The team is taking its name from new partner Arena Online, the online tournament organizer based in Houston, Texas.
Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong, Kevin “Kez” Jeon, and Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo will remain on the roster. It’s not clear if AD Carry Kim “Emperor” Jin-hyun will stay or go, and former support Andy “Smoothie” Ta is set to replace Alex “Xpecial” Chu on Team Liquid, as reported by the Daily Dot earlier today.
“The new TDK is a team of smart, young, hungry players who fell into some ridiculous pitfalls this past LCS season,” Arena Online Founder Alan Hubbard tells the Daily Dot. “We want to give this impressive team the support they need to get back on track.”
Hubbard and staff will work alongside the team’s existing crew of management, including Dragon Knights co-owner Chris Shim.
“Arena Online is going to change the way the world regards esports,” Shim said. “Serious gamers are a new force of professional athletes, Team Arena Online is absolutely a team of professional athletes, and we’ve found a partner who sees that force too.”
Hubbard and Shim hope to revitalize the team as they join forces, righting a ship that went far off course pretty much from the beginning of the team’s time in the League Championship Series.
When Ninja and Emperor originally joined the squad in May, a technical problem at the U.S. State Department delayed their visa application. Neither were able to compete in the League Championship Series until the errors were resolved on week five of competition. That forced the team was forced to use substitutes, and their play suffered as a result, with the team recording a nine-game losing streak. Although they nearly bounced back after taking victories over Team Dignitas, Cloud9, and Gravity in the latter part of the season, the Dragon Knights were eventually relegated from the LCS on Aug. 12.
Now, the team will be hoping that its new partner can help put things back on course.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr | Remix by Jacob Wolf