Golden Guardians acquires star jungler River from LCS rivals Dignitas

The Korean star instantly upgrades the playoff hopefuls.

River looks at computer off-shot while playing in LCS 2022 Summer Split for Dignitas
Photo via ESPAT Media for Riot Games

Golden Guardians have acquired star Korean jungler Kim “River” Dong-woo in a mid-season trade deal with LCS rivals Dignitas, according to the League of Legends Global Contract Database, which was updated on July 26.

The org announced River’s surprise trade soon after the update.

Dignitas are expected to replace River with Academy jungler Lawrence “eXyu” Xu or rookie Perry “Perry” Norman, who was just signed by the LCS org.

Dot Esports understands River will immediately step into the LCS starting lineup for Golden Guardians, who are challenging for playoffs. The squad sits in seventh place after five weeks of play in the 2022 LCS Summer Split. They trail Counter Logic Gaming and Cloud9 (tied fifth) by two League victories.

Milo “Pridestalker” Wehnes will likely drop to Guardians Academy.

Photo via Golden Guardians on Twitter

River joined Dignitas ahead of the 2022 LCS season. He played 36 games for the North American organisation following his high-profile move from PSG Talon and finished seventh with the team in Spring after they slumped to an 8–10 record. The squad now sits dead last in Summer with just two wins in eleven matches.

With seven more League games to be played in the second split of 2022, the best DIG can hope for is to finish with a split 9–9 record, which could see them make top eight. The org appears to have pivoted focus on next year, however.

Golden Guardians, on the other hand, have scooped up an instant upgrade for the team that can only help their bid for a top-six seeding heading into Summer playoffs.

River has scored four Player of the Games since his DIG career began.

Photo via Riot Games

Prior to his North American move, the 23-year-old was a key playmaker in PSG Talon’s talented PCS lineup. The Taiwanese champions made it all the way to the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational semifinals before falling to eventual victors RNG in a four-game series against the Chinese heavyweights.

The PCS lineup struggled to bring the same fiery League play to the World Championship months later, however, and exited the crowning year-end event in groups.