Imp isn’t leaving China, will continue playing for LGD

After a shaky year in China, some players who left Korea last offseason are returning

After a shaky year in China, some players who left Korea last offseason are returning. But the world’s best AD carry isn’t one of them.

Gu “Imp” Seung-bin will be back with LGD Gaming in 2016, the team announced today on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. That means LGD Gaming will once again enter the year with one of the more star-studded rosters in China.

Since his career began in 2012, Imp has proven to be the most consistent AD carry in League of Legends, a player considered world class during every phase of his career, no matter which team he competed on or how the metagame shifted.

In 2014, he won the World Championship as a member of Samsung Galaxy White. That team subsequently split apart as its players sought big contracts in China. Imp landed on a highly talented LGD Gaming roster alongside two Korean top laners, Choi “Acorn” Cheon-ju and Lee “Flame” Ho-jong, paired with China’s best support player Chen “Pyl” Bo. With a rising star in the mid lane, Wei “GODV” Lian (now calling himself “PAinEvil”), the squad had hopes to win Imp a second World title.

But LGD proved to be one of the most inconsistent teams of 2016. They featured an incredibly talented lineup that at times looked like world beaters, challengers to take the World Championship, but at other times looked like a squad of hapless rookies.

The team ranked fifth and sixth place respectively in the regular seasons of the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) in China, but during each playoff they shone, placing second behind EDward Gaming in the Spring before taking the LPL title in the Summer. 

On the back of that LPL title, LGD entered the 2015 World Championship regarded a favorite. They exited it one of the most disappointing teams in history, placing outside the top eight with a 2-4 group stage record. But that was par for LGD Gaming’s performance outside of LPL playoffs in 2015—the team only reached the quarterfinals in each season of the Demacia Cup, a major local tourney in China, and they followed up the World champs with a poor showing at IEM San Jose late last month, losing to Team SoloMid 2-0 in the opening round.

While the team often underperformed, Imp still showed he’s one of the strongest and most consistent performers at his position in the history of League of Legends throughout 2015. The team may not even need to tweak its roster to improve its performance; they were mired by issues with the coaching staff throughout the year.

LGD will likely make some changes heading into 2015, but their AD carry won’t be one of them. 

Photo via Riot Games/Flickr

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