambition to help guide the young talent to becoming a better team. Samsung Galaxy may not be done with roster moves yet either, so keep an eye out for them.


 

sktLogo

SK Telecom T1

Of course we have to mention the Season 5 World Champions SK Telecom T1. They are coming off of their organization’s second World Championship, but have also made some big moves. Easyhoon and Faker were the deadliest 1-2 punch in all of eSports, but Faker has lost his shadow as reported earlier this week. Easyhoon showed that he is a top caliber player and can start for almost any team in the world with his play in Season 5. He decided to leave the LCK and go play for Vici Gaming in China’s LPL. The move to China makes sense for Easyhoon as it gives him the opportunity to showcase his talent as a star player and prove that he can carry his own team to the World Championship stage. SKT also released their substitute jungler Tom, but even more surprisingly their star top laner Marin. Marin performed at an MVP level at the World Championship and wherever he ends up, that team will surely be better because of him. He is an elite talent, but SKT has been the most successful organization in the history of the League of Legends scene, so if any team can replace players, it is them.


 

There has been a large number of moves in the LCK so far this off-season, but like I stated at the beginning of the article, I am not an expert of the Korean league. Teams like CJ Entus, Incredible Miracle, even the KOO Tigers (now known as just “Tigers”) have had a change or two even if isn’t a player change. If you would like to find more in depth knowledge on the LCK off-season changes, I suggest following MonteCristo and DoA on Twitter. They have all the information anyone needs on the LCK and keep everyone up to date with what is going on over there. As the North American and European fans continue to read rumor after rumor, Korean fans are getting a head start as to what to expect from teams in 2016.

By: Jeff “Gravy” Miskin