LPL & LCK Roster Changes: FPX Nuguri, SofM Re-signs, And More!
The biggest question of the most recent off-season has now finally been resolved: Nuguri will be donning an FPX jersey come 2021. It’s not what most fans expected, given his recent success with DAMWON, but it’s hard to blame him seeing how he was probably given an offer that was too good to refuse.
LPL Making Big Moves
There’s a metric ton of LPL news for us to cover, so let’s begin with the biggest and most surprising story of them all!
- Nuguri joins FPX — One of the hottest free agents of the off-season was none other than top lane extraordinaire and current World Champion Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon, formerly of DAMWON Gaming. He first rose to prominence back in 2017 and has quickly solidified his spot as one of the best and most aggressive top laners in the history of the game. And now he’ll continue his (already) storied career over in the LPL under the FunPlus Phoenix banner. Quite an unexpected twist, but a pretty logical one nonetheless. FPX is still a fantastic team (despite their shoddy 2020 run) and probably paid top dollar for a talent like Nuguri. With him aboard, FPX will have all the right tools to once again challenge for the LPL throne. Then again, the last time this LPL giant imported a legendary Korean top laner, things didn’t pan out so well. We’ll have to wait and see, but the potential is certainly there.
- Xiye and Mystic join JD Gaming — Speaking of bolstered LPL line-ups, JD Gaming has just signed mid laner Su “Xiye” Han-Wei (formerly of LGD Gaming) and AD carry Jin “Mystic” Seong-jun (formerly of Afreeca Freecs). Both individuals are pretty much household names and are some of the best players the East has to offer. Xiye, in particular, had a very solid showing in 2020 although he didn’t perform all that well during the World Championship, for reasons that still elude us. Mystic, on the other hand, didn’t find much success over in the LCK, but we’ve seen his highs and he’s more than worthy of a starting spot in the LPL. In any case, good things are on the horizon for JD Gaming!
- SofM re-signs with Suning — Lê “SofM” Quang Duy, one of the biggest stars of this year’s World Championship, has decided to re-sign with Suning for the 2021 competitive season. Many fans were wondering whether he would capitalize on such a sudden burst of popularity and go someplace else (perhaps even to North America), but in the end, this Vietnamese jungling behemoth opted to give Suning another shot after a staggeringly successful tail end of 2020. Still, Suning probably won’t be as powerful come 2021, seeing how they’ve lost their support and a good chunk of their coaching staff (including their head coach).
- Tarzan joins LNG — Speaking of jungling superstars, Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong (formerly of Griffin) has decided to follow some of his most prominent peers and make the move over to the LPL. He’ll now compete under the LNG banner. This three-time LCK finalist is renowned for his jungling prowess, and seeing him start anew in a completely different region will be an absolute treat. Success, however, will be far from guaranteed, as LNG won’t exactly field a star-studded roster. And that, in a region as competitive as the LPL, could prove quite problematic.
LCK — A Natural Cycle
There’s a serious changing of the guard happening over in the LCK. Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyun, Lee “Crown” Min-ho, Lee “Kuro” Seo-haeng, Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho, and Park “Untara” Ui-jin have all decided to end their professional careers. These are some of the most revered and beloved individuals the LCK ever produced.
They’ve awed us with their incredible play and staggering tenacity, and we’re immensely grateful for the many memories and plays they’ve given us, most of which we’ll cherish for years to come!