After failing to find a team at the start of the 2019 season, former FlyQuest top laner Lee “Flame” Ho-jong is making his return to Korea. Flame has joined fifth-place LCK squad DAMWON Gaming, the team announced earlier today.
DAMWON’s addition of Flame comes two days before the LCK begins the second round of the 2019 Spring Split. Flame will be DAMWON’s second top laner, playing under the team’s main star in Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon. As a veteran with almost seven years of competitive experience, Flame brings a wealth of knowledge to a team composed almost entirely of rookies.
It’s unknown if DAMWON plan to share on-stage playing time with both Nuguri and Flame, though it seems unlikely due to Nuguri’s importance to the team. Flame played a similar role in 2015 during his time on LGD Gaming, where he was the substitute for Choi “Acorn” Cheon-ju.
This was an unexpected return to Korea for Flame. Many fans thought the top laner would remain in North America, either on FlyQuest or another LCS team that was in the market for a new top laner, like CLG.
Despite being one of the LCK’s newest teams alongside SANDBOX Gaming, DAMWON are tied with Kingzone DragonX in the standings at fifth place. DAMWON ended their first round of the 2019 LCK Summer Split with a 2-0 sweep over Jin Air Green Wings.
Flame could make his LCK debut on Feb. 22 when DAMWON face off against Hanwha Life Esports.