As announced in a post on Gen.G’s official Twitter, former Heroes of the Storm player Jae Won “Rich” Lee is joining their League of Legends team. Rich has been part of the Gen.G (previously KSV) organization since 2017 and has seen major success with the team. It is an interesting move as he makes his transition to another esports game. He will be joining the team as a mid laner, but it isn’t certain yet whether he’ll be a starter or not. Additionally, Gen.G also acquired Asper, who was last on Hanhwa Life as a substitute but didn’t see any playing time.
Rich first entered the competitive esports scene in 2015, when he joined Team Asia StarDust. He won a single Major tournament with them before moving on to Snake eSports Korea. The team managed to secure several first, second, and third place finishes before Rich returned to StarDust for a short time. Rich’s best years began as he left StarDust to join MVP Black. With MVP, Rich won his first Global Championship (similar to League of Legends Worlds) after beating Fnatic in the finals. Finally, he spent his last years as a Heroes of the Storm pro on KSV, who later rebranded to Gen.G. There, Rich won practically everything that could be won. They narrowly beat Team Dignitas in the 2018 Mid-Season Brawl finals. However, the team went undefeated throughout the entire 2018 Heroes of the Storm Global Championship, this team sweeping Dignitas in the finals.
Rich cemented himself as one of the HotS all-time greats. He is often considered to be the best HotS professional to ever play the game. His stature could be compared to that of League of Legends’ Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok. That is why he is often referred to as “the Faker of HotS.”
If he is able to gain any success in League of Legends, he will have to be considered as one of the best esports players in general. Although both games are MOBAs, there are still quite a lot of differences. Heroes of the Storm tends to be faster paced and focused around changing maps, while League of Legends is more methodical and only has one competitive map.
However, based on Gen.G’s current roster, Rich will have to fight for the mid lane spot. Gen.G has currently, with the addition of Rich, three mid laners on the roster. The other two are their Spring Split mid laner Song “Fly” Yong-jun and Lee “Kuzan” Seong-hyeok who just recently joined as well. Fly played as their starting mid laner in the LCK Spring Split, but the team didn’t find much success. The team finished the split in seventh place, failing to qualify for playoffs. Kuzan played the Summer Split with the ES Sharks, who failed to qualify for the LCK after losing to Jin Air Green Wings in the Summer Promotion. It will be interesting to see how Gen.G uses the three mid laners and which one of them gets the starter spot.
Do you think Rich can carry his dominance from Heroes of the Storm over to League of Legends? Let us know in the comments below!
Vince Koyle is an esports writer, tech nerd and future CompSci student. He often likes to compare traditional sports to esports, showing his love for both kinds. Also tends to sometimes try too hard with explaining what esports is and how it isn’t any different than traditional sports. He mainly covers the League of Legends scene, with an emphasis on European and Asian leagues.