The Green Wall may have something big to cheer for next season. OpTic Gaming is acquiring 2017 World Champion, Lee “Crown” Min-ho, to their roster on a two-year deal.
— OpTicLoL (@OpTicLoL) November 25, 2018
This move continues that 2018 offseason theme of the Korean exodus. Crown joins a myriad of LCK players who have left the region. For example, big-name players like Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon, Bae “Bang” Jun-sik and Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in would all leave for Europe or North America. Crown would end up leaving Gen.G this year, after spending almost five years with the same roster. As a result, he joins OpTic Gaming, who just lost their starting mid laner Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage to Counter Logic Gaming.
Gen.G would have a pretty lackluster year this time around, compared to 2017. In the 2018 Spring Split, they would play to a 9-9 record and earn themselves fifth place. In the playoffs, they would drop to SKT T1 in the first round. In the following split, Gen.G would finish up in fourth place with a 13-5 record. The team would falter in the first round again but would manage to get into Worlds after winning the Regional Gauntlet.
Unfortunately, Crown and company would have the worst performance out of all the Korean teams at Worlds. They would be put in a group alongside China’s Royal Never Give Up, North America’s Cloud9, and Europe’s Team Vitality. They would end up losing all but one of their games, exiting the tournament early. It was a disappointing result for the organization, the fans, and the players.
As a result, Gen.G would drop Crown, Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in, and Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong from the team. It was the start of a huge roster shuffle for Gen.G, as well the whole Korean region. CoreJJ would end up returning to North America to join a stacked Team Liquid roster. Ambition has not found a team as of yet, but we are sure he will be picked up in the coming weeks. However, unlike Team Liquid, OpTic Gaming is more of a question mark in terms of roster strength.
Adding Crown is a pretty big upgrade when comparing to PowerOfEvil. However, how will he work in the OpTic Gaming system? The team is still in the market for a jungler and an ADC, as contracts for Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham and Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon have expired. Unfortunately, the rest of the remaining players have not really proven themselves in the NA LCS. Their top laner Niship “Dhokla” Doshi is coming off his first real season in the league. Terry “BIG” Chuong hasn’t been a great support, although he’s been on multiple teams throughout his career.
If OpTic Gaming doesn’t make some significant upgrades to their roster, this could become a pretty bad situation. This is also Crown’s first time outside of the LCK, and so there will be some adversity that he will need to overcome. If his team cannot provide much support for him, then he may have an off-year in 2019. However, there are still some big names in the market available for addition. We will have to keep our eyes on the offseason to keep up with the roster moves.
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Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.