Two of Korea’s brightest young stars will make the move to China.
Invictus Gaming has signed mid laner Song “RooKie” Eui-jin and jungler Lee “KaKAO” Byung-kwon.
The 17-year-old Song garnered accolades as the Korean Rookie of the Year this season due to his play as a member of KT Rolster Arrows. Part of his success, though, can be laid at the hands of Lee. His aggressive early game jungling, favoring ganks over farm, set the stage for Song’s success. KT Rolster Arrows took the Champions Summer title over Samsung Galaxy Blue thanks to the pair’s synergy. Lee took home MVP honors for his efforts.
The pair chose not to renew their contracts with KT Rolster in October, but their destination wasn’t set until today.
Now they’ll pick up where they left off in China as members of Invictus Gaming. The organization famed for their world class Dota 2 team has failed to mimic that success internationally in League of Legends, but an offseason that’s seen them pick up a host of Korean talents could boost them in the highly competitive Chinese scene, especially with one of the few core groups of players from Korea capable of challenging last year’s Samsung hegemony.
The team’s also invested in Korean coaching. Former World Champion and SK Telecom T1 support Lee “PoohManDu” Jeong-hyeon will coach the team alongside KT Rolster Bullets support Won “MaFa” Sang-yeon.
The additions leave questions on just what the main team’s lineup will be heading into the season, though it’s safe to say Song and Lee will be in action together. Invictus already added two Koreans, top laner Baek “Save” Young-jin and mid laner Song “Fly” Young-jun, to the team, but rules prevent more than two foreign players from competing on a squad. It’s likely Baek and Song are slated for Invictus Gaming’s sister team, Young Glory.
With the way this offseason’s shaping up, Korea’s looking like the farm club for the Chinese big leagues. With another set of not just solid, but superstar talents set to join a top Chinese team, the world’s best region may be a different Asian region in 2015.