Massive changes have come to some of Asia’s best League of Legends teams this offseason. We give a rundown of the biggest news and rumours to keep an eye on.

The League of Legends offseason is in full swing. While most western teams have their rosters filled out, Chinese LPL teams and Korean LCK teams tend to make their moves later in the offseason. We’re seeing some crazy moves and rumours come out of those regions. While Esports.gg has covered the western scene plenty, let’s give a rundown of what’s been going on elsewhere.

LCK – Korea

DWG KIA make changes

Changes were always inevitable in DWG KIA’s top lane this offseason, with Kim “Khan” Dong-ha leaving for military service. So far, 2020 World Champion Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon and 2018 World Champion Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok have been rumoured for the position, both would be returning to the LCK from China. It’s also been heavily rumoured that they’ll field a new botlane this year, the 2021 NongShim Redforce duo of Seo “Deokdam” Dae-gil and Kim “Kellin” Hyeong-gyu. Heo “ShowMaker” Su and Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu are both reportedly returning.

Drama in T1’s top lane

Canna on stage at Worlds 2021. (RIOT GAMES/Colin Young-Wolff)

Controversy has erupted around T1’s top laner Kim “Canna” Chang-dong over the last few days. A dispute over salary and the destination for his transfer has turned public. What we do know is that Canna is almost certainly not playing with T1 next year. NS Redforce seems to be the team most heavily linked with him. Backup options for T1 in the top lane could be few and far between, especially since they’re competing with DK to fill that spot.

Gen.G’s rumoured superteam

Finally, Gen.G are rumoured to be pursuing a complete, high-profile rebuild. The roster is supposedly Doran-Peanut-Chovy-Ruler-Lehends. Chovy and Ruler are each among the best players in the world at their role, while Peanut is coming off an excellent year with NS Redforce. This roster would also reunite 3 former Griffin members, Doran, Chovy, and Lehends, years after that team disbanded.

Chovy competes at Worlds 2021. The superstar is rumoured to be joining Gen.G. (RIOT GAMES/Michal Konkol)

LPL – China

Suning becomes Weibo Gaming

2020 World Championship finalists Suning have been purchased by social media site Weibo to become Weibo Gaming.

Despite their success, Suning have always been a team with less funding than their top counterparts in the LPL, which is a problem Weibo shouldn’t have. The team recently won the offseason NEST tournament, sweeping Team WE in the final. Weibo Gaming’s announcement featured all of Suning’s players, but rumours have suggested that Chen “Bin” Ze-Bin may yet be on the move this offseason.

FunPlus Phoenix’ team dissolves

The 2019 World Champions are seeing their roster completely fall apart. After a shocking group stage exit at Worlds 2021, changes were expected, but maybe not to this effect.

Top laner Nuguri, the only player of FPX’s 2021 lineup that wasn’t on the 2019 Worlds-winning roster, was the first to leave. It seems likely that the Korean star will take a break from professional play. Jungler Gao “Tian” Tian-Liang was next – he played injured throughout Worlds, and is supposedly also considering a break. But the big shock, and confirmation that this team was truly done, was the departure of Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang.

Doinb at Worlds 2021. The mid laner has left FPX after 3 years and a World Championship title. (RIOT GAMES/Lance Skundrich)

The star mid laner and outgoing face of the franchise, it will be strange to see FunPlus Phoenix without Doinb. For several offseasons now, he’s been linked with retirement, this may be the time.

Destinations uncertain for stars Knight and Viper

While many skilled players don’t yet have teams, and many organizations have spots open, several stand out among them all. First is Zhuo “Knight” Ding. The Top Esports superstar’s contract has expired, and he’s been linked with virtually every Chinese organization that has money to spend. Royal Never Give Up and FunPlus Phoenix were touted as options earlier in the offseason, but now it seems that the strongest rumours are Bilibili Gaming and a return to Top Esports. BLG are rumoured to be putting together an superteam, possibly including Tian and Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao alongside Knight.

Viper (forefront) at the Worlds 2021 finals opening ceremony. The World Champion AD Carry may be on the move for 2022. (RIOT GAMES/Colin Young-Wolff)

The contract of 2021 World Champion Park “Viper” Do-hyeon has also expired. Viper was EDward Gaming’s star and carry all year, eventually helping them to their first World Championship title in an upset win over DWG KIA. While returning to EDG is certainly still on the table, he’s also been linked to a move back to the LCK. NS Redforce in particular have been floated around as potential suitors.


Stay tuned to Esports.gg for the latest League of Legends news and updates.

Shawn

Shawn "Germanicus" Heerema

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @GermanicusCVIII

A writer from Niagara, Canada, Shawn covers VALORANT, League of Legends, and PUBG. He previously wrote for THESPIKE.GG and is a journalism student at Ryerson University. He has also been accredited press for Worlds 2021 and VALORANT Champions.