Even stolid Korean teams aren’t immune to this year’s tumultuous offseason in League of Legends. Multiple franchises in Korea’s top league revealed big changes ahead of 2016 today.
CJ Entus‘ jungler and mid laner did not not re-sign with the team, choosing to ply their trade elsewhere. Samsung Galaxy picked up one of those players and added two more, including a former League Championship Series (LCS) marksman. But NaJin e-mFire dropped the biggest bombshell: It terminated the contracts of nine players and its coach, leaving NaJin with just two under players contract.
Early this morning Korean news site Fomos reported that NaJin is ready for a “new start” as they terminated the contracts of nine players and their coach. Cho “Watch” Jae-geol, Yu “Ggoong” Byeong-jun, Park “TANK” Dan-won, Lee “Zefa” Jae-min, Oh “Ohq” Gyu-min, Kim “Pure” Jin-sun, Jang “Cain” Nu-ri, and two substitute players will now be left looking for a a teams after NaJin’s massive restructuring. The only remaining players on NaJin are two talented youngsters, top laner Lee “Duke” Ho-seong and jungler Yoon “Peanut” Wang-ho. That’s a surprise considering many regarded Ohq as an AD carry capable of being the best in the world at that position, but it’s likely he’s seen offers from around the world that may take him to a place where he can prove it.
The roster deconstruction may come as a shock, but it makes sense amid rumors that NaJin is looking to sell their organization, and clearing out contracts gives a new potential owner a clean slate with which to work.
They weren’t the only team to lose players this morning. CJ Entus revealed jungler Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong and mid laner Shin “CoCo” Jin-young would not remain with the team. It will retain top laner Park “Shy” Sang-myeon and support player Hong “MadLife” Min-gi, their two veteran star players, as well as AD carry Seon “Space” Ho-san. Ambition is joining Samsung Galaxy while CoCo is going to compete outside of Korea.
In addition to grabbing a new jungler in Ambition, Samsung Galaxy signed two more players—top laner Kwon “Helper” Yeong-jae, formerly a backup on CJ Entus, and the most recent Dignitas AD carry, Jo “Core JJ” Yong-in, who spent 2014 with the American side. The former Dignitas man entered the LCS as a player with loads of potential who flashed mechanical talent during two mediocre Dignitas seasons. It will be interesting to see if he can take the next step forward on Samsung Galaxy.
We’ve already seen a host of crazy roster swaps this offseason, with squads like Team SoloMid making huge signings and champions like Fnatic losing star players. But days like today show it’s far from over. Teams from around the world are just beginning making the moves to build their 2016 teams, and there’s plenty of talent available on the free agent market.