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On Thursday, just a couple of days before the start of the 2021 League of Legends free agency period, Golden Guardians released three of their Academy players: Kim “Timothy” “RoseThorn” Tae-ho, Choi “Jay” “Yunbee” Jong-yun and Leandro “Newbie” Marcos.

“Today, with heavy hearts, we bid farewell to @RoseThornLoL, @Yunbee15, and @newbiel0l,” Golden Guardians tweeted. “It’s been a joy to work alongside them and watch them grow, and we’ll be happily supporting them in whatever lies ahead next.”

Yunbee, Newbie and RoseThorn’s time with Golden Guardians

The three players all had at least one more year with Golden Guardians on their contracts, but GG gave them the freedom to search for new teams at the beginning of November, two weeks before the free agency period starts. Each player joined the team last off-season, playing with the org for only one year.

RoseThorn, who played jungle for GG Academy, joined after his NA Scouting Grounds attendance. During that event, he was teammates with fellow GG pickup last off-season, top laner Aiden “Niles” Tidwell. Previously, RoseThorn played a short stint in the amateur scene.

Golden Guardians RoseThorn
RoseThorn was originally slated to stay with GG till 2023. | Provided by Golden Guardians

Similarly, Yunbee played in the North American amateur scene for a few brief periods over a couple of years prior to joining GG. The mid laner also played in the 2020 NA Scouting Grounds, where he and Team Ocean won first place.

Newbie has a bit more history than his counterparts. He originally played for the main Golden Guardians roster, only joining the Academy team this summer. The support has had a seven-year career, with six of those years spent in Latin America, where he is a resident. He was the first Latin American player to play in the LCS alongside Brandon Joel “Josedeodo” Villegas, who signed with FlyQuest in 2020.

Golden Guardians Academy won the Giant Slayer Gauntlet 2021 this spring, and they took third in the final Proving Grounds tournament this September despite an eighth-place finish in the League Championship Series Academy summer split. Upcomer has reached out to Golden Guardians for comment on their direction for 2022 and will update this story upon reception.