One of the world’s best League of Legends players may now be a free agent.
Korean jungler Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon announced via his Facebook page that he is now “an unemployed kid” (loosely translated.) The news comes after a wide array of speculation that Lee would be departing Chinese squad Team WE, one of the most storied esports franchises in China, come the end of the season.
Lee thrust himself into the spotlight at the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice event in March, leading Team WE to an upset victory over Korea’s top squad at the time, GE Tigers, and an eventual second place finish.
Domestically, though, the team struggled. While their IEM result and a midseason lineup swap boosted them to a top 8 finish in the Spring season, the recently finished Summer turn was not so kind. Team WE ended the Chinese League of Legends Pro League (LPL) in an abysmal 11th place.
It’s uncertain as to where Lee will end up next, but he’ll certainly have suitors. The player was scouted by Western teams likes Cloud9 (for its Tempest squad) and Counter Logic Gaming last offseason and received even more attention among Chinese and Korean sides.
Prior to his trip to China, Lee finished in the top 4 at the 2014 Riot World Championship with his team Samsung Galaxy Blue. Much like his Korean superstar peers, Lee then took a superior financial offer to play in China.
Update 8/27 6:50 PM:
Lee reportedly is under contract until November, but has returned home to Korea for the time being and is streaming from there.
While it’s possible he returns to Team WE when his contract is up, the next time he plays an official match may be in a different jersey.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr