League of Legends

Before Free Agency, the Culling Begins: A List of Leaving Players

The most exciting part of the League of Legends off-season is here: Free Agency. At the stroke of midnight GMT, the window for teams to sign free agents will finally be open, and the big names signings and trades can begin.

But before that is the most scary time of the year for players: The cuts! Although most players will have known for weeks their time is limited, fans and observers will now get to see the full damage inflicted by the off-season shuffle.

North America

NA often seems like the centre of the League of Legends universe, especially when the money starts flying. The region can drop big bucks, and free-agency is perhaps the only time of the year where the size of your wallet matters more than where you finished at Worlds. But in order to make big trades, you need gaps in your roster. So for these NA players it was time for the chopping block.

With rumours of a Perkz signing, and a move to midlane, it was only natural Nisqy would be on the block. This move all but confirms the signing of one of the best players in the LEC to Cloud9.

Having spent much of it’s offseason attempting to save the planet, FlyQuest will say byeQuest to Terry “Big” Chuong. The academy support looked poised to take over from sought after Korean support Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun, but those hopes have been dashed with his release.

But the biggest move has to be from Dignitas. The team has slashed its roster, saying goodbye to Kim “Fenix”  Jae-hun, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen and Omran “V1per” Shoura. The team is likely to look to completely rebuild this off-season.


We were well into Tuesday for South Korea when the free agency window opened, meaning these guys got a sour start to their Tuesday.

Gen.G parts ways with support Kim “Kellin” Hyeong-gyu. The removal throws into speculation whether the teams other support, Kim “Life” Jeong-min, will explore his free agency, or use this lack of competition to secure his spot.

Hanwha Life Esports cuts Son “Lehends” Si-woo and Park “Viper” Do-hyeon. The pair previously played together on Griffin, and would them finding a home together again would be a lethal combination.

Meanwhile in a huge blow to World Champions DAMWON Gaming, top laner Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon, Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee have decided to explore free agency. The pair could resign with DAMWON, but as Worlds-winning players, they’ll likely have a lot of suitors.

What’s more, things went from bad to worse for DAMWON when later in the day Lee “Flame” Ho-jong agreed to part ways with the team. DAMWON, champions less than a month ago, now seem to be in full rebuild mode.

Cuts and notifications of free agency are just the opening shots of the offseason shuffle, and more bombshells will likely drop in the near future.

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League of Legends

LS Will Be T1’s Next Coach But Korean Fans Aren’t Happy

Fans can be relied upon to criticise the signings of players to their teams, but rarely in esports has the signing of a coach created similar controversy. That was until a leak surfaced detailing the potential that Nick “LS” De Cesare could T1’s next coach.

(Image via  Lee “Effort” Sang-ho)

The leak came from a discord message sent to Lee “Effort” Sang-ho, who was streaming at the time. According to the message, LS, alongside former StarCraft 2 pro and current TFT player Choi “Polt” Seong Hun, will join T1 as coaches for the 2021 season. Almost immediately, speculation about this coaching move circulated around Twitter. Some heralded the potential signings as a great move, and others doubting the veracity and quality of the choices.

T1 suffered a humiliating end to their season after a loss to Gen.G in the finals of the Worlds Regional Qualifiers. The loss was especially crushing with rumours of the legendary mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok reportedly considering retirement. Three days later, their coach Kim Jung-su resigned

LS is an experienced analyst, commentator, and League of Legends personality. His career started when he moved to South Korea to pursue a career as a StarCraft pro player. After living with several Korean organizations, LS became focused on LoL, becoming a coach to many pro players. Since then, he’s served as a coach on multiple teams such as Supa Hot Crew, Roar, Gravity Gaming, and bbq Olivers. 

However, despite his laundry list of qualifications, his controversial style of analysis has often drawn the ire of critics. Most recently, they have focused on his overuse of the “Boris” meme (the name of the shopkeeper on Summoners’ Rift) on his stream, and his often off-topic tangents – both staples of his broadcasting and streaming style rather than his analytical ability.

The most vocal critics of LS’s appointment to T1 are Korean fans who see his appointment as inappropriate. Their criticism varies from concerns about his qualifications, to ad hoc attacks. 

The criticism got so bad that this morning T1 issued an official statement on their social media. In it they addressed the concerns from fans, asking them for patience. “We want to reassure our fans that we are working hard to implement a coaching structure that will position us to win”

It’s likely the statement will do little to comfort T1 fans. Many are worried about a formerly world-class team going yet another year without international success. The former Worlds champions have failed to perform to the level which fans have grown accustomed to. Regardless of who ends up as part of T1’s next coach staff going forwards, they’ll be under a microscope for some time. 

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League of Legends

T1 Head Coach steps down after Worlds 2020 disappointment

Kim “Kim” Jung-su, the Head Coach of SK telecom T1, has resigned from his position as per a post on social media today. The announcement broke early on August 13, heralding the end of his one season coaching the top Korean team.

The departure comes as T1 fell in the LCK gauntlet just four days ago on Wednesday, September 9. After a dramatic three-game series, the normally dominant T1, led by the legendary Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, fell to Gen.G.

As a result, T1 were eliminated from Worlds 2020 contention, despite winning the LCK Spring 2020 split. T1 were far less impressive during the summer LCK season, falling to fifth place overall. 

Coaching Woes for Kim

The fall off in performance was partially blamed on coach Kim. His decision to play up-and-coming mid talent Lee “Clozer” Ju-hyeon over veteran Faker was highly scrutinised. 

Kim is not the first T1 coach to choose not to play Faker, nominally regarded as one of the best players ever. T1’s former head coach Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun gained notoriety for choosing to start other talents, including Lee “Easyhoon” Ji-hoon, over Faker in what was widely regarded as the latter’s peak. 

The departure marks the start of a shakeup for an organisation on the verge of massive change. T1 will be part of the new franchised LCK, which will see the entire makeup of the storied league change. What’s more, speculation swirls around the future of Faker, who this year signed a historic deal with the organisation. This security and the lack of playtime could inspire one of the greatest players ever to call it a day once and for all. 

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