Korean standout Jung-Hwan “RenieHouR” Lee has made Hearthstone history, becoming the first player from the Asian scene to sign to a Western team.
The Team Golden Coin founder has joined top esports organisation SK Gaming, who have recently picked up a Hearthstone roster for the first time. At the end of October the team picked up Filip “Numberguy” Samuelson as their first player, ahead of the Dane’s appearance at the World Championships, where Samuelson finished third in his group.
Lee is one of Korea’s most successful Hearthstone players to date, coming fourth in the WEC 2014 tournament and qualifying for the World Championships. He also competed in both CN vs KR Masters tournaments.
The Asian and Western Hearthstone scenes have started to become much more integrated in the second half of 2014, with tournaments like WEC and WCA offering opportunities for Western players to compete in Asia, November’s World Championships saw equal placing given to players from China, Taiwan and Korea as from Europe and the Americas. Recently we’ve seen Asian players competing in online tournaments too, with Taiwan’s Chen “tom60229” Wei Lin taking part in the Battle of the Best invitational.
Lee is SK Gaming’s second signing in as many weeks, as the team picked up World Championship quarter-finalist Riccardo “Kaor” Giammanco on Dec. 2. The relatively unknown Italian player had a breakout performance at the championships and his dreams of opening a bookstore with the tournament winnings captured the hearts of many fans.
SK Gaming is the latest esports franchise to establish a Hearthstone roster, joining teams like Cloud9 and Dignitas.
Photo via SK Gaming