In 2018, longtime League coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho took an unknown group out of the Korean Challenger scene and qualified for the LCK. Few knew it at the time, but it was the birth of a new Korean super team: Griffin.
But now, the team surprisingly revealed earlier today that cvMax is out as coach a week before the 2019 World Championship is scheduled to start.
Griffin took a league by storm in their first split, winning their first six matches before getting stopped by kt Rolster. Even though they didn’t make it to Worlds last year, it was clear that a new era of League had arrived in Korea. Now, that era is changing faster than anybody could have expected with the departure of cvMax.
This is the most shocking news to come from a major contender so close to Worlds. It’s even more surprising coming from a team that seemed so tight knit. Just a year ago, cvMax was saying that he shared “the same thoughts and understanding” with all five of his players.” Now, ahead of the team’s biggest tournament, he’s out?
Griffin have had their struggles, mostly in the LCK playoffs where they have lost three straight times in the final. But those losses—once to kt and twice this year to SKT—were against veteran-laden super teams competing at their peaks. But there’s a reason those failures happened in the finals: Griffin has won the LCK regular season three splits in a row. Based on that level of play, there’s no reason to believe that Griffin couldn’t have won Worlds by just staying the course.
Instead, they’ll go into the tournament facing more uncertainty than any other team. The main event, which they’ve been seeded directly into, starts on Oct. 12. Until then, we can only speculate at what happened behind the scenes to cause such a spectacular falling out.