The LCK’s Afreeca Freecs confirmed the departure of longtime League of Legends head coach Choi “iloveoov” Yeon-sung last night.
Drawing on his prior experience as a StarCraft player and coach for SK Telecom T1, iloveoov was appointed as the head coach of Afreeca Freecs in late 2016. Throughout his four-year tenure with the organization, he’s been tasked with many different roles within the team. He initially started as the head coach and then moved into a general manager role before ultimately being given back the head coach position.
It didn’t matter all that much which position he was given, though. With his long list of esports and life experiences, iloveoov was able to command the respect of his young players from any given role.
Afreeca Freecs released a statement alongside the announcement of the coach’s departure, saying “we highly appreciate his time and efforts with us for 4 years.” The org praised his achievements with the team, saying “he drove us to fruition such as 2018 LCK finals, quarterfinals at 2018 Worlds and winning 2019 KeSPA Cup.”
Iloveoov recently wasn’t able to replicate the kind of form that the team produced during their quarterfinals appearance at the 2018 World Championship. This is likely part of the reason why Afreeca has decided to part ways with the coach.
Later in his career, he became quite a controversial figure, particularly to those in and around the LCK. But iloveoov will likely be remembered for his strict style of coaching that enabled his players to draw out their true potential. Some of his former pupils include Kramer, now with LPL team LGD Gaming, and MaRin, the legendary SK Telecom T1 top laner.
The future for iloveoov is unclear right now, but given his experience and high profile, he’ll likely be offered some kind of coaching role for the upcoming 2021 season.
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