Levi to head back to Asia, sign with JD Gaming

After a year with LCS team 100 Thieves, Levi is heading to the LPL to join an up-and-coming team.

Photo via Riot Games

One of the most exciting signings of last offseason was when 100 Thieves signed Vietnamese jungler Đỗ “Levi” Duy Khánh. We had just seen Levi dominate for GIGABYTE Marines at Worlds and wanted to see him in regular action in a major region.

But that never happened. 100 Thieves were capped out on import slots and Levi didn’t get a single game on stage in the LCS. With 100 Thieves doubling down on imports at other positions, it made sense that Levi would be finding a new home. But it was a complete surprise when LPL organization JD Gaming announced that it was signing Levi to play in China.

JD Gaming lost their own jungler, Kim “Clid” Tae-min to SK Telecom T1. On paper, Levi seems like a good fit. Like Clid, he’s an aggressive, early-game jungler who loves to brawl.

But there are reasons to be concerned. Import slots are tricky, but it’s worth noting that after his season in NA Academy, not a single NA Academy team made a compelling offer to retain Levi. His performances in the Academy league were inconsistent—sometimes he’d pop off, and sometimes he’d die needlessly. Some expected more from a jungler who’d shown such great promise at Worlds.

JD Gaming will need to integrate him better and support him like GIGABYTE did. They also have the challenge of teaching him to speak Chinese. The track record of Korean pros moving to China and learning the language is stronger than that of Vietnamese speakers.

Signing Levi is definitely a high-variance move by JD Gaming, but we won’t know until games start which way things will go.